I am beginning to understand the joys of having absolutely no plan. I always thought I was a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of girl, until I joined improv and saw what that really meant. Before, I only had my list-making, Excel spreadsheet-filling, engineer- thinking husband of mine to compare myself to. Of course I seemed impulsive. Throw me on stage with no clue what is going to happen however, and the results were disastrous.
This is why; Every time I found myself on the sidelines, I was planning what I would do when I got out there. The problem with that is, the other actor also has an idea, and you have no way of knowing what their plan is. So you have to hold all ideas very, very, loosely.
So, for the last two classes, I’ve decided to just forget thinking. It is quite liberating. And last night, I began to see the gift of the other actor. If I take the time to really look in their eyes, they will communicate something, and off we go. Granted, I’m still terrible. And sometimes off we go means we’re headed towards disaster and somebody please sweep this scene to end everybody’s misery. But I am having a grand ole’ time and not worried about screwing it up. Mistakes are inevitable.
It reminds me of the advice given to one of my friends early in her career: “If you are going to litter this stage with shit, at least make it bold shit!” Imagine that in a Russian dialect and it just becomes that much more awesome. Pardon the language, but it isn’t my quote!