Here’s something that you might have heard before, but is always good to remember-
In impro there are no rules.
I mean, come on- would we be doing this if we needed anymore rules in our lives? Don’t we already have enough?
I think we are improvising (at list some of us) because of the freedom, joy, creativity and playfulness. Not because we are technocrats wishing to obey rules, right?
So what about “say yes”, “don’t talk about what you do”, “don’t ask questions?”’, “have a platform”, “avoid teaching scenes” and so on??
Sure- these are wonderful tools, but are they rules??
Could we not play a great scene which happens to be a teaching scene? Could we not talk about what we do and have a super funny interaction? Can we not “block” and actually bring the scene to a better place?
And Of course, I’m teaching all those themes I mentioned here and many more- but I don’t teach them as rules that cannot be broken, I rather think about them as tools and techniques.
fair questions at this point will be- so if we have no rules- how do we begin? Where do we go? What do we follow? How do we know when to do what?
And my answer is: .
As a beginner- use these tools as much as you can, explore them, play with the possibilities they offer. than, The more advanced you get, this tools will become your second nature, which means you will have more confident in knowing when to use what. And sometimes you might find that the scene would actually work better if you don’t follow them in this particular case.
You will have the freedom of using them when they are needed and not using them when they are not.
Instead of trying to blindly follow rules put your focus on what gives you- and more importantly your partner, and not less importantly, the audience- pleasure. And if that means doing things totally different from what you were taught- than go for it!
But remember- it has to be enjoyable for your partner and the audience- After all it is all about doing the best show you can.
So I will wrap it up by quoting something that I heard the marvelous Patti Stiles say last year in Canberra:
“In impro we have no rules, just tools. The only thing closer to a rule is an ethical code: make your partner look good”.
I loved that sentence Because it reminds us of the most important thing I guess-
We are doing this together. impro is something that is happening between us, so really listen and notice your partner. They are your biggest resource and inspiration. follow the pleasure and use or “unuse” the tools as needed!