In a ButchMAX rehearsal last night, I was in the middle of a scene with Karisa Bruin.
Suddenly, everything I’d established in the scene didn’t matter. All that mattered was that hiccup. “Are you drunk?” I asked. Savvy improviser that she is, Karisa indeed played drunk while denying it.
After the scene, I kept thinking how my focus went from inward (“What am I going to say/do next?”) to outward (“What did my scene partner just do and how do I react to that?”).
And then I realized how much time I’ve been spending ignoring my fellow players. This art form is so complicated if you make it. It can also be simple. Little kids don’t have trouble playing make-believe. Adults do.
It took a hiccup to turn my attention completely toward my partner.
From now on, I hope I treat every line, every movement and every facial expression like a hiccup.
Got an improv question? E-mail me at boilingpointimprov[at]gmail.com