A friend of mine from college used to be fantastic at improv acting.
How he’d get ideas on the spot, how’d he string his thoughts together, how he’d act on the spot, and yet make it all comedic, I have no clue.
In a recent TV series I was watching, I came across a fundamental principle in improv.
It’s called “Yes, and?”
This is a way of continuing the dialogue. Accepting whatever the other person on stage just said, with a “Yes”, even if it is completely nonsensical.
The “And” after the “Yes” helps with continuing the conversation. Like a nonchalant ‘okay, what next?’
Even outside of improv, this struck me as an amazing way to look at life. We’re each beset by so many unexpected troubles and issues. Instead of getting smacked in the face and falling down, we can stay rooted and ask the question “Yes, and?”, then put on a smile, keep calm, and carry on.