Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The answer is "yes."

At the end of last week's Exit 16 show, I just wished I could make them feel better.

And that's where being a workshop whore gives me power. Yeah, taking workshops every chance I get makes me a better improviser. But even more than that, it gives me toys to pass on to the kids.

Two weeks ago, I had a refresher course in Jill's Fireball Theory—which turned out to be just the thing they needed. I told them her theory about Boomer and outrunning the voice that says "you suck." And we did some of her exercises, some of Dave Razowsky's, some Annoyance stuff....and we talked about exactly what the voice was saying. And I asked them questions and let them talk even more than usual, because Jill reminded me that's how people learn.

Sometimes this stuff is so obvious I look right past it.

When I've been new or haven't been comfortable in troupes, I've either felt like the giant gas-guzzling steamroller that crushes everything in its path or the idiot newbie who really should just sit down and shut up and maybe learn something, moron.

And, as it turns out, those feelings are the ones getting in the way of the kids making strong choices. The experienced ones are afraid of being stage hogs. The new ones are worried about staying in their places. So they're being incredibly polite.

All the trust falls in the world are no substitute for telling each other everything they do is right. We forget to tell our partners...

I need you to be confident.
I love it when you're fearless.
I want you to be big and loud and powerful.
I won't judge you when you try something different.
It's OK when you grab me, push me, poke me, climb on me, and do all that stuff we wouldn't do to each other in real life.
If you edit my scene, I won't resent you.
If you change my idea, I'll have another one.
If you don't get what I mean, it's no big deal.
If we step on each other every now and then, it's just because we're going somewhere.
I've got your back. I'm going to play like you've got mine.

Tonight, I think the kids found out all this stuff. It's more than a toy or a tool—it's truth. I can't wait to see them play this Saturday.

Comedy On The Square
Featuring Exit 16
The Corbin Theatre, 15 N. Water on the Historic Square in Liberty, MO
8pm $5


  1. Good stuff Trish. I think complete trust shows in the good groups.

  2. This is good for other collaborations too. Like at work! Except for the pushing and climbing upon.

  3. That's a beautiful list! I need to remember all that stuff, both as the "I" and as the "you."

  4. That's a great post. We should all say that stuff out loud to each other.

  5. This post makes me want to hug.


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