I’m so glad to see yesand.com is back and looking better than ever.
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Speaking of Yesand: I tried the exercise that you had posted on your old website with the “no…we can’t because [blank] let’s instead do [blank]” exercise and then reversing and using the “yes, and” exercise…and my students had the exact inverse impression: they thought that doing the “yes, and..” exercise was much harder. What’s more, they said they enjoyed the “no…” exercise more. And when I asked them which they thought worked more in improv, they told me that they thought the “no” worked more. I thought to myself, “oh boy, how do I teach them that “yes” is the best way to move forward?” I didn’t want to seem to be pushing or giving them some kind of “yes” propaganda without being able to prove my point. It should be said that I am teaching in France (and in English) to French adults.
I know how you feel. It can be rather crushing when a group doesn’t want to go along with my carefully laid set ups
Some ideas for winning them around (warning: I haven’t tried them out)
Talk about some great moments in movies or books. What would have happened if the character had blocked instead of accepted. Eg. If Harry Potter had said no to going to Hogwarts, if Neo had taken the red pill, if Luke had stayed home and become a Moisture Farmer. Those are the choices that good sensible people would make in real life, but they don’t make for good stories.
Try playing the game ‘Good Times’ (see today’s blog post) and then compare it with a version where they start each sentence with ‘no that’s not right’.
My suspicion is that they feel scared. Saying no is more comfortable because it means they never have to go anywhere or do anything.
Thanks for the alternative recommendation; I will give it a try when the class is held again (on Tuesday night). I’ve really enjoyed reading (all!) of your old blog and your new one….thanks for blogging! It’s great to have folks out there willing to help each other….