‘Yes, and…’ is a very powerful tool. One of the foundations of Improv, it is critical to creating an exceptional interactive character.
‘Yes, and…’ means to accept, then build on, each offer you get from a scene partner.
Humans are communicating all the time. 93% of it is non-verbal.
So the offer could be a vocal statement (7%) but, more likely, it will be a physical behavior (93%). Behaviors can be as subtle as someone’s posture or eye line or where they choose to stand. It’s all information. When you make yourself aware of all these forms of communication, everything becomes an offer for you to build on.
Now, armed with this information, drawing from your knowledge of the context and the character, you can ‘Yes, and…’ their offer.
When they experience you taking something specific about them and building on it, you have shown your partner that you see and appreciate them. They have influenced you and you have accepted them. There has been a genuine give and take between you.
You have created an authentic connection.
‘Yes, and…’ will expand and deepen the work for both of you. The results of each interaction can be exciting, unexpected, emotional, absorbing…
Everything we want in an exceptional interactive character.
A little secret – ‘Yes, and…’ works extremely well even if one partner in the scene isn’t aware they are a partner in a scene. They don’t have to be aware. They will be communicating all the same.
They won’t recognize what happened. But they will feel good about themselves and about you. Creating that feeling is what great characters do.