In improv class, we have to create our reality–like go up on stage and act like we are a photographer in a museum or a participant in a yoga class. Within 5-10 seconds of when our classmates understand what ‘reality’ we created up on the stage, they come and join us and participate in our reality. As classmates we have to ask ourselves, ‘if this is true, what else is true’. For example, if there is a person on stage practicing yoga, there must be a ‘yoga’ mat somewhere, or perhaps a ‘yoga instructor’? Nevertheless, whether or not our classmates understand our reality is irrelevant– they have to act like they do, with full confidence. That’s the first lesson of improv- say yes- accept the reality that our partners have created. Once everyone is on stage, we start with spontaneously inventing dialogues that suggest the reality that we think we are in.
A scene can start with an actor illustrating a ‘chopping vegetables’ scene to imply that they are in a kitchen; their colleague may understand it as a ‘restaurant’ and join them on the stage with an impersonation of a ‘head chef’ and the following actors may act as customers in the restaurant or they may flip the whole scene around and make it look a prison. The breadth of realities that the human minds can create is bound to wow you and you leave the theatre in a state of ‘amusement’.