Improv comedy groups are all about having fun, but they play with a very strict set of rules that must be followed.
• Don't DenyEven in a situation when one needs to improvise, people need rules, guides, a process.
Denial is the number one reason most scenes go bad.
• Say Yes-and!
For a story to be built, whether it is short form or long form, the players have to agree to the basic situation and set-up. The who, what, and where have to be developed for a scene to work.
• Don't Block.
The opposite of saying yes-and is blocking or denial.
• After the `and` add new information.
An improvised scene can't move forward or advance unless we add new information. That is why new information is added after the Yes of Yes-and!
• Avoid Questions.
Questions force our partners to fill in the information or do the work. It is a way of avoiding committing to a choice or a detail. It is playing it safe.
• Trust your partners.
• Listen, watch and concentrate.
• Never enter a scene unless you are NEEDED.
• Your prime responsibility is to support.
Its easy to see how the comedians need to apply these rules. Its easier to see how marketers could benefit from them.
Communication is not a funny business after all.