TITLE: Catch What You're Thrown
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: December 05, 2007 2:42 PM
Context You are in an
Interactive Performance, perhaps a play, using
Problem The performer
speaking before you delivers a line incorrectly. The new
line does not change the substance of the play, but it
interrupts the linguistic flow.
Example Instead of
saying "until the first of the year", the performer says as
"for the rest of the year".
Forces You know your
lines and want to deliver them correctly.
The author wrote the dialogue with a purpose in mind.
Delivering the line as you memorized it is the safest way
for you to proceed, and also the safest route back on track.
BUT... Delivering the scripted
line will call attention to the error. This may disconcert
your partner. It will also break the mood for the audience.
So: Adapt your line to
the set up. Respond in a way that is seamless to the audience,
retains the key message of the story, and gets the dialogue
back on track.
That is, catch what you are thrown.
Example Change your line
to say "for the rest of the year?" instead of "until
the first of the year?"
Related Patterns If the
performer speaking before you misses a line entirely, or gets
off the track of the Scripted Dialogue, deliver a
Postscript: This category of my blog is
intended for software patterns and discussion thereof, but
this is a pattern I just learned and felt a strong desire
to right. I may well try to write Redirecting Line
and maybe even the higher-level Scripted Dialogue
and Interactive Performance patterns, if the mood
strikes me and the time is available. I never thought of
pattern language of performance when I signed on for
And just so you know, I was the performer who mis-delivered
his line in the example given above, where I first encountered
Catch What You're Thrown.