Archive for May, 2012
“YES AND” is the vital and only rule of improvisation. Never deny your fellow actor. You should be willing and able to accept whatever your fellow improviser throws at you. Use that as your jumping off point and expand it. “Heighten and Explore.”
For instance, if I say to you “Stick ’em up!” and you say “That’s not a gun, that’s your finger!” We’ve got nowhere to go. If I say “What a beautiful day” and you say, “No it’s not, it’s the middle of winter and it’s snowing!” Where do we go?
In order for our scene to go forward, we affirm what the other is saying, which is the “YES” and take it and build on it with “AND.” And in order for our lives to go forward to engage fully in life, we need to be willing and able to accept what is right in front of us. Whatever it is, the good, the bad, the thrilling, the heartbreaking, every emotion, occurrence, event, person, place or thing, you will experience them all. That’s the “YES” I’m talking about. And the acceptance and embrace of it with all your heart and doing something with it, that’s the “AND.”
YES Jane. AND I would add that living in “YES AND” allows you to BE IN THE MOMENT which is an essential tool for a great actor and a happy human being.
Share below your experiences with YES AND in acting and in life!
Keith booked his first Lead Role in the Independent Feature, R.A.D.I.C.A.L.S. He begins shooting in June! Congrats Keith!
Erica Kiehl booked not one but two National Commercials for DODGE and REMA 1000 along with a featured role in the upcoming Feature Film AMERICAN LIE.
Many times when I’m working with an actor on a scene and I feel they are holding back they tell me they don’t want to be too _________ fill in the blank. Too big, too loud, too sexy, too…. many things. But really what they are holding back from is: following their instincts.
Often this “holding back” is because of a director or teacher gave them that note for a different performance in the past. Don’t generalize your notes from a director or teacher and bring them forward. At least run these old notes by your current teacher and get their feedback.
Take into consideration that every Casting Director I’ve met has said that it is better to be too big because they can always tell an actor to bring it down, but rarely can an actor take the adjustment to turn it up.
Know that when you’re holding back – you’re not risking going outside of your comfort zone and so your performance will probably be safe. Instead, trusting your instincts, go for it and don’t hold back.
Are you holding onto any notes? Share with other actors and get some feedback below.