The truth is funny

Author: Preston Smith A lot of the time an improvisor will spend so much time trying to create funny moments in scenes. This generally ends badly, with a joke or some forced epitaph that is completely unrelated to what is happening in a scene. Every time I teach a class of new students or an intro class, I always ask them if they can tell me the funniest moment...

Everything you need is right there

Author: Preston Smith A scene is not a complicated thing or, at least it shouldn’t be. When you enter a scene, with in the first 30 seconds you should have everything you need to have a great scene. Accepting the reality that has been created is absolutely important to having a good scene. Not only what is happening in a scene but also, who you are in the...

This is the moment…

This is the moment… I say this a lot when I’m teaching improv because it is what makes a scene interesting to watch and participate in. This is what it means. Improv consists of short scenes… even long-form improv consists of relatively short scenes (when compared to one life time). Each short scene is a moment in which players enter the stage...

Am I Funny Yet?

The idea that you have to be funny to be in improv is absurd and one of the most misunderstood aspects of improv. You don’t have to be funny… in fact it is best if you aren’t funny, or at least don’t try to be funny. Why don’t you want to be funny… The joke is one of the most abhorred things in improv, it is cheap, easy and...

How do I fit in this scene

Improv is a beautiful mishmash of individual and group expression… all brought together in a collective of 4 or 5 minute moments (longer, if you are talking about long-form). Either it is 2 individuals or 3, 4, 5 or 6… it doesn’t matter because the process is always the same… listen, agree, emotion, character. Even when you do this you...

Sometimes, Less is More…

Author: Preston Smith It isn’t a bad thing to be able to add tons of information to a scene but sometimes it isn’t exactly what is needed or wanted in a scene. If listening is a key to improv, and it is… then shouldn’t we help each other out by not giving each other tons and tons of information to listen to and remember? Say things with...

Taking care of yourself

Author: Preston Smith My last post touched upon the idea of, “taking care of yourself”. I felt like it deserved a little more elaboration. Taking care of yourself means to have a character, emotion and point of view, it doesn’t mean to plan a scene. The great thing about characters, emotions and points of view is that they are transferable, no...