Sunday, November 3, 2013

Improv for Pessimists

Every once in a while, you have to deal with people that go against everything that improv teaches. Inspired by those folks, I give you…Improv Rules for Pessimists.

1. Yes, but

Pessimists pretend to agree with an idea by saying yes, however this is often followed by an immediate argument as to why something won't work. "Yes, but…"

2. No, and

Pessimists love to say no. In fact, they can go on for hours on end about why something won't work and love to provide more reasons to defend their argument. "No, and…"

3. Take and take

And take, and take, and take… Rather than the fair, balanced and optimistic "give and take", pessimists prefer to take, consume as much as they can, and expect more. In fact, if you were stupid enough to give something away for free, why shouldn't people expect it to continue?

4. Don't be aware of anyone around you

You are the center of the universe. Everyone loves to hear you talk, so keep talking. It makes no difference to YOU if your message is getting through. What matters is that you are center stage. Not listening, watching and concentrating are excellent ways to miss what's going on and learn more about life.

5. Block/Deny/Negate

 At all costs, do not move a scene - or your life - forward. Shut out new ideas, deny reality and use negative language whenever possible. You will be sure to repel people and make them look elsewhere for their needs.

6. Tell, don't show

Saying "I love you", "I'm sorry", "Thank you" and "How are you?" with absolutely no feeling behind it is enough. Gestures do not count. Words speak louder than action. Especially when you're doing all the talking and don't care if the message is getting through anyway (see Rule #4).

7. Work to the bottom of your intelligence

Life is not serious, so don't you be either. Mock people, ridicule them and use sarcasm whenever possible. Taking people seriously only makes them think they matter, and who wants to make people feel good when your life sucks?

8. Don't commit

Why commit? There could be a better offer just around the corner. Keep people guessing so everyone around you becomes insecure. This is sure to create a negative spiral, which pessimists love to start.

9. Don't trust

If it can go wrong, it will. Everyone is out to get you. If you keep this attitude up, you are sure to look (and feel) nervous or worried both on stage and off.

10. Don't make strong statements

Making strong statements only makes you seem confident and interesting. You have nothing interesting to add, so throw everything back to the other person. This is sure to create an unbalanced take-and-take banter.