Join Stefan Mumaw for an in-depth discussion in this video Creative exercise #4: Comedy improv, part of Creativity Bootcamp.
- Our last one. Up to now, I haven't asked you to do anything hard. Don't freak out, don't freak out. So how many of you have ever had a personal trainer? Anybody ever had a personal trainer? So what's interesting about personal trainers is they are, they're mean. They get you to a place in your workout where you can finally accomplish something noteworthy and then they take it away and make you do something else that you don't know how to do. And you're like, "Why do you keep doing that? "I have this exercise. I couldn't do it at first. "I was just lifting the bar. It was really embarrassing.
"Now I can put weights on it "and you throw that exercise away "and you make me do something else." And the reason why they do that is because the body is actually really smart and the body gets use to certain exercises and in order for you to continue getting growth, to get past a plateau, you have to switch exercises. You have to keep changing it up on the body. Well creativity has a very similar exercise. There is another entity creatively. Because most of us we solve the same types of problems every single day. Something in our title tells us about the problem that we solve every single day, right? So in order for use to be creative, oftentimes we need to do something else.
So there's another creative entity out there that actually mirrors creativity, mirrors the creative process almost exactly and that's comedy improv. Now how many of you have ever done any comedy improv? Very few people have ever done any comedy improv. So don't freak out. I'm not going to ask you to come up here and do any comedy improv. They're like, "Oh God, thank you "because I didn't want to have to do any." The reality is and I want to think about improv. How many of you have ever seen improv actors, right? So improv, they're actors who are going to act out a scene that they have no idea what the scene is.
They have no idea what it is. They are thrown it and told to go and then they're told to be funny on top of it which is just horrifying to most of us. We're like, "No, don't put me in that situation." But they love it, right? And if you think about it creatively, isn't that we're asked to do? Aren't we asked to solve a problem on the spot? No one ever gives us all this time. They say, "Hey, I need you to solve this problem." It's the same sort of thing. So what's unique about it, is that you actually perform comedy improv without you even knowing it and you've done it lots of times when you've been in the restaurant and you've looked out across the restaurant and you've seen two people having an animated conversation, right? Their hands are going like this and you start reading into it.
"Oh, don't you look at... "Where were you last night? "I can't believe you..." Everyone has done that, right? Where you're looking and you read into it. We're going to do that exercise right now. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to put a video up on the screen and the video has no sound and there's two people having a conversation and you guys are going to read into their conversation while they're doing it all at the same time live. So for you people at home, this is really where you could use a partner because it's going to be really tough to play both characters. You can kind of understand, okay. So here's what I'm going.
I'm going to show you what the scene looks like, okay? This is what the scene looks like. So the first thing you need to do, is you need to decide who's going to be the guy and who's going to be the girl. So if there's not natural pairs like here, consider this a Shakespearean model. Everyone can play everybody, okay? So decide who's going to be the guy and who's going to be the girl between the two of you right now, okay? So once you have that, the guy is going to speak first. So when I say go, I'm going to push play and they're going to start talking, there's no audio. You're going to start talking out loud to each other trying to have their conversation.
So when one person is talking you're going to talk and then when they stop then the other person starts talking you got to switch it up, but you don't know when it's coming so that's what makes it so much fun, okay? You guys ready for this? Alright. It's going to get a little loud so make sure you can hear each other, okay? Here we go. It's 90 seconds, just survive. Okay? Ready? Go. (group talking simultaneously) Yes, you made it.
(laughing) That was hard wasn't it, right?
Interested in learning more about the creative process? Check out Stefan's other courses on lynda.com.