One of the main traps that people fall into when doing Short Form is that every single part of a scene needs-to-have-lots-and-lots-or-talking-and-there-is-no-gap-to-breath-so-the-audience-have-to-focus-on-everything-that-is-being-said-and-it’s-so-much-to-take-in-that-it can-feel-very-clogged-up-and-everything-in-between – OK!! I think you get the point. Sometimes in scenes we can all talk too much.
It is so easy to do, especially because in Short Form especially you have a lot shorter time to create a scenario. There are a few exercises though that can help you to naturally slow down in a scene and here are just a couple.
Talk when Directed
There is a scene exercise you can do where two of you create a scene together however you are not allowed to say anything unless you are directed to by the person who is in charge of the two people in the scene. This game is a way to progress how little it takes to make a scene and that expressions can be the thing to develop it and not just words.
Talking None Stop
The next exercise you can do is the complete opposite to the above and do scenes where no-one can stop talking there has to be someone always constantly talking in the scene at any time. This game is good for two reasons –
- The first is to understand that talking without a breath can cause a very cluttered scene (I suppose it could be a good game for an audience if it was “the game of the scene) and another.
- The other reason why this game is actually fun to play (especially when you are quite new at Improv) is that because you have to constantly focus on not allowing there to be any gaps of silence it can allow the nerves to fade away.
Whilst this may be only a couple of games, they are really good exercises to get used to talking less and allowing a scene to breath a little bit. From doing both of these exercises you will realise a difference and will be satisfied with how they make you refocus your priorities on a scene.