15 Ways To Create Improv Characters On The Fly

15 Ways To Create Improv Characters On The Fly

When you walk into a scene, when you respond to a neutral initiation the same way you always respond, it’s already too late. You can’t change your character too dramatically, or else you’ll bail on the scene. So you’re stuck.…

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It Depends: The Suggestion

It Depends: The Suggestion

Welcome to It Depends, an ongoing series where I examine the two competing sides of an improv concept. There is no championship belt at the end, just the joy of learning. An improv show cannot start without addressing the audience…

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Never Shake Hands

Never Shake Hands

Most people are conflict-averse; we spend our lives in conflict-management mode. Trying to apologize for some mistake, put out some fire, or overthink some awkward interaction from two days ago. And maybe that’s a good thing—if you held a grudge…

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How To Start A Kickass Scene, Every Time

How To Start a Kickass Scene, Every Time

The natural instinct, when walking on stage, is to start an improv scene the same way you’d start a real-life conversation. And that results in a specific kind of scene as described by Greg Hess on Improv Nerd: “Most scenes,…

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Don’t Live In The Next. Live In The Now.

Don’t Live in the Next. Live in the Now.

Beginning improvisers live in the “next.” They spend their time in a scene building towards something. Will Hines describes this phenomenon: “A new improv student looks at their scene partner and thinks: Maybe my character is going to fall in love…

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How To Deal With Conflict Scenes In Improv

How To Deal With Conflict Scenes in Improv

After class, a student approached me and said she had a problem—she felt like she was always in “conflict scenes.” Part I: In most performers’ minds, “conflict scenes” suggest that characters should disagree or fight.* All stories need conflict. Simba…

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