MORE Improv vocab

APPENDIX
Here is some additional IMPROV vocabulary:
by Dan Goldstein. First version 1996, last 2009.


blackout - A very short scene, often just a few seconds. Three of
                   them make a runner.

characterizing action - an action which says to the other
                                         performers and the audience what
                                        sort of occupation or social role the
                                        character has. These are often used
                                        to begin scenes, such as when teachers
                                        erase blackboards, and what not.

denial - Trashing what somebody else has set up on stage, be it
               mime or fact

fourth wall - The wall that isn't there which, if existed, would go
                       between the players and the audience. Beginners
                       need to be careful about turning one's back on the
                       fourth wall!

gag scenes - Very short, funny scenes. People doing them should
                       not feel obligated to further the plot or present any
                       vital information. These scenes are just plain fun and
                       the people on lights should treat them as such.

 
justification - providing an explanation for something the audience
                        saw that didn't make sense

reflexive action - an action a character does repeatedly and
                              unconsciously. Helps make the character stand
                              out from the crowd, as well as seem familiar like
                              an old friend, or that special pair of moccasins.
                              One way to "take care of yourself" on stage.

rule of a thousand - continuing on after the rule of three until
                                    things become funny again. Some people
                                   believe this works something like a sine wave,
                                   so there's always hope some thing may get
                                   funny again even if it's starting to look really
                                  desperate.

rule of three - Three humorous events (scenes, jokes, etc.) on the
                          same topic or with the same gist. The third is always
                          the hardest hitting.

runner - three blackouts on the same theme with the third one
               being the biggest larf of all.

status - Whoever has influence or control over a situation has the
               higher status in the scene. Many pre-defined stock
               relationships, such as, judge / plaintiff have status build
               right into them. Status can easily invert and this can
               become the plot of entire stories, a la Trading Places.

yes and - two great words which encourage the person who says
                them to accept information and add to it

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