“The silliness or seriousness of a scene is apart from its emotional truth.” — Charlotte Gittins and Andy Murray, 28th January 2017, Amsterdam (NL)
Finally a good way of expressing something that I always struggled with in the past.
When focussing on truth in scenes, we tend to go realistic. We stay close to ourselves and explore situations close to our everyday life. Hence we reach ‘serious’ scenes.
But taking our work seriously (i.e. playing truthfully) doesn’t at all need to mean that we have to play serious characters in serious situations. Be silly! Let improv be like dreams, not fiction!
“Truth is better than realism.” — Marko Mayerl, 17th October 2016, Hamburg (DE)
Improv as a stage art form allows us improvisers to do almost anything we want. All too often however, we limit ourselves to overly realistic portrayal of our characters and their lives. I think it might be because of an overdose of television and movies we are consuming, making us forget the power of theatricality.
Make it bigger! We should use all of our body and voice to deliver our message to our audiences. Think of the stage as a canvas to paint on rather than a set to play in.
Dance! Sing! Bring us inner monologues! Jump around! Lose yourself completely in dilemma’s, emotions and beautiful moments. Go for choregraphic gestures to engage the audience into the inner world of the character.
Use everything you have to portray the truth for your character and don’t let yourself be limited by that dirty thing called realism.
“Let improv be closer to dreams than fiction.” — Dave Razowsky, 24th October 2015, Würzburg (DE)
This is another way of saying we should accept absurdness and randomness in our scenes.
Dreams can be so much cooler than fiction, since fiction is still rooted in reality, even fantasy fiction. It doesn’t mean of course that all your scenes should become strange or absurd (neither are all of your dreams), but adding a touch of dream-like quality every now and then can make things really interesting.
Remember, also a dreamworld has rules to abide to, it simply means that some impossible things are treated as normal now.
Fiction has limited options, dreams haven’t. Let’s not limit our improv.