Improv revelation, take 2
After I published my last post about not really being into gamework, I spent much of my weekend doing director prepwork for my next show, part of which has involved reading things I find relevant. Rachel Klein? Always relevant.
My show is a modern workplace comedy where I want the comedy to come from the characters & relationships, not from being gaggy, so I went back to Rachel’s recent blog post on jumping the shark where she explores the idea that improvisors that go for punchlines “jump the shark” because they aren’t sticking with the idea of “if this is true, what else is true.”
And suddenly, it slaps me in the face. Game-based improv takes that statement – “If this is true, what else?” – and looks at the minutiae. It takes what one person says or does, gloms onto the fact that it’s different, and creates a wonderful world in which this weirdness is the normal for that person. Narrative improv takes that statement – “If this is true, what else?” and looks at the platform. It looks at a scene full of characters doing things, and moves them forward in time and place where they might naturally move. It might be a crazy weird world, but only if that’s the world that was inhabited in the first place.
So… game and narrative still look at what is true, and see what else is true. They just take different truths and pull them in different directions.
Fuck, improv is awesome.