A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...
Posts tagged "comedy"
From a great This American Life segment:
Chana Joffe: Step into their world was a familiar phrase to Karen from the many nights she had spent doing improv comedy. She and her husband are actors. Step into their world is a mantra in improv. You walk on stage, another actor says something, and you step into their world, whatever world they’ve just created. You don’t ever say no. You don’t question their premise. You just say yes. And—
Karen: I didn’t even see it. I didn’t see the whole parallels of improv and Alzheimer’s. And when I did, it with just so obvious. It’s a whole “yes, and” world.
Chana Joffe: If all you’ve got is “yes, and,” you can’t say things like, but you don’t even like pickles, or, you don’t have a sister, Mom. You don’t tell someone they’re wrong, which Karen says is exactly what you always want to do. When her mom says she wants to go home, the most natural response is—
Karen: Oh, but this is your home now, Virginia. Come let me show you your room. But this woman is looking at you saying, I want to go home. And you’re telling her she lives here. So now you’re telling her she’s a liar. You’re going to see her little veins start popping out in her neck and her little fists. But if you look at her and you say— she says, I want to go home. Yes, and tell me about your home.
Chana Joffe: Now she’s not a liar anymore. Karen felt like she’d discovered an instruction manual.
Karen teaches folks how to use improv over at In The Moment.
I love Twitter, as much as you can love a website. It has made me a better writer and brought me amazing career opportunities. That said, it is, for me, primarily a tool. I use it to workshop jokes for standup. On stage I tell the same jokes more than once. Why the fuck wouldn’t I? I want them to be as funny as possible, and the more you workshop them, the richer, more detailed, more economic, and more nuanced they can become. So if a tweet that I wrote a while back bubbles up in my mind again, I will often post it. Just because if it was “powerful” enough to stroll into my consciousness again, it means it’s something I might want to talk about onstage that night. I’m more likely to do that if I tweet it again, either with the same wording or, as is often the case, with different, hopefully funnier wording.