After re-starting improv training in Cambridge despite having already been through a fair chunk of training at Second City a few years ago, this second consideration of the “Rules of Improv” made me realize how said rules can be applied as a guide to life, especially in a new city (which is, ostensibly, what this blog is about). You can read Part 1 here. Below is Part 2.
Rule Number 2: “AND.” An audience member declares you, a very white
and only mildly but aspiring to be quite funky white chick to be George Clinton, leader of the P-Funk All-Stars? Hell yes. AND, you add, you’re the owner/operator of a struggling dog grooming business, hampered by the fact that no one wants their dogs to be funkified in this economy. By not just going along with the original idea (the “yes”) but adding to it (the “and”), you’re giving your partner(s) something new to build on and you’re (hopefully) surprising and delighting the audience by taking the scene in an unexpected direction. Which scene would you rather watch, George Clinton wandering around aimlessly, or George Clinton complaining about the lack of funk in the dog grooming landscape? Or whatever. There are no wrong answers – this is make-believe, after all. Whatever random crap comes out of your mouth, add to the scene with confidence and your partner(s) and the audience will happily follow you down whatever rabbit hole.
Again, of course, in the “real world” there are sometimes wrong answers, but the idea is the same. Once you’ve gotten brave enough to say “yes” to whatever, “and” it. Come up with your own plans for weird blogger outings. Hang out with the people you meet (and like). Build on the relationships you started when you meet people. If you’re confident and affable (not an arrogant asshole), people will go with it – and some of those people will probably end up being your friend.
You can read part 3 here!