Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"Yes, And" Your Life

Chad Biagini

“Yes, and” for you improvisers is probably becoming second nature. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, in short, it means to agree and heighten. For example, if in a scene a teacher tells you they saw you cheating on a test, you agree by affirming what they just stated. “I was cheating.” (YES.) And you can tell good ol’ teach you were cheating “because you’re allergic to integrity.” (AND) Now we have a game established and can move on and continue to heighten with all the other times you were forced to commit heinous crimes because of your illness. P.S. I don’t think that’s a real disease. Check WebMD

The concept of “Yes, and” not only works well in scene work, but can be added as a valuable asset to your lifestyle if you allow it, and it’s a brilliant idea if you ask me. But just like The Force, my young Padawans, you must wield it wisely.

Recently, I caught eye contact with a lady in a parking lot. Being a cordial and friendly American citizen, I make it my goal that when I catch eyes with someone, to give them a warm smile.

TANGENT ALERT: I mean, is it really that difficult to acknowledge another person as a human being and use 12 or so of your 36 facial muscles to do so?! Once you have that down…try moving to a polite “hello” or even a nod. You’ll feel better about yourself. I must warn you though, this will eventually become second nature to you and, if you’re not careful, you may accidentally say hi to statues. There are 3 in my daily life that trick me on a regular basis. True story. END TANGENT.

Anyways…………this kind lady returned the gesture and smiled back. Unbeknownst to me, however, her husband was watching – not that I would have behaved any differently – and he came rushing over to me and firmly asked if I was flirting with his wife. Of course I wasn’t, but this was my big chance to prove my improv chops! To showcase to the world my talent! An opportunity to “yes, and” while also taking a big risk (another great choice in improvisation.) How could I pass up an opportunity this golden? I locked eyes with this rugged and much more powerful looking gent and said, “Of course I was, sir. And if given the chance, I’d do it all over again.”

I admit, I may be too quick-witted for my own good at times, and I never claimed to have common sense.

Rugged Powerful Gent’s frown deepened and his brow darkened. I’m certain rain clouds appeared in the sky and I swear I heard vultures soaring overhead in anticipation for their next meal. It was at this moment that I knew I had made a mistake.


As if in the scene from LOTR: The Two Towers (LOTR…that’s what us cool kids call Lord of the Rings) where Gandalf The White releases King Theoden from the curse bestowed upon him from Grima Wormtongue…

His face made a transformation into a St. Nick type smile and he burst out into hysterical laughter. He grabbed me, gave me a half hug/half noogie, and told me I made his day. He even brought all his friends back to meet me. And as the cliché goes, we all lived happily ever after.

Actually, now that I think of it, I just happened to get really lucky.

Chaddy B


  1. Who is this guy? And how did he learn to write so well? I can't wait to see if he's as funny on stage as he is when he writes. I'll have to check out a show.

    Ronnie B