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by Darren Held

lean into itby Sonnjea Blackwell

You know how you hug different people differently?

Oh, come on! I’m not going anywhere dirty with this, peeps. But you know what I mean. Some people, like your creepy Uncle Al, you “hug” as distantly as possible. Others you hug with just your arms, maybe. Some other people, you hug and hold on for a second or two. And a few, when you hug them, you lean into them – because they are a comfort to you, and because you want to give them that comfort as well.

Yeah, yeah. This is about improv. An instructor told us recently that when information appears in a scene, there is a tendency to run away from it. We technically yes, and it, but we brush it aside and come up with new information as soon as we can. We treat that information like Creepy Uncle Al.

Instead, we should lean into that information. We should hug it, and hold onto it while we explore what it means in our scene, to our character, and to our relationship with our scene partner. Then there’s no need to come up with eleventy billion pieces of information.

I’m a writer, so I like words. Anytime I hear a new way of explaining or understanding something, I get excited because the more ways you can see a concept, the clearer it becomes. Until eventually, you don’t have to see it at all, because it just is. (Yeah, I’ve been reading deep stuff lately.) Anyway, “lean into it” was helpful to me – I hope it helps you as well.

Darren Held
About Darren Held
Darren is the CEO and Creative Director of Held2gether, Improv for LIfe. He has been teaching and performing improv for 15 years, and has performed with H2g, the Groundlings, UCB and Second City. He loves Moto, red wine, and Madonna.

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