Eleven Commandments of Improv Theater

Del Close‘s Eleven Improv Commandments can be applied to all kinds of life situations, startups for example:

1. You are all supporting actors.
2. Always check your impulses.
3. Never enter a scene unless you are NEEDED.
4. Save your fellow actor, don’t worry about the piece.
5. Your prime responsibility is to support.
6. Work at the top of your brains at all times.
7. Never underestimate or condescend to your audience.
8. No jokes (unless it is tipped in front that it is a joke.)
9. Trust… trust your fellow actors to support you; trust them to come through if you lay something heavy on them; trust yourself.
10. Avoid judging what is going down except in terms of whether it needs help (either by entering or cutting), what can best follow, or how you can support it imaginatively if your support is called for.

Via this wonderful post over on Open Culture.

2 Comments leave a comment below

  1. This reminded me of what Diderot said about acting. He called it the most difficult of all the arts, because it’s the only art where one has to be creative in front of a live audience. That’s why acting techniques can teach us so much about creativity and human perspective. I’m delighted to see this great list posted here.

  2. This list can be applied to dealing with loved ones with dementia/Alzheimers, too. My dad recently passed away but I often referred to my visits with him as times of “Improv”—I’d never done any improv but after many years of watching it I came to understand how helpful these skills could be. The best thing about utilizing these methods was that it felt like my dad felt respected and engaged and I felt like we were connecting—and that was such a gift.