If you're a first time visitor to the iQuantum Blog, please refer to the "Foundations of Quantum Improv" to give you an appropriate background to the philosophies and strategies discussed here. #1 What is Quantum Improv #2 More Quantum Background #3 Newton's Second Law of Motion

If you've missed one or more entries in the series:
ReV Up Your Improv Scenes
you can now easily access each and every part.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

I am Resolved to Resolve Using ResolVe

~ PART 14 of the Series: ReV up Your Improv Scenes ~

You’re almost home. All of the hard work is done and the challenges have been overcome in crafting your excellent improv scene. You’ve reached the climax of your story. What’s left? 

Wrap it up.

We don’t want to just cut the scene after the climactic moment. It does need something more. But sometimes that something more is literally almost nothing. It can be a final line, a final pose or tableau. Something simple needed only for completion, closure – a little button at the end.

Depending on the make-up of your scene and the length of your improvisation and the depth of your story – you may however need to take a little more time to wrap things up.

If you look at final episodes of television series’, you’ll see much, if not all, of the final episode is the wrap up. Since multiple storylines are developed over the years, many elements have to be wrapped up, and in the cases of television shows, we get a glimpse of what the future might look like for the various characters. We’ve invested a lot of our time in these characters and we want to know what will become of them. Some shows have so many stories the resolve of secondary and third-tier storylines will be wrapped up in the second to last episode or even earlier.

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Time to Revisit the Theme of Revisit

~ PART 13 of the Series: ReV up Your Improv Scenes ~

Last time we ended at the moment of your scene where something is needed to help you in your hour of ultimate need. This can seem like a daunting task – but fear not…

Remember the example of Ripley and the hydraulic unloader that was set up in Act 1 of Aliens? The key to solving the overwhelming problem was in the midst of the story the whole time. Well, the same can be true for your improv scenes.

We just have to employ a little technique I call “Reverse Writing.”

In movies, the writer knows he wants to put Ripley in this giant, awesome-powered contraption, so he makes sure to seed it (set it up) way earlier in the story, so the re-incorporation or revisiting of it will garner an even greater emotional response from the audience. Certainly, Ripley could have burst through the doors in the contraption without its having been set up previously, but this is generally frowned upon in storytelling. Sometimes referred to by the Greeks as the “Deus Ex Machina,” (God from the machine, or machinery - where a God-like character comes to make everything all better, delivered to the stage on a large, mechanized contraption, usually lowered down from above), this ploy is now seen almost as cheating as it relates to the protagonist’s ability to make their way out of a jam. If the God’s come in and suddenly fix everything, we don’t get that joy that comes from the hero taking matters into his own hands and emerging victorious.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

When Can You Come for a ReVisit?

~ PART 12 of the Series: ReV up Your Improv Scenes ~

Well you’ve done it. You’ve navigated successfully through to the next act of your scene. You’ve made a highly actional and pivotal choice and flung yourself headlong into the second act. By nearly all accounts, everything should flow smoothly and easily from here. The hardest part is done. Now is your opportunity to have fun playing in the wonderful sandbox you’ve created. Let your story unfold. 

Of course you still have to be mindful of your work and your follow through, following all the “rules” you’ve learned over time – continue to say yes, and continue to do your part of staying with and attending to the scene, and especially to your scene partners. 

The story of the scene should unfold rather effortlessly - if you are staying true to your character, true to the reality of your scene and story, and true to all you have set up to this point. 

Soon, you’ll be at the point where the third element of the RV method comes into play: ReVisit.

In subsequent posts, we will talk about, discuss and discover several of the opportunities before you, always with an eye on the scene currently underway. We will explore from the standpoint of continually answering the question – “what does the scene need/want?” 

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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Don't Make it Better - Make it Worse

~ PART 11 of the Series: ReV up Your Improv Scenes ~

Congratulations! You've made it into Act II of your improv scene. [insert trumpet fanfare here].

You've set it up nicely, introducing, through discovery and spontaneous creative association, several wonderful elements into your scene. You've made the leap into Act II with an action or offer that spins the world (normal up till this moment) out of control, or at least unbalancing the natural order set up so far.

In screenplay parlance, the first act sets up the "normal world," then, as we just discussed in the previous post, something hurls us into a new world or new universe that is Act II – the portal of the ReVolt moment.

A great example of this in the movies is "Back To The Future." It's so beautiful in this movie because the new universe is actually the exact same universe but in the past, so it's totally unfamiliar to the protagonist, Marty McFly. The mechanism that flings him from his "normal" world to this new world is a custom, science-laden DeLorean.

From this point forward, the story (or the universe of the story) is out of balance and the protagonist is looking to restore balance. In many stories - the method of restoring, or goal of restored balance is known, and the choices made in the story are to that end, confounded by various obstacles, challenges and complications.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This Next Step is ReVolting

~ PART 10 of the Series: ReV up Your Improv Scenes ~

We’ve spent a lot of time going over just the first phase of the RV method – the ReVeal, but remember as I said in earlier posts, this is the most important phase. It sets the groundwork and the foundation, which allows the scene plenty of fuel, ready to power it into and through the Act II of the improv scene, on its way to the climactic moment. I’ve offered some great tools, skills and techniques that can help you get your scene set up successfully. Now your story and your stage has a good deal of substance to it and is ready to progress to the next phase. Now is time to really get in to the excitement and conflict of the scene or story.

But wait! (Don’t you just hate that? Things are ready to launch forward and someone yells – wait! As an improv director I see this a lot. Why are the actors so reticent and hesitant to get in to the most interesting and compelling and exciting part of this experience?) Well, after that parenthetical diatribe, I’m embarrassed and ashamed not to take my own advice, but I must digress just momentarily for a very important announcement: ReVolt! (at least my digression is an exciting word).

At this point in a story or scene we need something actional that will launch us in to our Act II.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Styles of Reveals - ABE
(Good heavens, another acronym?)

~ PART 9 of the Series: ReV up Your Improv Scenes ~

To wrap up this topic, let's talk about different styles of revelations at your disposal. Again, another acronym if you're a person who needs those kinds of mnemonic devices - ABE. Your offering can be the revealing, introduction, description or endowment of an Attribute, a Behavior, or an Event.

For example as a Confession - or revealing something about yourself, it could be that you have a broken arm, that you suffer from indigestion, or that you're no longer a virgin (Attribute). As a behavior, you might reveal that you smoke, or can't say "no," or you're addicted to love. Or perhaps you reveal information about an event. You've just eloped with your girlfriend, the feds are after you, the rain has stopped.

I want to offer examples for each version of the matrix, so you can see that the possibilities are truly endless. But you can hopefully and easily see that with all these possibilities at your disposal. You can trust that when the time comes for something new to happen or be revealed, your creative brain will quickly and easily serve you. All you really have to do is be open to whatever instinct or spontaneous creative idea that comes to you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The CAD Method

~ PART 8 of the Series: ReV up Your Improv Scenes ~

Now let's open the spigot even more. Let's talk about the kinds or types of ideas or choices at your disposal. The CAD method is an acronym for Confession, Accusation, Discovery. When unsure of what to offer the scene at the point where you organically feel that "something" needs to happen to further the story or the scene, you can inspire yourself with this tool. It's time to reveal something to the scene - among the many choices you can add or declare - something about yourself (Confession), something about your scene partner (Accusation), or something about the environment or your immediate vicinity (Discovery).