In this scene two performers will be assigned different statuses. At some point in the scene they must switch their statuses.
Status Transfer is both a handle and an exercise. The structure discussed here is the handle that is laid over an open scene. The host should set up one performer as high status and the other performer as low status
The two characters create an open scene with a narrative arc. At some point during the story the characters will find a mechanism to transfer the statuses between each other. So the low status character will become high status and the high status character will become low status. This transfer is strongest when it arises from the narrative. There are many kinds of narrative tools. Learn Improv uses the narrative tool STEPS.
Low status characters are not victimes and high status characters are NOT assholes. The host and performers should avoid stereotypical portrayals of status in their culture. There is a more detailed explanation of high and low status in the exercise version of Status Transfer.
- Emotion Transfer – Performers exchange the emotions of their characters.
- Up and Down – The status transfer can flip back and forth a few times in the scene.