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Start on a Positive Note


Never start on a depressing note. For instance, don't start with a character called 'sad sheriff' or 'boring teacher'. People can only agree to the sadness or argue with it. Either way, those kinds of lackluster starts usually lead to boring scenes. Think about it, think how much extra effort it would take to repair such a depressing start. So what should you do? When starting scenes, you can use neutral characters such as "Sam the Sheriff". Or you can give them cool adjectives such as "tiny sherriff" or 'sheriff from mars.' The same goes regarding your first statements. Don't start a scene by saying you ' you are so uncool.' Seriously, how can anyone enhance that with a 'Yes And...'??


Great improv:

Scary Alien: I am here to serve! I'm ready for major action!!

Karate Dude: Great! Today we'll work on finally getting you your Karate Black Belt.

---

Big Knight: Wow! Your Muscles are HUGE.

Grocery Store Owner: Thank you! Every day I do 300 pushups. I've got a 99 day streak.


Bad improv:

Scary Alien: Hi, I am lost

Karate Dude: Oh, you must have lost your gps.

---

Big Knight: Your muscles are so small

Grocery Store Owner: That's true. But I can take you in a fight. I know karate.


Questions to think about:

Notice how each of the Great improv examples above use the principle of Yes And. How many other perfectly valid Yes And responses can you come up with?

Regarding the Bad improv examples, each of them starts off on a 'sad start'. However, note that each of the responses in the Bad improv examples correctly use the principle of Yes And. If the Yes Ands were to continue, then even the Bad improv scenes would start getting really exciting and super fun. Speaking of which, for practice, how can you continue the Bad improv scenes using Yes Ands?