The audience recognises a character by its consistent behaviours and enjoys the show when consistent behaviours are demonstrated. This is convenient for an improviser because consistency is achieved with repetition, which does not require intelligence; being a consistent character requires observation of behaviours then repetition of those behaviours.
The audience is not interested in explanations about why a character behaves the way it does. This is also convenient for an improviser because explaining occupies the improviser’s mind and distracts the improviser from observing the improvised world and characters.
To entertain an audience, we should repeat behaviours and minimise explanations. A fellow player’s response to a new character can encourage repetition and minimises explanation. Let’s contrast the effect of two different responses. The first response is that things have changed today.
PLAYER 1 Another beautiful sunrise on another beautiful day. RESPONSE 1 You aren't normally a morning person. What's up?
This response is difficult for two reasons.
It is saying that PLAYER 1’s character is not consistent because they don’t normally like mornings but today they do. This change denies the audience’s enjoyment of a consistent behaviour.
The response asks for an explanation, which audiences don’t care about and distracts PLAYER 1 from demonstrating their behaviour.
Here is a second response that encourages consistency and discourages explanation.
PLAYER 1 Another beautiful sunrise on another beautiful day. RESPONSE 2 You've always been a morning person.
This response leads to an enjoyable show for two reasons.
Pointing out PLAYER 1’s behaviour tells the audience and PLAYER 1 what is noticeable about the character. And PLAYER 1 is told what their behaviour is, so what they should repeat.
No explanation is asked for, instead the minimal explanation that this is how things have always been is given. The explanation is minimised to return focus to PLAYER 1 who will repetitively demonstrate their behaviour.
This type of response is generalised as, it’s always been this way and always will be. A fellow player responds, with familiarity, this is how things have always been. Further, the player accepts the character for who they are and accepts that this is how it always will be. The response is matter-of-fact because a dramatic response draws attention away from the behaviour and onto the response itself. This matter-of-fact acknowledgement highlights the behaviour without drowning it out, and encourages its repetition.