This is a series by David Escobedo that offers a simplified perspective on three basic or small elements of improv. There are surely ways to deconstruct and find exceptions. It would be hard to find anything in improv that operates universally. These are offered as one perspective that may help some people, and are just tips of the iceberg when it comes to the concepts.
Your next offer should be a specific response to what your scene partner/environment provoked. Improv is reacting.
Scenes are made up of beats. Beats are units of information. As a team, make sure your beats are clean and that each one is important to the story.
“THAT’S OK” IS NOT OK
If you ever say “that’s ok” in a scene, what you’re trying to do is take the emotional stakes out of the scene. Not only are you as a character saying you are not emotionally affected by the action, but that your scene partner shouldn’t be either.
Emotional reactions are the engine behind a scene. Things may happen, but the way the characters react create the relatable component for the audience. It makes us care.
Now, you can find ways to make it work – like ironically or in juxtaposition with the action – and then the tactic by the character is in contrast to the tactic of the improv performer.
Mistakes are GIFs,