Ok...Here we are...Perhaps the best way to experience just how a question stops the journey into the intuitive is - to experience what it feels like yourself. This exercise is designed to give improvisors that experience.
You and your group should be "comfortable" with exercise for rule #1 before moving into this one.
Ok...? So- simply enough-
everything is exactly the same as in exercise 1 - In fact do that one a
few times as a warm up before moving into this one.
EXERCISE # 1
Line up and answer statements with a question and then with yes/and.
Now for some reason this exercise takes alot of explaining in my class...but I think the result is well worth the effort... so..here goes..
So you are doing just what you all
did before - only this time- when the "leader" says "there is a bird (or
whatever)" the next person responds...
1st- With a question ie. "What color
is it?" Then the leader repeats the SAME statement to the SAME person once
again ie. Leader: "there is a bird" (and this seems to be the tough part
to get) the person responds with a good old "Yes...And.." statement.
2nd- With "Yes...And..." ie. "Yes
and the bird is a brilliant pink"
Ok so far??
Now THAT 2nd person turns to the NEXT (3rd) person and repeats....that same Yes...And...statment-
"Yes and the bird is a brilliant pink" and THAT
(3rd) person responds...
1st- With a question ie. "What shade of pink?"
(2nd) person repeats...
"Yes and the bird is a brilliant pink"
(3rd) person responds with a good
old "Yes...And" this time...
"Yes and the bird is honking furiously"
Then guess what?
Right...That (3rd person) turns to the (4th person) and repeats...
"Yes and the bird is honking furiously"
Do we have the pattern yet.....? Told you it always takes a lot of explaining.....(just look at all the blue words:).
But now you have it hopefully. And ONCE AGAIN the whole purpose of all this is for each person to experience the difference in the moment when they are asked a question compared to the moment they are given a good old "yes...and..." statement.
There are no bells and whistles in this one....but an important experience in that most improvisors defend their right to question to the death:).
Another Exercise for "ACTIVE" Improvisors.
NOTE: You may want to read through the exercises for all
for rules before doing this one - then you will know a little more about
"Transformation" and "Penetration".
Two people do improv with ALL questions
Ok. Here is another fun exercise that might show how questions and questioning in our work lead to NOWHERE. This one is pretty simple (I hope). Ok...so for this one we need just two people working together.
Two people do an improv scene USING ONLY QUESTIONS??
So it is just as simple as that?! The first person begins by saying something like:
Player 1: What is that?
Then player 2 respond with yet another question.
Player 2: What that over there?
And then on to Player 1 again with something like...
Player 1: Over where?
AND that's it! The whole thing....simple enough? No? Yes? Maybe?
Now let's look at why we are doing this and what is happening (and Not happening) . First of all this exercise is usually a lot of fun - in that the set up is known (all questions). The observers find the humor in the world of "only questions". We have even used this as a form with an audience and it is fun (for a while). The fun comes from looking at a world in which there can be NO point of focus.
BUT once we have lived with that for a while and had our fun with it what happens??????
It gets old very fast. SO....what to get from this is....With each question the point of focus shifts (or at least is not penetrated). This should reinforce what you got from the first excersise: NOTHING IS HAPPENING. The players begin to feel afloat in some endless wasteland...So what they get is something like...
a)questions shift the point of focus (or at least fail to penetrate one)
b)without penetration of point of focus there can be no "Transformation".
c)without a transformation there can be no scene.
Ok that's it! Do you want to try it? Why not? Don't you think it could be fun? And so on?