Leaping at the risk moment.
On The Fly
People love patterns and routines. They allow us to feel safe and give us a sense of accomplishment. In improvisation patterns and routines can hold us back by creating a false sense of achievement. Once people start to perform the audience trains us in bad habits. Desperate to get it right we log in our brains anything we did that received approval from the audience. A playing style can form, which becomes a regurgitation of past moments of glory. Instead of being present, open for the adventure and taking risks; we are waiting for past moments to score a safe laugh. Our work becomes more like scene based stand up, where we repeat the same gags but make it look like it’s the first time we’ve done it. This is a pitfall many improvisers’ have fallen into. They are now stuck in a pattern of building scenes to a moment, and then fail to take the next big leap into the narrative unknown. Usually at ‘this moment’ instead of the leap, people lower the stakes, side step or throw in a gag. Leaping at the risk moment takes us from the ordinary to something else. Leaping at the risk moment means you could discover something wonderful. Leaping at the risk moment may mean it doesn’t work. If the audience trains you for success, then you’ll play safe and stop leaping at the risk moment. I think people sense the risk moment but instead of identifying this feeling and leaping they feel pressure and settle for safe. This underdeveloped skill holds many players and scenes back. Leaping at the risk moment is what we will work on in this Master Class.