Name the Noun

Improv, I am finding, is becoming more and more of a way of life for me. The rules I’m learning through practice and performance are very applicable to every day life, and to relationships as well.

In improv, there is a rule that when someone announces a “thing,” be it an “It” or a “something” or a “What that person said” one has to name that thing as soon as possible, because if it isn’t named, if it is left to become a mystery item, then the possibilities as to what that nondescript noun is becomes far bigger and more important in the minds of the audience than that noun could ever possibly be in real life. So, when an important person in real life says: “There is so much to say” and then, doesn’t say what it is that needs to be spoken out loud, imagination runs wild and suddenly what could only be a statement as simple as “I think that you’re a lot of fun to hang out with” could turn in to “I want you to move in with me and bear my children” in the run-a-way mind of the listener.

So, as a rule of thumb: Name the Noun. Name it quick. Or you’ll have a weapon that, as the seconds pass, will become bigger and stronger and suddenly out of control the longer it goes without a label. And, that can be a very powerful and simultaneously hollow weapon of control over another person.

I think that is why Fear Mongering in government or big business or love works very well when the “non-naming of a noun” rule is implicated.

Just a thought I had last night when after I said “I have something to say” I quickly followed up with: “you better leave the room because I need to fart.”

April 24, 2012 at 4:48 pm by Natalie Allen