Chaos Attraction

Improv 201, Week 6: It's Like Choreographed Chaos For 3 Minutes

2015-08-13, 10:59 p.m.

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So apparently the notifylist stopped working and nobody said anything about it to me and I can't find anything about it. Grrr. Have now replaced with TinyLetter.

Part one of today's entry here.

Improv class entries continued from here:

Since my class continues to be short on the bare minimum of people to actually do improv, this week two "celebrity guests," i.e. Harold Night performers, joined the class. Huzzah! We worked on initiating group scenes

This week was pretty much Group Scenes, Round 2, all class long.
We started out by having groups of five go up. One would ask for a suggestion, another would do the monologue (again, Brian was all "if you asked for a suggestion, don't do the monologue, it's cheating"), two people would start the group scene and one of them would set up the pattern, and then everyone else would jump in.

Brian first did this verbally by asking for suggestions for a situation in which people are playing bingo and have gangsta rap good luck charms. These ranged from... "We start with iced tea and end with a dead homie." Then he started initiating group ideas and having the rest of us come out.
* First one was doing "camping trip like horror movies," in which people would wander off to do things that should get them killed. "We just have to admit we're a bunch of stereotypical characters."
* Grade school teacher and his class that were sharing weird secrets, like "I don't really have a credential" and "I still wet the bed."
* Dance moves that look like something you do in regular life, like skiing, eating, going in an elevator, and getting drunk.
* Becoming "one with nature" at the Farmer's Market by doing up close and personal things with the produce, like rubbing it on yourself, shoving it down your clothes (that was me). The last guy refused to go dirty about it and decided to have a milk baptism instead, which I heartily joined in on while quoting from The Book Of Mormon musical. ("I JUST BAPTIZED YOU! Finally listening to that soundtrack all the time paid off!") Brian would have rather it gone dirty. "That's why I said someone's gonna fuck a pumpkin...."
* Paranoid landscapers (this was based off of one story about wildly growing plants in someone's yard scaring her when she went out to cut them)
* Famous explorers in history getting lost in giant weeds. Ponce de Leon, Columbus, Sacajawea, Lewis, Johnny Appleseed, D.B. Cooper...Brian apparently hadn't heard of that last one. He said he liked how we introduced who we were before giving our names ("I was leading these white guys around, but I lost them...seen any random white dudes around here? Besides you guys, I mean?").
* There was a scene involving a glass bottom boat that took awhile to get worked out, but it eventually boiled down to the people on the boat spotting Atlantis/Ark of the Covenant/Aquaman/sea monkeys, and then freaking out and speeding away rather than investigating.
* A bunch of suicidal people all show up at the same bridge to jump off. Pretty sure there's a book plot about this...
* Four rafters all start paddling in different directions--one wants to go down the falls, another paddles backwards, one wants to go to one side of the shore and the other wants to go to the other.
* Tandem 4-person bike where everyone thinks they're so cool but is really a giant nerd.
* Fish stories, in which the high school fishing team has a reunion and tell bullshit stories, are asked for proof, and come up with pretty lame proof, which the group accepts. For example, "I caught a great white shark" has the proof of a photo from Universal Studios, the guy who caught a pirate ship has a piece of driftwood, someone's got video of Finding Nemo, someone's got a photo with them and the prom queen technically in the same shot...

General notes:
* There are exceptions to every single rule you have heard since day 1 of improv 101.
* Sometimes group scenes are just a pattern of people doing fluid stuff.
* Pick a location that can accommodate a bunch of people and gives the audience something to sink their teeth into..
* Brian brought up Molly's queefstorm group scene idea again, giving some more detail about this. Alas, he neglected to mention WHERE this ship they were sailing was at...public hair? I'll always wonder. Anyway, he said to have a recognizable world and then add crazy.
* You're required to have a group mind going for this, which so far we obviously don't have going yet.
* Usually you only have two people coming out at once to do the setup, but sometimes someone will call out everyone on stage and force them out at once. If you call everybody out at once, it'd better be an easy pattern!
* Have conversations between people, not just hits.
* Always end on crazy town.
* Someone should make a list of "If someone does (X crazy thing), edit!" things. (I say maybe put that on a T-shirt.)
* Be supportive in group scenes.
* "It's like choreographed fucking chaos for three minutes." I love this quote.
* "It's like conducted chaos all the time." Love this quote too.
* Tell us how it's gonna roll in the beginning.
* Take offers from people.
* Have repeatable moments.
* Let the new person walk on and talk, don't have everyone talk at once.
* "You don't have to say shit all the time. Can just be fishing. It's not radio, people can still see you. It's ok to be nonverbal.

In other random news, we found out that the Comedy Spot has some amusing hold music. A while back I heard this best hold music while on hold for a conference call, and we found out that one fellow--the hammiest one here, Eric--was allowed to do the hold music. He sings fake hold music, has it fade out, does a promo, goes back to the music...or at least, that's what I got when one person called it and put it on speaker for us.


On to Improv Jam. Literally everyone else in the room wanted to go do Improv Jam tonight, so okay, fine, put my name in too.

Memorable moments from it:
* When the first team was called up, one guy was in the bathroom. The suggestion was "What do you think Mike is doing in the bathroom right now?" "Snorting coke!" was the first response, so naturally when Mike emerged he was rubbing his nose a lot. Even better, he did a monologue about it. "Snorting coke and bathrooms reminds me of finals week..." when someone offered him some mysterious German powder. "We can't just sit snorting white powder in the library...."
* Someone also told a story about going to the bathroom in France, where they have self-cleaning bathrooms. And by that, they mean the things are literally hosed down in between patrons (and thus are sopping wet but not clean), and she walked in one time before the rinse cycle started--OOPS.
* Eric said he works with a super perky dude at his fast food job who actually yaks on about having opportunities to learn. I HEAR YOUR FRUSTRATION, ERIC, because If I hear "learning opportunity" one more time... Or alternately, Not Another Learning Experience!
* Someone used to work at Borders and recounted the story of getting asked for real historical books on dragons. Before she realized what she was saying, she spouted "They didn't have cameras when dragons were alive..." before realizing that she had to explain to a grown man that dragons weren't real. After that, the team did the "superhero funeral" game for Borders, the final line was "I thought this was for Blockbuster."
* There were a ton of good monologues this night. I do need to mention the one that Molly told about Eric--specifically that she found out that he writes up argument points ahead of time if he thinks they're going to get into a fight about something. Which ticked her off, so apparently he spent the night drinking tequila and eating croutons. I wanted to yell, "I DO THAT TOO!" so bad. This led to a toilet seat debate scene.
* As for things I actually did on stage, at one point I got into a Lyft car with a goofy/stoned driver, acted wasted myself, and started pretending to tongue his ear. Why? I don't know, it seemed fun. And I got into a scene where all the Jeffs in Jeffsville were having a meeting to discuss identity theft. I eventually indicated that I was the one doing it because really, aren't we all the same anyway? Don't you just borrow someone else's ID from time to time?" I got told, "That's really ignorant, Jeff." I also threw in a joke about Jennifers because well, I can't resist.


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