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Finding Connection in Improvisation

Imprology impro workshop, London, 2015, man and women focuso on each other

It is tempting to form a quick plan before improvising a scene, to avoid looking stupid, which is a reasonable ambition. Yet people who are chasing ideas tend to be poor listeners. The results are variable but repetitive: a lot of nervous energy on display as players throw competing plots at each other or just freeze in the headlights. Focusing on our feelings, on finding a connection with our scene partner during an improvisation, rather than listening to our thoughts, and taking the time to see the world as it is, works wonders.

Ideas become rarer, simpler, and more engaging. We realise that expressing genuine thoughts rather than labored ones results in beautiful, inspiring juxtapositions. Our characters are being moved and displaced. Scenes acquire depth and texture.

The door to finding connection in improvisation is breath. Breathing relieves tension, increases vitality and allows players to fall out of their head and into their bodies. It is a lot easier to connect with others if we first connect with ourselves. In improvisation, favoring connection over content is a step towards effortless creativity.

Imprology improv course, London, 2016, men and women acting

Imprology improv class, London 2016, men and women
Imprology improvisation workshop, London 2016, large group of men and women
Imprology improvisational action mask workshop, London 2016, man and women in ugly masks
Imprology improv show, London 2016, audience laughing
Imprology improvisation class, women and men in London 2016

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Photo credit: Daniel Anderson, Joze Far, Sophie Bess, Remy Bertrand