Masks

Masks

‘Tis the season for masks. Of course, you might say we all wear masks of sorts all the time, but I’m talking about actual, physical masks.

There’s something powerful and a little creepy about masks. From the outside, we see a frozen, possibly distorted persona. Even a very human-looking mask is a bit disconcerting.

CROW, FATP and other CRAP

Ah, mnemonics. Useful tools, and also great for baffling the uninitiated.

I worked as a software engineer in a past life and mnemonics were a way of life. They were useful for the work we did, but they served another purpose. When talking about work with non-engineers, the hodgepodge of letters provided a shortcut to getting the listener’s eyes to glaze over. What more could an introverted geek want?

Y is for Yes!

Y is for Yes!

Saying yes may be the most fundamental “principle” in improv.

In beginning classes students are often taught to always say yes, suggesting that to say no is to keep a scene from moving forward. As with many “rules” in any art form, that isn’t strictly true, but saying “yes” is an excellent practice.

N is for Naming

N is for Naming

Maybe you’ve heard the idea that knowing the name of something gives power over the thing. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but there is power in the naming of things.

In a creation like a story or improv scene, naming things lends specificity and that specificity can be a foundation on which the rest of the story is built.