“Commit with an explosion!” — Daniel Renwick, 22nd October 2016, Tallinn (EE)
I love this expression. We have discussed commitment a lot on this blog already (see http://improblog.be/tag/commitment/), but this is the first time we look at the beginning of commitment.
By jumping into everything head first, you’re leaving no way out for yourself. This might help you to simply let go of your fears and inhibitions and move on to explore your unknown further and further.
Remember, this has nothing to do with ‘exploding emotions’ on scene. You can also commit with an explosion into being a very silent character and commit with an explosion into very small movements, for example.
Try this in your next scene!
“Do your best, but never try.” — Kevin Gillese, 11th June 2016, Athens (GR)
Just like Yoda says: “Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.” I like this quote very much in the context of improv. Always play at the top of your skills, push your boundaries, even dare to leave your comfort zone when committing to whatever it is you’re doing, but never ‘try’. Trying implies fear of failure, it implies some timidity.
The worst is probably when improvisers show the audience they are just ‘trying’ something. This perhaps is most often seen when actors engage into a song or some physical activity.
“When wrong, go strong!” — Tom Goldhand, 13th February 2016, Utrecht (NL)
Sometimes you want to try something on stage, like mirroring a person, joining a group game or hit a high note while singing. And then sometimes that fails. You go ‘wrong’, so to speak.
Don’t try to fix it. Don’t show the audience you think you are ‘wrong’. Don’t apologise or try to catch up.
Yet, go strong. Stay convinced. Keep on committing.
Keep. On. Going.
You have just defined something new and it happened by accident. Great! What more can an improviser on stage wish for? 🙂
“Stop trying to be interesting. Be interested instead.” — Daniel Orrantia, 3rd July 2015, Milan (IT)
An actor who’s interested in his character, in what he’s doing in stage, in what is happening around him, is always interesting to look at. Audiences give a lot of credit to invested and committed improvisers. Not so much to people on stage trying to be interesting (most often recognised as people being funny all the time because they’re uncomfortable up there).
“The only thing that has to be perfect is your confidence.” — Rod Ben Zeev, 8th November 2014, Barcelona (ES)
In solo scenes, but perhaps everywhere else too, the audience doesn’t want to see you fail. They of course enjoy your struggle, but in the end will feel uncomfortable if you don’t radiate absolute confidence in what you’re doing.
Be confident, and everything else will follow. It’s a question of trusting in yourself, of course.
“Accept it’s stupid and then do it really well.” — Tim Orr, 18th May 2013, Antwerp (BE)
This is one similar to what is also sometimes said: “If you feel like ‘this is crap’, commit to it 5000 times more”.
Keeping this in mind can really help you to keep pushing a scene forward, even in difficult times.