We don’t have hard and fast rules in improv. At Improve we do have these fundamental principles that make improv more fun and meaningful for all of us:
- “Yes and.” “Yes, and” is a foundational tenet of improv. It’s about taking ideas, accepting them, and building on them together. “Yes” is the practice of being willing to try out an idea. “And” is the art of building on an idea to discover its possibility. Saying “Yes, And” means that you are willing to acknowledge an idea, to try it out, to wholeheartedly consider where it might go, without adding judgment or doubt. Read more about this tenet on our blog.
- Everything as a gift. In improv (and life) there are no mistakes, only gifts and opportunities. This tenet is about practicing an attitude of taking everything as a learning opportunity or gift. Practicing this prepares us much more to deal with uncertainty and challenges than if we are destroyed everything we make a “mistake”. In an improv session, emphasizing this tenet creates a safe space for participants to take risks. Read more about this core tenet on our blog.
- Play the scene you’re in (be present — eye contact, active listening). Improv is a form of mindfulness, in that the best improv scenes are when we are incredibly present to what’s happening in the scene we’re currently in (not the one we wish we were in). It’s about listening, being in the moment, and connecting with the other people in the scene or improv exercise with us.
- If it feels weird, do it. This is improv comedy — it should be fun! Laughing and smiling are MORE THAN OK. we’re reversing patterns and practicing what it’s like to not always do the things we do. Being different than real life is the goal and then we can learn what it feels like to break our patterns. Possibly learning, growing, and developing new, healthier patterns as a result.