This week is Animal Week at AndAlso (that means all our drop-in classes will have this theme). So to celebrate, here’s a list of 5 animals that are like improvisers. Both as performers and as characters.
(or ‘Peapocks’ as my 2-year-old Iggy calls them)
- As performers – Improvisers can incorporate the vibrant and flamboyant displays of peacocks into their stage pictures, creating attention-grabbing and visually stunning performances.
- As characters – There is much drama to be explored in characters competing for attention or admiration, much like peacocks displaying their feathers to attract mates. A bit like theatresports, in fact!
- As performers – Octopuses are known for their problem-solving abilities and adaptability. Improvisers too, have the ability to ‘hold on tightly, let go lightly’. In other words, bring a strong offer to a scene, but adapt where necessary.
- As characters – Octopuses can change their appearance and mimic other creatures. We too, can change voice and posture to inhabit other characters and creatures. Check out Susan Harrison and Andrew Gentilli’s show Beings if you want to see the ultimate example of this.
- As performers – Ant colonies work together seamlessly. Improvisers also require high levels of trust, collaboration, and coordination, where we rely on each other to achieve a common goal.
- As characters – Ant colonies have complex social hierarchies. This can be used to create characters with distinct roles and statuses within a group. For more, check out my previous blog on Status.
- As performers – Cats are known for their grace and agility. Improvisers can aspire to embody these qualities and play with elegance and confidence, even when the inner critic is telling you to do something different!
- As characters – Cats are independent animals. Why not use the cat as inspiration for solo scenes and monologues?
- As performers – Bee colonies operate as a single, interconnected unit. We improvisers might call this group mind; using flow state and strong collective consciousness to make decisions as a group.
- As characters – Improvisers can explore relationship-based scenes with themes of cooperation and interdependence. Characters don’t always have to like each other but it’s useful when they need each other.
I have limited myself to 5 as I feel I could go on for far too long making comparisons between the animal kingdom and the realm of theatrical and comedic improvisation. Let me know which obvious ones I missed, and have fun getting animalistic!