my clarifications are in Blue
Exercises for Rule #1 YES.....AND..
Exercise #1 - Line Yes...And...
This is an exercise we use at the begining
of each of our classes. It is a great warm up to get "Yes..And.." embedded
in your sub-conscious.
Line up and tell a story...
So everyone stands in a line facing
the "teacher, coach, leader".
Use "YES" as at the beginning of each statement followed
by the "AND" to make a new statement.
Ok this is easier to do than describe...The
"leader" begins the story with any statment....i.e., "There is a bird"....."there
is a truck"
should be a noun.
Now....the first person in line responds......"Yes"
and adds to the story with an "AND" statement - i.e., "YES... and the bird
is a brilliant blue color". OK? Then the next person in line
says "YES....It is a brilliant blue color and it is honking furiously."
OK. Got it? That's it.
the "leader" = Stay "focused" on the original noun.
i.e., "the bird"- The tendancy will
be to "go off" focus....i.e., "Yes...and the bird is a brilliant blue color"
followed by "Yes....and the brilliant blue color is like my mother's eyes"
Exercise # 1 (Variation)
See? The focus has switched from the "bird" to "my mother's eyes".
The leader should watch for this........it will happen.
Ok....this exercise feels very
constraining and controlled...."Just like the first time you learn to swing
a golf club or baseball bat or learn how to hold a knitting needle."
But it is probably the exercise we find the most valuable and use the most
often. It places us into a world where we accept the previous moment
with a "yes" and add to THAT moment with our own and...... The key here
is add to THAT moment ("the bird")......WITHOUT creating a new focus (my
Hey. Here is another fun approach to the exercise.
Instead of using a noun, i.e., "bird"..."truck"...Try using a name, i.e.,
"His name is Harry" or "Her name is "Janet"...You will find yourself creating
some pretty complex, and unique folks.
NOTE: I have found that this
exercise is an efficent way for us to experience the difference in "adding
to" rather than "questioning" or "negating" an offered statement. After
experiencing this exercise most players will easily develop an awareness
of their natural tendencies to negate or question a partner's statement.
Exercise #2 Circular Yes
This one uses what you just did
in exercise #1 but takes it a step further. So, everyone forms a circle
with plenty of room between you.
One player begins Yes...And...(just
as you did in the line) In this exercise the statement is made to anyone
else in the circle.
So now we are doing the same
thing we did in the line except now each player is walking up to any other
player in circle, making eye-contact, and then communicating a Yes..And...
statement. Now, that player walks up to someone else in the circle and,
in the same way, communicates a new Yes...And statement.
Try to keep the pace of the action
moving past the point where you feel comfortable and in control. As the
exercise progresses continue to work step-up the pace.
So now we are taking the Yes...And...
exercise out of the line and actually making contact with other players
in the line. This is the first step toward biulding a scene!
Here is what to work for. When
a player is communicating to you in the circle concentrate all of your
energy to LISTENING AND ONLY LISTENING. What you will want to do is only
half listen while you are trying to THINK of something to say on your turn.
DO NOT THINK only LISTEN. Amazingly,you will find that it will be much
easier to make your statement through FOCUSED LISTENING then through thinking.
TRY IT. You'll see.
Yet another important (helpful) HINT
Edited 3/15/98 after a class when this
problem became blatant
Use this exercise as a warm up to STOP
The "YES" is an IMMEDIATE AFFIRMATION
of the former statement. "Yes" follows the previous statement WITHOUT A
BEAT OR PAUSE.
Player 1-Yes...and the bird is swimming
Player 2-(pause) Yes...and...(NO
Player 1-Yes...and the bird is swimming
Player 2- YES...and pecking at the
alphabetical noodles (YES!)
The point here is to use "Yes" as
the tool to use your mouth without thinking - An IMMEDIATE AFFIRMATION
- a FULL COMMITMENT to the previous statement........after that the "AND..."
becomes the follow-through of that AFFIRMATION - COMMITMENT. See the difference?:)