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“Symmetry looks good to us; we want more of it.” – Susan Messing
Mirroring is a fast and powerful way to connect with your scene partners and, oh yeah, impress your audience.
When Mansical performed at Comedy Bar recently, I couldn’t attend, but Cameron described it for me after the show.
In one scene, a player stepped forward and did a simple dance move. He was joined by another player, who did the same thing.
A third player stepped out and did a different move. He was joined by someone who mirrored him.
The two “pairs” continued to move to the accompanist’s music, timing their actions with both their own scene partner, as well as the other pair.
As Cameron acted out both duos’ movements, I pictured the great “routine” they created.
The next day, a friend who saw the same show described the “choreographed dance number.” When I told her it was improvised, she was amazed.
Cameron and I are your typical white-bread-and-mayo kind of dancers. But when we get on a dance floor, we mirror each other, and suddenly even the weird, angular, and bizarre moves look, well, better.
Two of just about anything looks better, as Jimmy Fallon and Michelle Obama’s Evolution of Mom Dancing video clearly illustrates. (If you haven’t seen it yet, click on the link to watch.)
And more than two people is even better, if you work together and give and take focus.
You can use symmetry to establish group mind, create a dynamic stage picture, or just get out of your head. Try it in your next opening, group game, or two-person scene.
“When the audience isn’t laughing, that doesn’t mean that they’re not fascinated.” – Susan Messing
(Quote from The Boiling Point Improv)