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Posted by admin, May 30, 2012 3:40 pm

This is an excerpt from Jane Lynch’s commencement speech at Smith College.

“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!

One Response to ““YES AND” by Jane Lynch”

  1. Pat Portis says:

    Hello Loren,….Thank You so much for sending me your very helpful Articles!!!…This one really brought light to me….A light bulb went off in my head on this particular Article.

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