Authority

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“To react is to accept another’s authority to change you.” — Sébastien Chambres, 5th April 2017, Brest (FR)

Indifference is the the worst thing in improv. Indifference to an offer is the very essence of blocking it. Ignoring or not caring about your partners is exactly what will make others not want to play with you in the future.

Improv is all about reaction, not about action. And real reaction invokes change.

Accept anything to change your character. This doesn’t mean you should change your mind all the time (a strict vegetarian should never accept that sausage). It can also mean you change your emotion, change your status, change your energy, change the speed/volume/pitch of speaking, etc…

If you’re serving your partner, you accept their authority to change you.

"To react is to accept anothers authority to change you." -- Sébastien Chambres, 5th April 2017,… Click To Tweet

Reaction and meaning

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“If you want to know the meaning of your words, look at your partner. Their reaction defines the meaning.” — Marko Mayerl, 17th July 2016, Hamburg (DE)

Beautiful, isn’t it? And so true. If your character says something along the lines of “Stephan, I’m divorcing from your sister”, you might think it holds a lot of meaning. But this is totally out of your hands, as it’s the character Stephan’s reaction to your words that instills (or detracts) any meaning to them.

On the other hand, if your character has a line “Do you want some coffee?” and your scene partner turns silent and looks at you angrily, all of a sudden this inconspicuous sentence appears to imply a lot of shared history and thus meaning.

Another great example of how in improv the responsibility of a scene or story can never lie with one person. Improv is always working together at heart.

"If you want to know the meaning of your words, look at your partner. Their reaction defines the… Click To Tweet