The whole time I have been writing The Phoenix Remix, there has been one thing that has been mentioned by various improv groups over and over again – to make a good improv scene and to make it matter you need to bring a truth to a scene. Whilst a lot of this is brought on by playing on experiences you have had, another way to do it is by observing life.
I love people watching, it is a really relaxing thing to do and it is also a great way to really understand or ‘experience’ a person. Sitting in a coffee shop and watching the world go by you can notice so much in such a little time. The next time you are able to get a chance, sit somewhere for a five minutes with your head up away from your phone and take a look around you.
Notice how the person behind the counter deals with customers, watch what they do when they are quiet, watch the hectic life of the business man and see how he approaches his work in a social environment, watch the way friends interact together, even look at the dog of someone!
The world, even the smallest things can be a really fascinating place that you can pick up so much for characters for improv scenes. I know a few writers that write everything from scripts to books, actors and even comedians that have a tiny little notepad where they write up little quirks and characteristics of people that they find interesting and want to revisit at a later date.
In places like London, it is really easy just to get lost in the crowd and go about life without truly looking at what is around you. There is so much to see and observing life will allow you to create a strong character on stage and make even creating somethng new with your observations. The characters will come across more natural and stronger which may make them even more relatable to audiences.