By Joseph A. Keefe, Joe Keefe,
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Additional resources for Improv Yourself: Business Spontaneity at the Speed of Thought
You’d like to know, or at least guess, where it is that you’re going—that’s called transformation with vision, value, and direction. However, change for its own sake is still better than no change at all. This is a sacrosanct “Joe’s Rule” in the world of improvisation—as soon as you get too comfortable with your situation, toss everything up in the air. If you don’t, sooner or later everything will be tossed for you (or worse, at you). We cling to our need for security: Different is good when different leads us to usefulness; different is bad when we’ve changed what worked very well in the first place.
Having contextual excellence, and aspiring to it, is important in improvisation, but not essential. During playtime with my two brilliant, almost-teen sons, we incorporate many improv games. I initiate a story, such as, “There once was a huge dragon who lived ___________ . ” and point to my sons to fill in the blank. The stories are entertaining, many times hilarious and excellent improvisation. The boys need no training or contextual excellence to improvise at an extremely high level. Their only requirements are to follow basic rules: Listen, agree, add, accept.
They want to place you in a tough situation to see how you manage to navigate your way through it. This is the job of the audience and it relishes the integral involvement. All those people out there in the dark enjoy cornering you into seeming comical impossibilities. To begin the improv process, you shed any concerns over the degree of comical difficulty inherent in the suggestions—you don’t bother yourself about ease or difficulty because it’s immaterial to the work. You focus on the doing, not the worrying.
Improv Yourself: Business Spontaneity at the Speed of Thought by Joseph A. Keefe, Joe Keefe,