You Already Know The Real “Why”
In improv, you always need a good “why.”
The trick is realizing that you often already know why, deep down, even when the things you’re doing happened instinctually. Don’t fix it to what you think the why SHOULD be.
Like you’re doing a two person scene and the other person says “I want to run with the bulls in Spain” and you have a gut reaction that makes you shake your head with a little bit of disgust and you say “Ugh, not that.”
You didn’t sit there and plan that out. You’re not in your head, you’re just reacting — which is good — but NOW you need to decide why you just did that.
This this this.
Everything is gift. Even your actual view points/thoughts. They’re right there. Use them.
This past summer, Michael Delaney sent me an email decrying the state of improv. That in itself was not unusual (Hello, Delaney!). But in this particular email he outlined what I think is a brilliant way to measure whether someone has become an advanced improviser:
1) A good improviser habitually accepts the offers made to him.
2) A good improviser habitually makes active choices rather than passive ones.
3) A good improviser justifies.
He said these were based directly on “Del Close’s Kitchen Rules.” I had never heard of this, though according to The Funniest One In The Room, it’s actually Elaine May and Ted Flicker who made them during a run of improv shows in St. Louis in 1957. Del became the rules’ most ardent preacher. Elaine and Ted seemed to have called them the Westminster Place Kitchen Rules which sounds funny.
This re-popped up on my dashboard. It’s from almost three years ago. But those three kitchen rules are so so good.