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

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ReV Up Your Improv Scenes
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Saturday, February 14, 2009

More Quantum Background

We are in the second term of the Quantum Improv workshop. There is some great work being done and some great learning, not just for the students, but for me as well. Last post describes what exactly is meant by Quantum Improv and its connection with science (and physics) thus, the Quantum in Quantum Improv.

To give a little more background on what Quantum Improv is all about, I will describe further a scientific theory that is at the heart of Quantum Improv.

Much of this work began to fester in my head several years ago, while considering and analyzing what makes improv work - and more importantly what makes it work well.

I kept hearing a phrase in my head - "nothing but potential..." From motivational speakers we hear all sorts of encouragements to reach your maximum potential, or highest potential yield. I remember hearing the phrase in movies - "that kid's got nothing but potential." It made me think of the improv scene. That too starts with nothing but potential. I then remembered a high school science lesson about the transfer of energy from potential energy to kinetic energy.

Again my mind was drawn to the improv scene. This is our ideal of the improv scene - something that goes from potential to kinetic. As we progress our scene, we strive to find action (something that moves, in other words kinesis, or kinetic) in the scene. We make offers - something happens. We say yes to the offers - something else happens. If nothing happens the scene is boring. If something happens, it is interesting and again ideally, exciting. If not exciting in content, exciting in how the improvisers worked together successfully to build something out of nothing.

In my next post I will discuss a scientific model that wonderfully parallels what we are trying to do in improv scenes. This scientific model is base on Newton's First Law of Motion which basically states "A body at rest stays at rest until a force puts it in motion," and the other side of that natural law, which posits "A body in motion will stay in motion until some force stops it." This is a scientific parallel to the basic improv 'rules' "Yes, and..." and "No Blocking."

I'll explain more next time...