Welcome to my recap of the fourth episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 7 – Fairytale Justice, an improv acting challenge!
I have done improv in college classes and as a warm-up for rehearsals, but I’ve never officially performed improv for an audience. That still gives me a lot more exposure to improv than average TV viewer. I’d guess that the vast majority of people’s experience with improv comedy comes from watching Whose Line Is It Anyway? and having heard of the rule of “Yes, and…”
Broadly, the idea of “yes and” means that you accept what others in your scene have said as reality and then you add to it.
That might be the primary rule of improv, but it’s not a rule in the sense that people who haven’t done improv often expect it to be. It doesn’t mean that you must always say “yes, and..,”, that your character can never disagree with another character, or that the story can never contradict itself. It also doesn’t mean that everything in improv has to be done without a plan or with no preparation.
“Yes and” is simply a guideline for productive collaboration. It’s a means of always moving forward instead of pausing to correct or edit, even if that means you move forward into conflict. Any good conversation you’ve ever had involved an amount of “yes and.” So have most of your successful group projects. Even working from an agenda in a meeting requires an amount of “yes and”!
As it turns out, life is largely a game of improv.
RuPaul emphasizes improvisation on Drag Race because improv is foundational to not only his idea of comedy, but his entire career. Ru loves the idea of “volleying” – being able to trade an escalating series barbs live with another player. That quick wit has been a huge part of what has made him an enduring icon in entertainment. He picked that up from a wide array of silly 60s, 70s, and 80s influences like Laugh-In, The Sonny & Cher Show, comedians on gameshows like Match Game, and late night hosts like Johnny Carson and Joan Rivers.
Not all Drag Race contestants fully grasp this idea of “yes and,” let alone how to use it to play for laughs. That has resulted in many uneven improv moments over more than two dozen seasons of the show’s many franchises. Yet, in this episode, we saw two of the best ever examples of “yes and” in Drag Race history!
Do you know which two queens I mean? Keep reading to find out in my full recap of “Fairytale Justice.” Plus, at the end of the recap I’ll update my Episode 3 power rankings to show where the queens stand after another week of Legendary Legend badges. (Want to skip right to the power rankings? Go for it!)
Readers, start your engines! And, may the best drag queen… win! [Read more…] about RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 7, Episode 4 – Fairytale Justice: recap & power ranking!