“Yes, and”


In improv the cardinal rule to follow is that of “Yes, and.” Say yes, and add to the scene and the scene will continue forward without hitch (or perhaps with some comedy). The amazing thing about saying “Yes, and” is that to say “yes” you must actually listen to what your scene partner is saying. You must listen and hear it, digest it, and to “and” you must then respond with acknowledgement that you heard. “Yes, and” puts you and your scene partner on the same page and forces you to need each other to continue forward.

Life can be gone through with tunnel-vision, only seeing what you yourself care about, putting your own thoughts first above others at all times, or life can be a series of yes-ands, where you listen to those around you, hear them, and participate in that world jointly. Though it can be frightening to get to the other side of a yes-and, it is usually the one that is the most rewarding.

EBZ, '02CC