Saturday, March 7, 2009

George Carl and the Inner Monologue Exercise

Here's one of my favorite fools, George Carl:

Foolish Exercise
The exercise here is to look at the first two minutes or so of this routine and to write or improvise a monologue for what this character might be thinking, often called an interior monologue.

I'm not saying this is something that George Carl did, but I have found for myself that an interior monologue can help with intentions, fine-tuning, presence, and timing. It can also help to bring back to life a routine that has become rote from too many repetitions.

Some may think that this is too intellectual a tool for a physical routine, but I find that it's really a trick to occupy the verbal/intellectual part of the mind so that the playful part can get past the critical guard.

Some guidelines: The monologue can be like you are narrating to yourself what you are doing and what is happening to you. Keep it simple and short—inner monologues aren't usually great poetry, deep thoughts, or even complete sentences:
Wait a second...
How' d that...
Stuck again.
I know...
I'll move this and—
Walking, walking,

Another way to practice this fool tool is to narrate five minutes of your life while engaged in some non-verbal task. As a side benefit, you'll also be practicing a form of mindfulness.


Matthew said...

Wow, I just learned a little something about my process. I can't imagine working without the inner monologue. I guess my excercise is to see if I can work without it and experience the purely physical...

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