While camping recently, it occurred to me that an improv scene is basically a campfire.
The initial idea for a scene is the spark. Adding ideas to the scene is just like putting logs on the fire. If you put too many ideas in a scene, it will choke it to death, just like too many logs on a fire.
That’s because a fire needs a crucial third ingredient – space/oxygen.
How often do we enter a scene terrified of silence? We speak almost non-stop, depriving the ideas of the room they need to grow.
Just add one idea at a time. Give it space. Let it catch fire. Then you can add another idea. Too many ideas or too little space will kill your scene and snuff out your fire.
Be patient. Let the fire grow.
Got an improv question? E-mail me at boilingpointimprov[at]gmail.com