Tag theory

Introducing Phil’s Phrases

Hey Circus Bears!

In addition to an information hub, Brad and I intend this website to be a place where we share our thoughts and experiences about teaching, learning and doing improvisation. I’m kicking that off today.

If you’ve taken a class from me, chances are you’ve heard certain things over and over again. I’m going to introduce and elaborate on them in a series called ‘Phil’s Phrases’.

Phil’s Phrases are little shorthands I’ve arrived at after years of coaching improvisers of all levels. They summarize a few of the most important things to focus on in scenework and I think they are worth exploring a bit, hopefully with your participation.

Here are some off the top of my head, please add more that you’ve heard in the comments:

  • The audience wants you to succeed
  • Simple, not easy
  • Nice versus Generous
  • Don’t make up rules
  • You already have everything you need

Like everything in improvisation, none of these ideas are brand new or mine alone. As Joe Bill says, “It’s all Open Source.” Hopefully, you’ll find these interesting to think about and helpful in your time on stage in shows and rehearsals, alike.

In the next couple of days, I’ll start with: The audience wants you to succeed, which will answer the question, “Why did he just call us ‘Circus Bears’???”