“Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda
Wise words. But did you ever think about how they relate to improv?
Here are my top 5 ways thinking about Star Wars can improve your ‘prov.
1. “Do or do not. There is no try.” Do something confidently even if you know it’s “wrong” or outside of your wheelhouse. If you’re going to fail, fail spectacularly. You say you don’t have a Swedish accent? You do now, even if it sounds like a high-pitched squeak. Commit to your choice and you will succeed better than if you say nothing. If you create a reality where Swedish sounds like squeak-speak, then the audience will go with you, and it’ll probably be even funnier.
2. “May the fourth be with you.” The fourth wall, that is. Stop breaking it in the middle of a scene! Commit. Every time you stop to wink, or laugh, or let the audience know you’re really not a character in a scene, you break the illusion and might as well sweep it all away. Keep doing that in every scene and you’ll exhaust the audience, who’s really there to see some characters just freakin’ go for it.
3. “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” The fear of performing is real. There’s no easy thing to remember for this one, it just takes practice to overcome stage anxiety. So get your stage reps in, and do your best before the show to lose your inhibitions. Create a safe space with your team, have the best intentions towards them and the audience. And whatever you do, if things go astray, don’t improvise angry. There’s time for analysis after the show.
Ok, so I lied, I only have a top 3. What other Star Wars quotes sound like good improv advice?