Too Many Premises in Ice Cream Man 1

By Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

There is an often-repeated, often misunderstood, rule of improv called “yes and.” What it boils down to is that when you’re in an scene with another person, it is your job as a performer to not deny any of the reality your partner has set up, and everything you say should add to that reality. Mechanically, it looks like this: you hear what your partner said, acknowledge and affirm it, and then add something that respects what has already been established. This is great for starting scenes, but beyond the first couple lines, the “and” half of the equation gets dangerous. That’s how you start to get President Michael Vick drilling for pirates’ gold on Jupiter. See how fast that sentence got away from me? That’s too many premises to deal with in any way that makes sense, and is totally divorced from reality. Continue reading