Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's Emotional Truth and I Helped

One of the skills that I would like to see strengthened in our process of learning the art of improv would be connecting to authentic emotional truths onstage, especially between the players.

In scenes, we tend to shy away from intimacy. I'm not suggesting that we participate in sexual acts onstage, far from it, but that we develop the trust so that tenderness is available to us as a dramatic choice. Bawdiness is sometimes touched upon, as is the "shmacting" of romantic farce, but I would like to see genuine emotional risks taken in the direction of Love.

Yes, I said it. Love.

I think that in learning to trust one another as actors/improvisors, we can heighten our scenes by charging them with the one thing that we as people are constantly running from or towards in its many different forms: Love.

In rehearsal, I have seen not nearly enough fuel to justify some of the scenes. Perhaps it's because we haven't been given permission or that we're afraid to, or that we aren't in a trusting space yet. Saying "I Love You" is so much more of a powerful and emotionally laden choice than "I Hate You" onstage, especially if it places the players in a position where we must overcome obstacles to get what we want/need.

Avoiding intimacy onstage creates a dynamic that only perpetuates the lack of connectedness between the players. In scenes, we seem to be so comfortable with fighting and bickering as a dramatic choice, but the option to create an even stronger dynamic is available and that is to choose to Love.

It may seem to some that the biggest risk in life is to open oneself to being emotionally vulnerable and possibly terribly hurt, thus it is incredibly powerful to watch onstage. By avoiding it as an option, we are shortchanging the audience and ourselves of an essential part of what it means to be human.

Love is a powerful motivator for change. I'd like to see more of it.

Let us hold the mirror up to nature.


blue eye guy said...

Maybe next time you direct a scenceor a game we could have more emotional truth. Or you could invent a game and call it emotional truth

Mr. Nighttime said...

...or, invent a game with the tag line "Love means having to say you're sorry...over, and over, and over...."