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, 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.

Okay moving on with the examples: As an Accusation - or revealing something about the other person. It could be they just got a haircut, or hair-color change (attribute). Perhaps you refer to or acknowledge that your scene partner winks all the time, or you notice that he has looked longingly at that boy or girl... (behavior), or you congratulate them on their recent nuptials, or anniversary, or the fact they just got a new puppy (event).

If we're talking about Discovery - or something about the environment, you might reveal a tree, or pick a flower, or notice the sunset (attribute). Behavior is a little tricky for environment or surrounding, because we don't generally see behaviors in nature, or in the world around us. It can meld quite nicely though with events. For example, if there was an earthquake, the behavior could be seen as the ground shaking - something that is a result or response to the event.

Put another way, consider this: Things in an environment that are always there (attributes), things that are regularly or temporarily true in an environment (behaviors), and things that happen once or infrequently in an environment (events).

Or try this on for size:
Attributes can most easily be described as nouns or adjectives + nouns:

  • A pimple
  • A hairy arm
  • A size 13 foot
  • A limp
  • A strong french accent

Behaviors might be easily coined as verbs or adjectives:

  • Dances the tango divinely
  • Falls into a coma
  • Smokes excessively
  • Panicky
  • Sniffley
  • Grabs a Tomato
  • Demands justice
  • Withdraws emotionally
  • Vibrates
  • Winks
  • Hums

Events can easily be seen as nouns that are modified or accompanied by a verb:

  • A tornado strikes.
  • A baby is born.
  • A streetlamp goes out.
  • A balloon bursts.

Please keep in mind this language and these grammar prompts are not definitive or exclusive. It's just a way of helping your mind see, discover, and tap into infinite possibilities. One approach may work for one improviser and not another. The key is - try them out. If one or another is a useful tool to you to help you develop your scenes, characters and relationships - have at it. If it doesn't - try something else. The point is that you should never be in a state of stagnation or stuck with the fear or thought that you "can't think of anything." I guarantee you mind is an endless wellspring of usable ideas. I believe you can infuse your scenework with wonderful content utilizing any combination of these pathways to boundless creative ideas. We want you to get cranking, to continually move forward, and to be able to make choices from an unlimited source to fuel the boundless potential of your scene building.

I hope you will try some or several of these tips to think of wonderful stuff to incorporate into your scenes, characters, relationships and stories. Many of the things I've described you can do simply as a creative exercise in your own head - at any time during your day. You can learn to train you mind to be open to all these possibilities.

At this point in my improv career, I trust that:
1) I will have ideas when I need or want them, and 
2) I can trust the first or second image I see in my mind's eye will be of great use and value to me, and 
3) When I combine this fluency with the focus of emotional connection and intention on my scene partner, the sky is truly the limit. 

I will never be without somewhere to go when and while I am in an improv scene and because I am a person who never says never - if it ever does happen - truly a rare occurrence for me - I can feel confident I can manage my way through the moment, or I will use that dynamic to my advantage, or the moment will just plain suck - there's no two ways about it and there's no way around it - there's just going through it. I don't mind that, once in a blue moon. Improv should always have that moment at some level or at some point. That's how we keep it real and know we are pushing the boundaries of our creativity and commitment to the form.