One of the key skills of the improviser is to make sure you have eye contact with the other players that are playing in the game with you. Considering it’s all improvised and there is no script, it is very difficult to express to someone what’s about to happen with out verbal communication. That’s why eye contact is so important.
For example, suppose, while in an improv show, the statement a team member just said makes you want to react by fainting. You could simple faint and fall to the floor, which no doubt will elicit a laugh and probably a bruised body part. The other option, and one I prefer, is to connect with your partner and look ’em in the eye. You’re connection and body language will probably result in their catching you before you hit the floor. The audience is amazed at the team work, the laugh is much more powerful, and no bruised body parts.
Sure eye contact is great for improv, but can we use this skill and make a connection in our every day life? I think we can. How often do we actually take the time to look someone in the eye to talk. All to often, now a days we’re looking at the multitasking cell phone or other electronic devise to look up, lock eyes, and have that conversation. I know this is true because my husband is talking to me right now, while I’m writing this! Okay, so that may not be true, but you get the point, and I’ll bet you’ve done that exact same thing.
One of my favorite things to do when I’m out and about shopping is to see how many people I can lock eye contact with and say hello. This little practice changes the day. People respond to you. They smile. You feel more connected. And, perhaps this is just me, you feel more aware of your surroundings. It’s as if, some how, I’m slowing time, just by focusing my attention on connecting with another person and looking them in the eye.
So next time you out shopping try it, become aware of your surroundings by looking people in the eyes.