the onion is killing it recently
pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will
Anonymous said: In Organic Improv, how do you create a game when nothing unusual has presented itself? Sometimes in scenes it seems like my team gets stuck in the Base Reality portion of the scene. I've seen players use the inappropriate response approach to jumpstart the game. Can you recommend any other strategies?
There is always something unusual. If it seems like there isn’t, it’s just because you missed it.
In the next day, pay REALLY close attention to every single minor interaction you have… with a waiter, a guy at the convienience store, a casual acquaintance you run into. And try to notice every small, unusual thing that happens, no matter how tiny. Each of those things would be usable in a scene. As fairly normal people, we gloss over these small things because we know they don’t matter, and we give each other the benefit of the doubt. But in improv, we need to NOT do that. Think of your improv scene the way people dissect Stanley Kubrick movies… every single choice matters, so anything that is even slightly out of the ordinary must exist for a reason. And the reason is to develop the scene and create the game.
Another way to look at it is that the “unusual thing” can sometimes be considered the “interesting thing.” What’s the most interesting thing we learn about either of these characters? If something piques your interest, bring attention to it, and make it part of one of the characters. If someone mentions that they love French New Wave cinema, in real life, that means that you’re about to have a really shitty conversation at a party. But in an improv scene, that means that you can hone in on that, let that define the character, and then let that unusual/interesting thing be the first thing from which you can create a game.
So, that’s my main answer. Is listen incredibly actively. There’s tons of information in every line that we frequently pass up as improvisers, looking for a bigger, shinier thing. Especially in organic improv. Don’t pass that stuff up!
Beyond that, specifics. If you’re stuck in a boring base reality, it’s because no one is being specific enough. If each line contains at least one new piece of information that builds off of what came before, it’s incredibly difficult to avoid an unusual thing.
Alex Fernie is answering questions about game on his Tumblr. I am reblogging this question & answer because of the last paragraph. The whole answer is great, but students need to trust this: "If each line contains at least one piece of information that builds off of what came before, it’s incredibly difficult to avoid an unusual thing."
reblogging to keep in mind