To overview # Improv Glossary
Blocking is one of the most common Failures that can happen to improvisers. Blocking means that one player' s Game Offer is not accepted by the other player but rejected, ignored or rejected. Blocking often causes the Scene to stagnate, in extreme cases it must be ended.
- A:"Darling, I would like to go to the movie' xy' with you."
- B:"I don't know you!"
- A:"Captain, portside a warship!"
- B:"Well, Mr. Schneider, did we forget our pills again?"
Table of Contents
Blocking is not always "bad". Blocking right at the beginning of the scene, however, prevents the solid construction, the Stabilization of the basic information, the basic setting (especially with respect to CROW,ROTZ,CBZO). It occurs especially when the players insist on their respective (initial) ideas and concepts. Blocks in the further progression of the Scene are usually not quite as "bad", but often not so conspicuous. This is different with Longform at the beginning of a new, further scene, because here again new or additional basic information or switch settings could be addressed.
Blocking can have different reasons. Especially at the beginning of a scene it is often the case that the players are so fixated on their (initial) idea, their (initial) concept that they do not perceive or ignore the offers of their fellow players. As the Scene progresses, blocking may be caused by the player ignoring dramaturgical requirements: For example, it avoids a conflict offer, possibly only incidentally. It is also possible, however, that in the "eagerness to play" an offer was simply not perceived, i. e. the attention was gone.
Positive use: Accept the block and make it the object of the scene
- A: "Hello Klaus"
- B: "I'm not Klaus, I'm Jon!"
- A: "You must be the grandson... I come from a lab and have been in deep sleep for 50 years, etc."
However, if the partner continues to block, the scene moves against the wall sooner or later and can only be ended:
- B: "My grandfather's name was Erich!"
Good blocking - bad blocking
Blocking is not always "bad". It can make sense in individual cases for dramaturgical reasons.
For example, a conflict can arise from a block:
- A:"Let's go to the movies today."
- B:"Oh, darling, I have such a terrible migraine."
- A:"Whenever I make a suggestion, you suddenly have a migraine!"
In this case, an unconditional acceptance of the cinema offer could even be wrong. For example, if the scene has been "splashing" for several minutes and something has to happen. Or if the alleged migraine has already been established as a recurring excuse. Recognizing and using meaningful blocks that serve history and dramaturgy is a challenging skill. For beginners it is therefore advisable to avoid blocking in general.