11) Give information to your partner
All too often people in an improv scene will start speaking about their favorite topic- themselves and their character. While something is better than nothing- stronger scenes are built on team work.
12) Listen to your partner
Listen to what your partner says, doesn’t say and the way he says it. Each word, gesture or pause provides tons of offers and information. Listening takes us outside of our focus on self and the worry about trying to think of something to say.
13) Respond to your partner
Improv is about what is happening right now and the changes that occur. We need to respond to what is said, unsaid, done and undone by our partner. Building a scene is a joint process and if we don’t respond we make our partner’s efforts meaningless.
14) See the impact of your response
Give your partner a chance to respond to what you said and did. We expect responses and reactions in real life. We should do the same in improv.
15) Look beyond the words
Words in improv, as in life, are tools to accomplish goals. Character goals often are quite different from the dialogue spoken. The context helps reveals the subtext.
16) Use more than words
Don't limit yourself to words or assume all responses require words. Improv is about what is being done. What are you trying to accomplish and what your partner is trying to accomplish? Use your body and your communication skills.
17) Accept silence and being self conscious
It is okay to be self-conscious. It is okay not to speak. Conversation is as much about the quality of silence as it is about the words spoken. Don't be afraid to respond without words. Being self-conscious doesn't mean we have to entertain or try to please.
18) Be doing but don't focus the dialog on what you're doing.
Scenes are about relationships not what we do but how what we do changes our relationship and current position. By focusing the dialog on actions and things we avoid interacting with our partner.
19) Sooner is better than later. Do it now. When an opportunity for an action comes up- do it! Don't speak about it, don't lead up to it, don't put it off.
20) Have Fun and Relax
Improv should be fun. An audience loves to watch someone having fun. By letting go of fear of failure we commit more, focus more and become more fully.