Erica Marx

SCES Circle

by for .  

Stand in circle. Each person gives a SCES around the circle.  



Learn what a SCES is and how it works for scenes


Stand in circle. Each person gives a SCES around the circle.

Notes: The sooner we care about something on stage the sooner the audience reacts to us. I feel __ about __ is a great initiation. Don't need to know why you feel this, just state feeling first.

Self contained -- about you and as if you're the only one there.  I'm dying, not Doctor, I'm dying. Leaves room for your scene partner to decide who they are (more satisfying for everyone). 

Statement, not a question. I'm dying vs. Am I dying? 

Feel something about something that is here on stage with you. I love this cat vs. I love cats. This is more active, can grow. We react through rather than think through the scene. 

SELF CONTAINED EMOTIONAL STATEMENT CIRCLE – We want to “feel something about something.” Around a circle, everyone makes a Self Contained Emotional Statement. It can be as simple as “I love it here,” “I hate the arts,” or “I’m uncomfortable.” Note: the SCES might seem stiff but it works.


• I love this cat

• I hate pulling weeds

• Des Moines, you’re impressive

• I’m proud of my shoes

• I’m afraid of my face

• I’m sad I have no friends


• It’s a statement. Not a question shifting the responsibility of providing information to your partner. There’s a period. It’s definitive.

• It’s an emotional statement. Emotion is one of our three key tools; let’s get to it.

• It’s establishes an emotional reaction. You need to feel and, for the reaction, you need to give that feeling a direction. Give X the power to make you feel Y.

• It’s active. If I say, “I love cats,” I’m just emoting. If I say, “I love this cat,” I’m emotionally reacting. If we make the object of our emotion active in the scene –actually tangible/ observable/ repeatable on stage – then we have something to react to instead of just talk about.

• Being self-contained, the statement places you on solid ground without dictating the scene to your partners - Mick Napier urges us each to “take care of yourself” without confining the scene. Allow your partner the choice of whether to mirror you in some fashion or to take on something entirely their own. Give them the gift of freedom. Being self-contained is increasingly an imperative the larger a group you have on stage.

NOTE ON “SELF CONTAINED”: Certainly we don’t discourage improvisers from noticing, endowing and reacting to their scene partner. HOWEVER, we focus first on improvisers finding something for themselves to engage in / feel about that does not depend on their scene partner BECAUSE improvisers’ default is to focus on their scene partner to the exclusion of all else. 


pg 11 in Improv as Improv Does Best Level 1 class outlines by Patrick Gantz 2018
also Improv As Improv Does Best  Character & Relationship Curriculum

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