“Therefore you shall be careful
to do as the Lord your God has commanded you;
you shall not turn aside
to the right hand or to the left.”
My family has been watching a new sitcom lately ~ well, new to us. It’s probably been on for several years, but we just stumbled on it in syndication, and it’s bringing us some laughs. It’s so great to find things that all of us like. Makes for fun evenings home together.
One of the things that’s entertaining to us ~ outside of the humorous lines the characters say ~ is trying to decide if any of the lines are ad-libbed by the actors. Some of them seem so off-the-cuff that sometimes we’re just sure they were spontaneous, and then didn’t get cut out or reshot.
I did read an interview with one of the principal actors a few months ago, and he talked about one of his ad-libbed lines that made it into the show. He was so proud of it, though, that it led me to believe it doesn’t happen often. He even said that the cast had competitions, to try and see if any of them could get their ad-libs included. This, too, makes me think it’s only occasionally. And yet, we know that it has happened. So lots of funny lines cause us to wonder if that’s one of them.
And of course, I don’t want to short-change the writers when I’m giving out credit in my mind. I’m sure there are a whole team of talented, accomplished people whose names are not known in households across America, even though their work is popular.
There’s something fun about wondering; about knowing that even though the cast are actors, not writers, that doesn’t mean they don’t have the talent to come up with funny lines. And of course, any director or a producer who encourages his cast to think outside the script a little bit, is getting more from them than if they feel stilted or robotic in their work.
And you know what that has me thinking about this evening? “Love the Lord thy God.” And, “love thy neighbor”. The commandments came from Him, but there’s lots of room for us to ad-lib there. How we obey those instructions differs from person to person; sometimes widely. Which might be why He wants us to “not look to the left or to the right”.
Love. Love Him and love others. But don’t be afraid of a little improv.