Rote memory is a beast of a tool. We wield it to form habits, but if you’re not aware, it’s also how expectations & habits get formed with only your subconscious’s consent. It’s a tool that’s been used by armies to fake courage in situations where the average person without an ingrained discipline would have an extra pause when action is needed.
To what I want to say.
When I improvise, I have a problem of making my boldest, bossiest, most no-holds-barred moves while improvising as “a dude”. Which is stupid, because it’s a girl doing the moves. Me. This happens when I write too, and it’s something I’ve been working on fighting for years. If this happens to you too, I’m sorry.
Do I know what causes it? No. But I think it might have something to do with a lot of guys being the samples who came before me, and having their voices in my head as something to imitate as I learn (i.e. Standup sounding a lot like Dave Chappelle or Will Ferrell when I started because those are two comedians I really love & I didn’t know my voice yet.).
Diversity is important because it changes the specifics of your rote memory. And it breaks apart what your go-tos are & throws new go-tos in there.
Like adding a cool song you’re into into Hot Spot rather than putting Baby Got Back in again.
Because a joke needs a setup, a point of relatability, and it takes longer to explain something that is new, I think ppl (myself included) get lazy & go to the first easily relatable thing rather than hunting for a unique or “true-r to their actual experience” example. Improv is a tempting ground for this; group mind is easier to achieve quickly if you say something other ppl can quickly ingest. I know with Peruvian specifics - and it’s not because no one wants to play with them or that I am ashamed of them - it takes up time & you have to put in the sentence “lomo saltado is steak with fries on it” before you can say “order up.”
It’s hard to create new specifics if you’re used to the same specifics & are sated to not hunt for new specifics. Hunting diversity, pursuing it, can only help us use our rote memories for good.