Prior to that show, the only improv I saw was around San Francisco, which at that time was dominated by short form and weird puppet stuff. Neither of those styles really interested me. It just wasn't my style of comedy.
Naffy basically does a monoscene, although as of the last few weeks we've added the ability to cut in and out of scenes. But at the core, we just do a monoscene. Over the years I've learned a few basic important rules that I recommend for any group who wants to do it. Here it is. The secret sauce:
- No plot. Do not follow plot. Don't try to set up an elaborate scheme to rescue someone. Don't try to figure out the mystery to something. Don't try to follow any sort of story of any kind. Why? Because it's boring and usually not funny. It can also get extremely confusing. I'm interested in improv comedy, not improvised storytelling. There's a subtle but distinct difference there. Think of Seinfeld or Always Sunny, those are pure game based shows and self-proclaimed anti-plot shows.
- Follow the game / find funny patterns. This is what you should be doing. Find your character games, your relationships games, and come back to those. Follow the funny. "Heighten" games and discover new ones. Everything should be game oriented, including relationships. A monoscene is just a long unified harold seamlessly jumping from game to game to game. There are big games that span the entire show, and there are small games that you hit 3 times and never visit again. Find them games folks.
- Start grounded. The obvious difference between a monoscene and a montage, is that the monoscene goes on for 25 minutes. If you start the monoscene with a crazy choice that the universe is exploding, well.. good luck with continuing that for 25 minutes. Instead, monoscenes should start grounded in reality, neutral, and should climb in energy and craziness over the next 25 minutes like a steady stream.
There are a lot more subtle things, but I think these are the 3 things that are most crucial to a successful monoscene. Can you break these rules? Of course you can. It's freakn' improv. Go nuts. These are just the usual trends that typically lead to successful monoscenes.