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.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Contrasting Improv Ideologies?

PART 3.5 of the Series: ReV up Your Improv Scenes
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I'm marking this post as 3.5 because I feel the desire to slide it in at this point, although it is not the intended succession of the original flow.

I wanted to speak about a talk my wife Morgan and I had regarding improv in general and this "method" of training in particular.

Morgan and I taught an improv workshop this past weekend and later she said to me "you know, I think we have different philosophies on teaching improv." On further discussion, I might say she's right - and that's okay! Even better was the realization that I think we are both in agreement on our philosophy of the performance of improv.

Her comment stemmed from my forwarding of the very "method" or "process" I am discussing in this series. I think she prefers a more organic approach to the instruction process, where the 2 improvisers are putting their concentration on each other and the unfolding relationship between them.

I'm actually in agreement with that philosophy - especially in performance, but I did have to reflect a little in my head about the statement because she's right - I don't really teach that.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Revelation Revealed

PART 3 of the Series: ReV up Your Improv Scenes
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If you missed Part 1 - Click Here

Let's discuss revelation. In the Bible, revelation comes at the end. Actually, I would submit that it is a chapter of the new beginning. Genesis is what I'm talking about here. That's the Act 1 of the Bible Story. What I'm talking about is the set up of the story, the building of the story foundation. Stories told well are full of reveals, strategically crafted so the story has all the power it deserves. Most of the reveals are right there in Act 1, during the story set up.

That's what I would like to see improvisers do as they build a scene. Consider this initial portion of the scene or story as a sequence of "reveals" that will help tell the story.

Let me start with a little insider information straight from Hollywood and some simple math.

I'm sure everyone is aware of the Hollywood "formula" for blockbuster movie making. Please keep in mind this will be a little over-simplified but will help set the tone for our purposes here.

I like the comparison and connection with the Hollywood blockbuster movie for improv because we are talking about a highly active and visual form of storytelling, especially when we are talking about action movies. If you've heard me talk about the "science" of improv and improv scene building, you've heard me refer to the start of an improv scene as two improvisers standing on a stage with nothing. It's not actually nothing, though. I restate that they stand there with nothing but potential. There is great potential for something wonderful to happen from this apparent "nothing." It just seems like nothing to the outside eye. The goal of the improvisers is to get to something actional, or kinetic. We want to convert this potential energy to kinetic energy, and thus move the scene forward. Because the audience has nothing to see, hear or experience from the stage or scene except what the improvisers offer, it is incumbent on the improvisers to provide that. In a stage play, you have the help of sets, costumes and other special effects that have all been planned and organized to help tell the story for the audience. In improv there are no such luxuries. That is one reason we must create as much action as possible, to bring the scene or story to life for the audience. That's why pantomime is so important in improv - improvisers need to create the environment for the audience as best they can to make the scenic experience as real as possible.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

RV and the 3-Act Structure

PART 2 of the Series: ReV up Your Improv Scenes
If you missed Part 1 - Click Here

A quick review of the 3-act structure for storytelling, first credited to ancient philosopher and playwright Aristotle. 

According to Aristotle, who authored “The Poetics” circa 350 B.C., all stories follow a simple three -act structure: 

 Act I, also known as the beginning, also known as the set up. 

Act II – also known as the middle, where the hero or protagonist experiences obstacles, triumphs, setbacks, ups and downs on the way to the climactic moment and ultimately to victory, and…

Act III – also known as the resolution, also known as the end.