If there is one thing that fascinates me about improv and that is how it is portrayed in Television and Film. This is becoming more and more apparent in recent years because the comedy art form is sort of in fashion. There are some interesting topics that we can gain from these ways they are displayed so every so often we are going to look at different scenes from different shows and films.
Usually when I write this article it is about a time when a character in the show, film or media has specifically mentioned improv, well today it is going to be slightly different. I decided to re watch Sherlock for the umpteenth time and when it came to episode three of season 1 I noticed something, it was such a tiny thing but it really stood out to me and I think when it comes to improv it can be a vitally important thing to heighten a scene.
I was starting to watch the episode The Great Game and right at the beginning of the episode there is this scene where Sherlock is lying on the couch because he is bored and that is when i noticed it. The next time you watch this scene pay attention to Benedict Cumberbatch’s feet. It is SUCH a random thing but if you look you will notice that he decides to move them, ever so slightly but it really brings the whole scene a sort of more in depth analysis of the character.
I don’t think this was a mistake, instead I honestly think it was an actors choice by Benedict, the whole show is about a character that notices tiny details others don’t to tell you about that person and I feel that things even down to the tiniest of feet movements were vitally important and it made me really think about performing.
When you go on stage as a character whilst you are welcoming the world to a person you are making up on the spot, you should try and think of the tiniest movements that can really bring a performance to a stronger place. Sometimes it can be a really hard thing to do in improv however, if you remember to do this it can be really successful and stroking to an audience.
It doesn’t have to be anything life changing or dramatic it can be the tiniest thing such as playing with your hair, twiddling your thumbs, looking suspiciously left to right when you are not talking to someone. It is the smallest thing but it can be fun to play with on stage.
One thing that you should do is try this in rehearsals it is something that you could have so much fun with. You could even get one of your team to whisper or write on paper as to what part of the body they have to do with the smallest movement. Give it a try, it is really fun.