Instructor: Matt Elwell (CSz Chicago)
Date Taken: July 2009

Every year, ComedySportz has a tournament where all of the city teams get together to play, take workshops and hang out. This workshop was part of ComedySportz Tournament 2009 and covers tips on adding more emotion to scenes, for both shortform and longform improv.

Workshop Notes

  • It’s important to understand your own ability to receive emotions
  • You have to prepare to be emotional for improv
  • Trying to plan a specific emotion can pigeonhole us. Instead you can play a “situation”, eg feel like your being ruined instead of “sad”
  • Whenever you do an exercise, make sure you know the point or the reason you’re doing it (don’t just go through the exercise)
  • React not necessarily to what your scene partner says, but to how your body reacts to what your partner says
  • Be “intimate” with your scene partner. Every reaction your body has is caused by your partner.
  • Your emotional reaction to your partner doesn’t have to be negative (it’s easier to go sad, try playing positive)
  • Ask yourself “How does this make me feel?” to your partner’s choices • Yes And doesn’t mean be ego-less, make your own personal choices • Make a dramatic, physical choice
  • Don’t drop your shit, but that doesn’t mean your character can’t change
  • Maintaining eye contact is a way to stop inventing / remembering and getting into improvisation
  • “Don’t make small stalk” -> ie talk about real stuff, what’s going on
  • On stage, we are in love w/ each other
  • A “line” is a discrete unit that could be dialogue, facial expression, etc

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