Letting Go of the Need for Speed: How Slowing Down Improves Improv Techniques

by Success Improv
3 weeks ago

In a world that constantly promotes the idea of faster and more efficient ways of doing things, it can be easy to get caught up in the need for speed. This mentality often seeps into various aspects of our lives, including our improvisational techniques. However, there is a growing body of research and anecdotal evidence that suggests slowing down can actually improve improvisational skills.

Improvisation, whether in the context of theatre or music, requires quick thinking, spontaneity, and the ability to adapt to ever-changing situations. While speed can certainly be an asset in certain situations, it can also lead to mistakes, missed opportunities, and a lack of depth in performances.

By letting go of the need for speed and instead focusing on slowing down, improvisers can reap a myriad of benefits. One of the key advantages of slowing down is the ability to fully engage with the present moment. When we rush through a scene or a musical piece, we may miss important cues, overlook subtle nuances, or fail to connect with our fellow performers. Slowing down allows us to be fully present, aware of our surroundings, and able to respond authentically to what is happening in the moment.

Another benefit of slowing down is the opportunity to fully explore and develop characters, relationships, and storylines. When we rush through a scene, we may default to stereotypical characters or rely on familiar tropes. By taking our time and allowing moments to unfold naturally, we can delve deeper into the complexities of our characters, discover new facets of their personalities, and create more dynamic and engaging performances.

Slowing down can also help improvisers to build trust and rapport with their fellow performers. When we rush through a scene, we may inadvertently steamroll over our scene partners, fail to listen to their cues, or overlook important contributions they are making. By slowing down and truly listening to our fellow performers, we can build stronger connections, enhance collaboration, and create more cohesive and impactful performances.

In addition to improving performance quality, slowing down can also benefit improvisers on a personal level. By letting go of the need for speed, we can reduce stress and anxiety, increase mindfulness and self-awareness, and cultivate a sense of calm and presence. This can lead to greater enjoyment of the improvisational process, increased creativity, and a deeper sense of satisfaction and fulfillment.

Overall, letting go of the need for speed in improvisational techniques can lead to a more enriching and rewarding experience for both performers and audiences alike. By embracing slowness, improvisers can tap into a wealth of benefits that can enhance their skills, deepen their relationships, and elevate their performances to new heights. So the next time you find yourself rushing through a scene or a musical piece, remember that sometimes, the greatest improvisational moments arise when we slow down and savor the journey.