Work is proceeding apace on the Wollongong season of The Death of Albatross, and all this time spent in theatres has gotten me thinking a lot about the "offer". My actor friends and family (and I'm surrounded by them, which is a wild way to live, let me tell you) have explained to me that good improvisation depends crucially on one maxim: Never refuse an offer. For those of you without actor family and friends, I will demonstrate:
Person X: Got a match?Person Y has two choices here.
Person Y: No.OR
Person Y: Actually, what I have is my pet dragon, which I bring out whenever I need a bit of portable combustion. However, you have to be careful because what she eats to produce flame is
Person X: AAAARGH! HUMAN FLESH!!!! GET IT OFF ME, GET IT OFF ME!
See how it works? The story only keeps going when each person keeps accepting the offer.
That's a really interesting approach to a lot of things. My own writing, for example. If I think in terms of accepting the offer that is set up by what the characters have just done or said, I start being a lot more open to unusual, fun, bizarre, touching, and quite suddenly meaningful happenings. Since we're still at the start of the year, I'm going to risk loading myself up with yet another good intention: I'm going to be spending time as I write accepting my characters' offers instead of shutting them down with what's "supposed" to happen.
In other news, my tenure as Cafe Poet at Yours and Owls is starting off swimmingly. Writer buddies have started stopping by, the Poet-Tree continues to be a success, and I'm even making progress on the project I'm working on (the text for a sort of oratorio that I'm hoping will get performed in 2013; it counts as poetry because it's, like, poetic.) If you're in Wollongong, keep an eye on my Facebook writer page for the times I'll be there, and come along! (Heck, keep an eye on my writer page even if you're not in Wollongong it's where I post my writerly doings, if you're interested in knowing when I've got a piece being published or performed somewhere.)
Meanwhile got a match?