Now that you have read part one of “Going Back to the Source” you will want to know about this useful exercise for developing the habit of Going Back to the Source.

This exercise is based on the fact that, generally speaking, if you are doing a nonverbal vocal improvisation, where you make any kind of vocal sounds but don’t allow these sounds to form clear words, it is very easy to feel that you are directly connected to the Source of the scene. As long as you are using nonverbal vocal sounds, it is pretty easy to feel that your vocal line is directly a part of the flow of energy/musicality/feelings which make up the Source of the scene (as channelled through the lens of your Center). It is only when using words that you can occasionally become uncertain as to whether or not your scene is flowing directly from the Source. Note that, when performing a nonverbal, vocal scene, some of the time you will have words going on in your head, that is, you will know exactly what words you would be saying if you were allowed to use words. Some of the time you won’t have specific words going on in your head; you’ll just be making sounds. This should make no difference, and the exercise will work just as well either way, as long as, when you do have words in your head, you don’t allow them to come out sounding like clear, specific words. (Just garble or blur them a bit so they don’t sound like real words.)

Here’s the exercise: begin your scene using nonverbal vocal sounds. Use this time to establish a nice strong sense of being connected to the Source through your Center. (See the entry on “Take the Audience on a Journey” for details.) When you feel a good, solid connection to the Source, begin to alternate between doing one phrase of the scene using words, and the next phrase of the scene using nonverbal vocal sounds. Don’t distract yourself by trying to figure out precisely where each new “phrase” begins, just establish a regular rhythm where you go back and forth, roughly every one or two lines, between speaking verbally and using nonverbal vocal sounds.

What you are trying to practice here is the habit of constantly going back and dipping into the Source, in order to come up with your next line of text. You will discover during the exercise that when you are doing the alternate lines of text which use real words, that at times the subject matter of your language will be the same as the previous phrase in which you were using words, and at times the subject matter will have shifted. But, in either case, you will feel that you can trust that whatever is coming out of your mouth is OK for the scene, because you will know that it comes from a renewed contact with the Source.

Advanced version: try this once you feel you have firmly established for yourself the habit of constantly renewing your contact with the Source. Start your scene with nonverbal vocal sounds. Once you feel you have established a strong connection to the Source, switch permanently to using real words, but maintain the sense you had developed from the previous exercise that with every new “phrase” you are renewing your connection to the Source.