Off The Cuff (Improvisation)


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Off the Cuff
Do people always know what to say next? To use actions never thought of ahead of time? To carry on a conversation when the person talking to you throws out a question way off base, and yourself, the person receiving the question, doesn’t know what to say? Welcome to the world of Improvisation. We all know how these questions make us feel, using improvisation is just the fancy term used. A theatrical skill used in comedies, dramas, and mostly in small time theatre groups (The Groundlings). Improvisation, the ability to compose, to make, recite, invent, or arrange offhand. Some points of view in a theatre perspective are a look ahead on train of thought, actions with movement, and where exactly is this going, (the ultimate meaning).
     When people talk in conversations, they usually think of what they are going to say, a category, or subject. A look ahead, or train of thought is always a skill. Improvisation is also included in a scene or conversation that what ever comes out of the mouth at a steady pace and make some sort of sense. In many comical theatre groups today, they use improvisation by using the audiences’ thoughts or suggestions. So now the actors or actresses have to make up a scene using not their own thoughts, but the audiences, and make sense.
     An action with movement is another term of Improvisation used in theatre. To use movement makes the point or thought the person is trying to get across a lot clearer. Actions that have no meaning with the conversation may confuse some people. For example, if someone is in a business meeting is talking a respective manner while at the same time is performing the act of skiing down a hill, the person seeing and hearing this would be confused. The action he/she would want to use is legs crossed, hands folded, and looking into the persons eyes while talking. No dialog can still move a conversation or theatrical scene. It all depends on how it is done.
     Where is this going? The thought usually pops up in an individual’s head at one time. To have an ultimate meaning is another important manner in improvisation. To think of dialog is a skill many people do not have. In crowds, or groups, some people have to talk from note cards or a letter with an outline. Others can talk all day without those because they have the use of their brain that outputs dialog that makes sense with the conversation.

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In theatrical groups when faced with a scene of improv, to have it get to the point and make sense, and have an ultimate ending or conclusion      would be reaching the objective or a job well done.
     People express themselves in different ways. Improvisation hopefully gets them to organize thoughts in their head. Not everyone has this trait, and some are still trying to learn it in either classes or books. Improvisation, the ability to compose, to make, recite, invent, or arrange offhand. Some points of view in a theatre perspective are a look ahead on train of thought, actions with movement, and where exactly is this going, (the ultimate meaning). Now just think of what is next in your file of thoughts, is it useful to a conversation, or is it just jabber. To have it make sense is the tricky part.


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