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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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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But for now, we will continue our progression through the scene via the RV method. You will undoubtedly make some additional reveals in your Act II – completely acceptable, to a point – which will be discussed in a future post – but there will inevitably come a time where there is a sense that the scene should be working briskly now to its climax, and eventual end. 

Hopefully you have created an interesting and compelling story that somehow needs to find its wrap up. If you’ve done your work successfully, you have in some way worked yourself into a corner, or dug yourself into a hole. Don’t shy away from this. Embrace it. But eventually, you will need a way out of this mess. But what shall you do? How will you get out of this trouble? 

Somehow you have to come up with something that will give you relief and allow you to fix the problem. At this point many scenes flounder because the actors are struggling to find a way out, or a way through. Many times the improvisers will grasp at whatever, or worse, offer nothing at all, continuing to plod along hoping that something will surface that can allow them to move forward and find their ending. 

Here’s where the third element of the RV method comes in: ReVisit. Chances are there is something you have already introduced into the scene that can offer you the surge that you need. Better yet, in terms of story and dramatic development, this is a perfect place to grab (or re-find) your perfect out. The beauty and magic of improv is that the thing that is perfectly suited to help you at this point is probably already in your midst – if you’ve done your diligence at the top of the scene and through it to make sure you’ve developed enough detail and reality in your scene. Let me offer an example of something I have referred to in an earlier post. 

In the movie Aliens, there is the moment just before the climax when it appears that Ripley is going to be ripped apart by the bigger, stronger, meaner alien monster.
But then we experience that moment when the doors open, and Ripley storms forth in the giant hydraulic loader/lifter machine, ready to battle the Alien in physical combat. That machine was introduced to us in the first Act, and it was no coincidence. It was purposefully and strategically introduced so that when revisited at the climactic moment we would not be surprised. On the contrary, we’re extra excited and thrilled because we had it in the back of our minds, "Oh yeah, that thing." In the present, it looks like all will be lost, and then we are relieved and thrilled to see there might be a chance for victory, and we are swept forward to the climactic moment of victory – she kicks the Alien’s butt. 

In the next post I’ll share how you can benefit from the same kind of story-crafting used regularly in movies, although you will go at it a little differently than the screenwriter.