Chaos Attraction

Improv 201, Week 8: The Beautiful Ballet Of The Breach

2015-08-27, 11:05 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.

Previous week here. Related entry after that here.

Random notes first:
* “If that's true, then what else is new?”
* Don't blend your pattern with a bad scene.
* “I saved an improv scene, said nobody.” Edit and get on with your life.
* Someone mentioned the idea of Captain Improv—this should be on a T-shirt or something. Brian did get shirts saying “Welcome to Crazy Town” on them and I bought one right after class to wear to graduation.
* In 201 you understand the structure.
* Brian doesn't care if you are in a line in a group scene as long as it's good and committed to the pattern.
* 2nd beats can be inspired by anything happening previously on stage as long as it's not tied into other scenes.
* Harolds should go 25 minutes, the opening/monologues should be about 5 minutes of that.

Today we did two full Harolds in preparation. First one!

Monologues: one of them was about being pulled over in a car and being honest about what he had been doing (“I thought you were my friend messing with me from behind,” something like that), I forget the other two but they were pretty car/cop related.

1a: Throwing things at girls at a party to get their attention, such as ice. Heighten what you throw and label it. The initiator said, “I like girls to be crazy like my ex.” His scene partner later said, “You seemed like such a gentleman and then you were throwing ice at the ladies.”
1b. Throwing things at the waiter to get his attention, like a knife. “____, you looked so proud of yourself when you asked for fresh rolls.” Added point: you could have things ricochet off a wall.
1c: Throwing things at a kid during the school play, such as your phone and chair, because that kid is in your daughter's way. Eventually we do want to know why something's happening.

2a: Factory workers, one of them is being unsafe—untucking shirt, untie the tie, drinking beer. “Because is a very powerful word in improv.” Use detail, be specific. The grounded person finally called him out for trying to get workman's comp.
2b: Nursery workers being unsafe with babies—Brian said he needed to do something for some other reason, perhaps controlling the population?
2c: Police scene—unsafe cop killed 14 people while investigating a domestic disturbance. This was the conversation afterwards—should have been in the action instead. Need a pattern and why to do an analogous scene successfully. This one got amusingly edited by two people making siren noises.

Here's the one I initiated:
3a: I got pulled over by a cop and was honest about what was going on—had one wine cooler, bad headlight and windshield wiper, have a dead dog in the trunk... Brian said I did a really good job of establishing the pattern by saying it at the beginning (“I'll be honest with you”), best way to let someone know it's a time dash. It's okay/encouraged to say the pattern in the 2nd and 3rd beats. Put the levels in order and uphill. Tell my why in scene. Other guy shouldn't leave the scene, stick to one location.
3b: At my review, I confessed to not filling up the water jugs or washing coffee cups. Another person walked on and asked about a missing wallet--”sorry, I needed $5, here it is, I owe you!” Then I finally confessed to punching a coworker.
3c: in heaven, I'm about to give my last confession and God's all,”well, the gates were already open...”

Game 1: everyone in a train making fire engine noises and waving at each other, and finally someone says, “Uh, where is the fire?” Brian's response to this: “You gang bang the shit outta group scene.” The smart play is to heighten what you're doing.

Game 2: FBI breaking down doors in coordination. After someone remarking on the “beautiful ballet of the breach,” it turned into coordination involving pirouettes and jazz hands. Brian said we gang banged the shit out of it again and maybe should have entered one at a time and stuck to door-breaking in unison.

Brian was happy with it, and I was too. I feel a lot better about doing Harold now that at least one time I managed to successfully pull off all three beats that I initiated. Yay! Go me!

During the break time, we found out from Brian that “For Star Wars “ (movie release, I assume), “I am gonna dress as a Harry Potter character.”

Second Harold of the night:
Monologues: one guy found out that an octopus at the Monterey aquarium was caught climbing out of its tank, slithering across the floor, climbing into another tank and eating the fish out of it and then going back again. (HOLY SHIT OCTOPI ARE SCARY.), one about wanting to find out what her presents were so she unwrapped them really well to peek, another one about how his sister was mad at him for a gift he got her and he brought it up again years later.

1a: Two octopi raid a house and hit the games, including Sorry! and trying to see if there's candy to eat in Candy Land. There is not. Pattern: animals doing human things. Pick your moment to move when playing animals, don't have to be waving like octopuses on land all the time.
1b: Two eagles making a dinner reservation at Outback Steakhouse, they get pissed off when the rack has already been used by a theater company. “We double booked that rack.”
1c: Seals at a strip club.

2a: “I never forget.” At her little brother's birthday party, the sister gives him the wheel off her Barbie Jeep because he broke it off and he must have wanted it. She also gives him the ribbons off a present he ripped off.
2b: At the high school reunion, she gives the girl that got her prom queen title the crown and sash she left behind, and the promise ring that her boyfriend was going to give her before he hooked up with the prom queen. Memories never die!
2c: At her anniversary party, she gives the maid of honor cake, “you clearly wanted it.” Brian said she should have given a “not-present” like a kick in the crotch. Give a concept rather than a thing.

3a. Super-competitive dude trounces his kid at bowling. (I think she had no idea what to do related to the monologues and just did something. Probably a good idea there.)
3b: Pre-prom sex talk about the kid's girlfriend. Somehow came out with a remark about washing nipples.
3c: Yelling during brain surgery about who has more awards.

Group 1 (initiated by me—I couldn't think of a way to get this into a funny 3 scene idea, but decided later it worked for a group scene): creative ways people found out their Christmas presents. I snoop through purses for receipts (yes, I did that as a kid once), someone checks a computer for fingerprints, another girl follows her boyfriend around and thinks mama's gonna get a strip pole for Christmas, and the last guy knows his wife is having a boy because...
Brian: “Always edit in rummaging around your wife's vagina.”
He said I should have set this up as some kind of family gathering, but I'm pretty happy with it.

Group 2 was drunk guys toasting at a wedding and mentioning “the macaroni incident,” “the octopus down the pants night.” The third guy didn't quite seem to get how he was supposed to do it and the others were prompting him to use the word “incident” when talking about streaking at graduation.

Brian said it's very difficult to do Harolds back to back and he thinks we did a really good job. He said we know when things work and when they don't and stay humble, fuck up and fail.


At Jam tonight, I didn't catch all that much of the first two teams for (a) running late, (b) running off to buy a shirt, and (c) peeing, but moments of note were a scene involving ceramics made from bodily functions, and a monologue by Eric about forcing his friend—a real derby ginger*--to watch Beverly Hills Chihuahua. “I love making friends suffer. So don't be friends with me.” This led to a skitch in which Eric had to audition for the play “Memoirs of a Derby Ginger.”

• No, I don't know what this is and Google did not help.

I am SOOOOOOOOOO happy with how my team scene went. So happy!

Monologue 1: Molly talking about getting a second puppy. The first one is an angel and the second one is very bad, including humping his brother so that she finds herself screaming, “Stop fucking your brother!” frequently.

THIS OF COURSE led me to doing #2 about my experiences with Jasmine the Humping Cat. “You took photos of this?” Molly said. I was all, of course, wouldn't you want evidence of this?

Monologue #3 was Justine starting out with, “The first time I saw old man balls, I was in middle school....” and some dude was airing 'em out while she was rafting.

SO THIS WAS GOOOOOOOOD.

Scenes included:
(a) Clearly inspired by my cat scene, one guy presenting his ass, flashing his crotch, and other lascivious behavior at his date, who was rapidly reconsidering staying on the date. I love it when I see stuff based on my monologues, so great.
(b) A guy going over to the neighbor's apartment to ask why they keep hearing “stop fucking your brother!” through the walls, while his wife yells commentary through the door. More and more brothers keep showing up in the apartment as this goes on.
c Me and another girl playing my little sister—she's trying to be all rebellious by sneaking cookies, I brag that I ate the dough. Mom comes out looking for the dope...er, dough...and when I asked if the dope was in the dough she was all, “What are you, a cop?” Hah.
(d) A guy goes to a swimsuit store asking for a suit that covers the penis but not the balls.

It was truly awesome and I loved that night.


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