Say “Yes, and…”!!! Say you’re having a conversation with friends. You’re suggesting places to go and things to do, but they keep saying “no”. What do you want to do (besides wring their necks)? Usually you just walk away and think, “Well, they’re no fun.” EXACTLY. That is what happens in your scene or in an improv situation: “No, but…” shuts it down every time.
But a series of “Yes, and..” will take you somewhere. “Yes, and…” means each person brings a brick until you’ve all built something that none of you could have built on your own. Also, “Yes, but…” is a contradiction; “Yes…and” is a connection.
In your comedy scene work, try putting “Yes, and…” before every line and see what happens. Watch “Big Bang Theory”: you can feel the “Yes, and…” before every line! It keeps the tennis ball going back and forth so that the scene stays interesting for you…and your audience!
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