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What does "Grounded" mean?

PostPosted: August 2nd, 2013, 4:26 pm
by kliphtin
When you say "grounded" in reference to improvisation, what do you mean? How do you define "grounded" improv?

Re: What does "Grounded" mean?

PostPosted: August 2nd, 2013, 4:44 pm
by kbadr
Playing more realistic characters and situations. Or playing a little closer to the chest. Less cartoony.

Re: What does "Grounded" mean?

PostPosted: August 2nd, 2013, 10:58 pm
by PyroDan
I agree with realistic characters and situations, but it can also be extended to being something emotionally tangible for the audience. Meaning making choices for yourself and the dynamic of the scene which can be believable as we as draw empathy from the audience. They will let you do anything and suspend disbelief if you capture their emotions.

Re: What does "Grounded" mean?

PostPosted: August 3rd, 2013, 2:27 pm
by Spots
PyroDan wrote:emotionally tangible for the audience. Meaning making choices for yourself and the dynamic of the scene which can be believable as we as draw empathy from the audience. They will let you do anything and suspend disbelief if you capture their emotions.



Favorite subject. So we're talking about reality, right?



But here's the twist: we are not talking about any specific reality.


Does that make sense?

There are performers who ground every scene they are in. And somehow they can still pull off cartoonish or whimsical characters. And totally make it work. Why? Because that character is completely grounded in his own reality. Whatever that world is. ( Bill Murray made us believe he was something called a "ghost buster" & that he was trapped in a timewarp during a single ground hog's day )

I think Dan nailed it when he explained how.

The performer has some *belief* element or emotional commitment that anchors the scene for everyone. This automatically raises the stakes and gives it that spark or connection.

If the performer isn't doing grounded work, we might watch and say, "Well if you don't believe it yourself, then why should I believe it?"

Not to say that it wouldn't be entertaining to watch-- but comedy is tied heavily into belief or believability. Like balancing on a wire between absurd & believable... That's where the work lies.


If you play straight alot and it becomes tedious or repetitive-- remind yourself! There's an infinite number of universes to explore. You've kept yourself in a box. So go out and play in a new universe and ground yourself to that universe. Grow roots, really own it, and stand your ground. You'll be surprised how people riff with you. You'll be the bassline to someone else's amazing guitar solo.


...


Until you realize you can have dueling solos. Which is the most amazing thing ever.

Re: What does "Grounded" mean?

PostPosted: August 4th, 2013, 11:53 am
by kliphtin
So we have:

Grounded Characters:
Grounded Situations:
Grounded Realities:
Grounded Players:
Grounded Emotions:

Did I get them all?

Re: What does "Grounded" mean?

PostPosted: August 4th, 2013, 5:16 pm
by Spots
There's not a finite list. Literally any word you would describe as "believable" in a storytelling context:

Believable Characters
Believable Situations:
Believable Realities:
Believable Players:
Believable Emotions:


Sure, you could add premise, story, relationship, plot, scene, or reactions to that list. But ultimately we are explaining a single concept referring to a storyteller's delivery of belief. Or what Dan referred to above as the audience's "suspension of disbelief." The agreement the audience makes with the storyteller to let go and believe along with the story.