Class this week focused on how impro shouldn't be about "thinking" what your "offer" should be, but just trusting your instincts and what comes obvious. One of the exercises was using a mantra to distract your mind.
By distracting your mind, you don't sit there and analyse what your next "line" should be... with the distraction, you tend to just say what comes to you more naturally...
Luckily this class included a new student. A really beautiful, blonde, English girl. Let me tell you, I was dying to do a scene with her.
Fortunately I got my chance.
Teacher asked for two volunteers. She stood up and I quickly followed.
We were to focus on using this "mantra" technique. Basically, we were to choose between two mantras.
1. Repeating "I Love you.. I Love you.. I Love you..." over and over again inside your head.
2. Repeating "I hate you.. I hate you.. I hate you.." inside your head.
While you are performing the mantra of your choosing, you are supposed to "push through" your lines while you repeat this mantra in your head.
We first had to perform the impro scene without the use of the mantras. That was fun. Nothing like an excuse to talk to a beautiful blonde but to perform a scene with her!
Next, we have to perform the scene again, but this time repeating our Mantras! Our teacher asks us to pick between the two mantras: "I love you" or "I hate you" but we weren't supposed to reveal it to the class or to people in the scene. In this case, the beautiful English chick.
Ideally, by repeating these mantras, it really shouldn't make a difference right?
I chose the "I love you" mantra. So I repeated it over and over again in my head right before the scene started, and continued until it ended.
As I started the scene, can I just tell you how big of an affect that makes! My body language, my speech, and my mood completely changed!
As I was reciting my lines aloud, with the mantra "I love you" repeating over and over in my head, I really felt the difference in my performance. I swear I could have just started snogging her if we were alone!
As the scene continued, we locked eyes intensely, and I started talking to her like she was the love of my life. She returned the favour and looked at me like I'd just come back from fighting a war. I know it was all acting, but man, its been a while since a woman has looked at me like she had during that scene. It was so hilarious because we busted out some nervous laughter during the scene.. but man was it intense. It was so much fun though!
At the end of the scene, the class had to guess the mantras we picked. It was too obvious that both of us picked the same one: "I love you."
So next time, if you have a bit of trouble talking to the opposite sex that you are interested in, try and pick a mantra that you think will help that confidence!