The art of slow improv: Why thinking on your feet isn’t as important as you think

by Success Improv
3 months ago

Improvisation is a form of performance that often requires quick thinking and the ability to react in the moment. However, an emerging trend in the world of improvisational theater is challenging the belief that thinking on your feet is the most important aspect of this art form. Instead, performers are focusing on the art of slow improv, where patience and mindfulness take precedence over quick wit and snap decisions.
The concept of slow improv is not about being slow in the literal sense, but rather about taking the time to carefully consider each moment and explore the possibilities within it. In the world of traditional improvisation, the pressure to be constantly quick and funny can often lead to a lack of depth and substance in the performances. Slow improv, on the other hand, allows for the creation of more meaningful and authentic moments on stage.
One of the key principles of slow improv is the emphasis on listening and being present in the moment. By taking the time to truly hear and understand what is happening in a scene, performers can create more nuanced and layered performances. This approach also allows for a deeper connection between the performers, as they are able to build off of each other’s ideas and contributions in a more meaningful way.
In addition to promoting a deeper level of engagement with their fellow performers, slow improv also encourages performers to take the time to fully develop their characters and relationships on stage. Rather than relying on rapid-fire jokes and one-liners, slow improv encourages performers to delve into the emotional and psychological depths of their characters, creating more authentic and compelling scenes.
Another benefit of slow improv is that it allows performers to explore more complex and thought-provoking themes and ideas in their performances. By taking the time to fully develop a scene, performers can delve into deeper topics and create more thought-provoking and meaningful content. This can lead to a more fulfilling and impactful experience for both the performers and the audience.
Ultimately, the art of slow improv challenges the notion that quick thinking and on-the-spot humor are the most important aspects of improvisational theater. By emphasizing patience, mindfulness, and depth in their performances, improvisers can create more meaningful and powerful scenes on stage. Slow improv is a testament to the fact that sometimes, taking things slow can lead to a richer and more rewarding creative experience.