This May 4th we thought we’d share some Star Wars themed Improv insights that can be employed on stage and in workshops… and they’re pretty good for everyday life and communication as well!
MAKE GOOD EYE CONTACT (THE FORCE AWAKENS)
Poe Dameron clearly understood the value of eye contact in this scene during Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s just a shame that his scene partner Kylo Ren didn’t join him, leading to this unfortunate moment between the two of them. Eye contact is an important aspect of communication, especially when initiating a scene.
AVOID QUESTIONS (THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK)
If you keep asking questions you don’t have to come up with any answers. This can often result in scene’s grinding to a halt or your scene partner having to do a lot of the hard work. It’s a trap(!) that is easy to fall in too, especially if you’re worried about making a “bad” choice for a scene. However, making clear statements moves scenes along and allows relationships to grow.
That’s not to say all questions are inherently bad, especially if they can reveal something interesting about a character’s thoughts and feelings (or if you’re playing the game “Questions Only”) but if you find your scenes don’t go anywhere think about how many decisions you were – or weren’t! – making.
KEEP FOCUSED (THE PHANTOM MENACE)
Yeah, we know a lot of people didn’t like this scene from the Star Wars: Phantom Menace but Qui-Gon is right here. It’s important to be mindful of your surroundings during your scenes and games; did you just walk through that meticulously mimed landspeeder? Is your scene partner playing a Wookiee or a Kowakian monkey-lizard? Is this a moon or is it a space station?
You never know when you might find a gift or offer for a scene and the improvisers who look slickest are the ones who are completely committed to the here and now, reacting in the moment to actions on – and sometimes off – stage.
Likewise, try not to get stuck in your own head (or an “excessive amount of thinking” as C-3PO might put it) and avoid planning. As Yoda also tells us, “impossible to see, the future is.”
COMMIT TO YOUR PUNS (ATTACK OF THE CLONES)
DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL (THE LAST JEDI)
We’re afraid of messing up and feeling embarrassed but if you did something and fully committed to your scene, game or exercise it doesn’t matter if you “failed” at it. Similarly to when Yoda tells Luke, “Do, or do not, there is no try”, we hope you feel encouraged to commit to an idea instead of holding back because of a negative fear of messing up.
You can learn from failure without having to be embarrassed by it – in workshops it’s a shared moment for growth and development, in performance it’s an opportunity to play with something new and unexpected. Failure can be fun too!
THE FORCE IS WITH YOU (ROGUE ONE)
And by force we mean scene partners. Working together as a team and looking out for your scene partner’s means you can walk out on stage knowing that everyone has your back.
Want to know more about the ways of the force? Err, we mean, Improv? Check out our workshops page for all the latest on upcoming classes and courses.
From all at ComedySportz UK, May The Fourth Be With You!