Reaction and meaning

9

“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.

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Respond or reply

3

“Responding is more than replying.” — Anders Fors, 22nd October 2015, Würzburg (DE)

Your partner wants nothing more than you to respond to his every offer. But responding can happen on many levels and way too often we resort to simply replying verbally.

Your partner gives you much more than simple text. Don’t resort to listening alone, make sure you’re completely present to pick up on everything.

Instead of simply replying to what is being said, respond to the whole offer.