Hey, Don’t Give Me Ideas

I’ve just realised that I’ve often assumed I could make my scene partner look good by playing the “straight” man, delivering a feedline for an idea I’ve already thought up in my brain, to which they can provide the amazing punchline, and take the credit for it.

But that’s pants. Coming up with an idea and expecting someone else to deliver it is selfish, a waste of time, takes you out of the moment, and doesn’t work anyway. Nine times out of ten, your scene partner won’t take the hint; they’ll go another way; you’ll have to drop your idea and both of you will look foolish; after the show, you’ll argue about which way the scene was going.

Your scene partner’s ideas are better than yours, always. Always. So don’t give them ideas, give them endowments based on listening. Terrific ideas are what you get out of scenes, not what you put into them.


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