The Rules of Improv

Thanks to a surprise gift from a friend, I’m reading Bossypants by Tina Fey. I hate book reviews so I won’t make you read a play by play about each chapter I complete (I’ll save that for dinner conversation with my husband- he’ll like that!). But still, there is one section in the book that I’d like to note for purposes of this blog post.

Tina (while reading her book, I’m on a first name basis with her) writes about the rules for Improvisation. Here’s a summary of them taken straight from pages 84-85:

  1. Agree. Always agree to enter into this kind of relationship and say ‘yes’.
  2. Not only agree and say ‘yes’, but YES, AND... You’re supposed to agree and then add something of your own. (Saying yes, and means don’t be afraid to contribute. It’s your responsibility to contribute’
  3. Make statements. Speak in statements instead of apologetic questions.
  4. There are no mistakes.

I’ve been thinking about these rules in the context of relationship and I wonder if what is true for improv is also true for friendships. I ask myself: do I agree to enter into relationship, do I add something to the relationships I’m in, do I make statements instead of always asking questions, am I afraid to make mistakes.

I wonder how this plays out with your close relationships.

There’s something romantic and organic about being in relationship with one another. Something happens when we let someone into our world to see 'the real you' when you let down your guard. If we allow it, relationships can be a powerful force for moving each of us towards a path of growth and light. At least that’s what I think anyway (see rule #4).


Matt | June 11, 2011 at 9:42 AM

My good friend Sarah ( just gave a speech at the Ohio Growth Summit this past week entitled, "Yes, And, Trust - 3 Rules of Improv and How to Use Them in Your Business." And it rocked. If they post a video, I'll be sure to send you a link.

Hanna | June 12, 2011 at 8:48 PM

You got it! In the meantime, read Bossypants (or have Blair read it). It's pretty good.

Post a Comment