Improv Corner – Building Scenes From No Suggestions

When I first started doing improv this was something that completely and utterly scared the pants off of me and doing your first one of these will be a really big leap i will warn you. When I was training up in Newcastle it was part of the show The Rat Race and I think that’s why it scared me – when watching people just walking up on stage and creating something out of nothing seemed very daunting. Over the time I have done improv I have learnt from various exercises that there are ways to go into scenes without suggestions and still make a a strong scene.

A line says it all

One way to start a scene with no suggestion is just to come on a say a line of dialogue. This means that you and your teammate have something to work with and it sort of opens the scene for you – sort of like a suggestion.

Every time I have seen this done the opening line is usually something like you would say in a normal conversation between friends but if you really want to make the scene a bit different why not open with something really random. Beware if you do this though you will need to make sure you provide extra support for your team player.


An emotion

Going onto stage with an emotion already defines the route of the scene and can be a really great suggestion / help for your team player. By making the emotion really big it creates a great setting for a scene and is something that can be used to really push your scene to another level!


If you both go ok with contrasting emotions then it can create a great status scene and if you both happen to come on with the same emotion you can still work with it and actually create a powerful scene.


All About Action

One thing that can really build up a scene is by doing actions and not focussing on words at all. Sometimes building up a scene by interacting with the scenery around you in your made up world means that you can actually create a really strong scene.

It’s one of the most simplistic rules of improv but it also is one of the most easiest ways to create effective scenes from nothing.

Categories: Improv, Improv Corner, Writing

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