Chaos Attraction

Improv 301, Week 1: I Started Rioting Before You Guys

2016-03-18, 9:34 a.m.

Oh, yay for being back.

Much to my surprise, this class was a full one (sixteen people are signed up, I think, though I guess someone didn't show). I signed up on Monday night so I must have squeaked in, whew. Since my 201 class was small, I reasonably assumed that everything after 101 might be low on people. I don't think this will be a problem, though! And two of my 201 classmates are in here too, so yay for us all continuing on. The other folks also seem quite nice and funny, so yay there. I'm excited.

He did announce that they are going to have auditions...on a day and time when I am supposed to be in San Jose with ridiculously expensive sorta-Broadway theater tickets. DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT. Okay, so clearly I am not ready to make any kind of team (see below) anyway, but I would have gone to see how they go. He said "you do a full Harold with random people and the usual folks are judges." They are taking at least 8 people...which I know wouldn't be me anyway and I would bet there'd be way too many people auditioning anyway, but...darn it. Oh well, I've accepted I'm not going to make a team, there are so very many good people out there, so get over it.

I don't know how much in the way of "new" material we're doing exactly, I think this class might just be more along the lines of practicing Harolds a lot. Brian did a brief lecture recapping how things go for those of us who haven't been here for awhile. Notable new-ish points:

* How to recover from a bad pattern? Stop, take a deep breath, and figure out what you're missing and fill in the blanks. Make what was working into a pattern.
* Thinking is ok on stage.

The rest of the night we spent doing monologues and first and second beat scenes only.

First round:
Monologue A: we have a TV reporter in class and he talked about when he worked in Southern California, if there was an earthquake everyone had to call into work (and probably go to work whether they were on or not) to see if anything happened. Well, one day a minor earthquake happens and he has to go to work to man the phones. At some point he calls home to check on his roommate (?) and the dude says there's smoke in the apartment. This gets overheard and the next thing you know, they're sending the chopper cover that the guy burned popcorn.
Monologue B: a girl worked at a summer camp where she was teaching kids to make paper airplanes and the kids were super creepily obsessed with war and bombings. She complained to her supervisor that she was dealing with uh, Nazi kids and the supervisor didn't care, so she quit.
Monologue C: a guy was on an 8 hour plane flight describing how a baby was basically holding them all hostage until it got a lollipop. He made a reference to this being his "airplane family" because they're all stuck together for so long.

Scenario A: Trump Summer Camp! You build your own prison wall and learn how to goose step, and "I have an armband for you...."
Scenario B: The idea of an "airplane family," as one guy's seatmate insists that they roleplay various family relations. "I don't think I want to be a mom at this point in my life on an airplane." There was also the line about pretending to be a grandmother: 'just be old and knit."
Scenario 3: Reporters looking for news on the streets--one thinks non-newsworthy things are likely to be drug deals and sexting, while ignoring a supposed prison riot.

Quotes from Brian on these:
"Always edit when it's about to get racist" (or uncomfortable), because what's going to come next after the word "armband?
"I started rioting before you guys...."

Second round that I was in:
Monologue A: playing in a football game where the opponent had a bland smiley face on ALL THE TIME no matter what was going on, which gave me an idea....
Monologue B: Living in the dorms where each floor had animal mascots, and one day after a break the guy returned to find that someone had pranked everyone by moving all of the animals on the doors to the wrong floor.
Monologue C: I sadly didn't pay too much attention to this because I was too busy attempting to think out my idea, but it apparently ended with someone setting a fire on Thanksgiving.

Scenario A: This was my idea--an actor who only acts with their eyes because it's too hammy to use the rest of your face--but I pretty much bungled it because I'd have to be the unusual/lead character and I had no idea how to introduce that into a scene. I ended up making it into a teaching scene, which was a giant do not like.
Scenario B: animal themes used to decorate the floors of a prison and mental institution. That ended up being a teaching scene, which he didn't like either.
Scenario C: this apparently involved mutated lab animals. The lead two were kind of confusing me, but I did enjoy the "bear-penguin" and "mantis macaw" being acted out.

Notes from Brian on this:
Situation is hard to put into a scene--do a character
Everyone knows everything about the world you're in--no teaching.
I should have just announced to everyone that I only act with my eyes right off the bat.

Third round (with four people so it was shorter):
Monologue A: A girl just moved in with a new roommate who turned out to be a frat boy, so she came home one night and found the place covered in frat boys telling her it was a private party ("I live here") and then she went and hid in her room frantically drinking hibiscus tea while listening to dudes yell, "Fucking bitch didn't like my dick!"
Monologue B: A girl who never got why people thought her grandma was so cool-- I gather this wasn't going on so much when she was a kid--until she saw a video of her grandma goosing her dad. Oh, so that's why she's cool!

Scenario A: "You've never been to a party like Grandma's party!" Grandma throws a 21st birthday party for her grandson. Notable moments: giving her grandson the pick of the litter of the bluehairs, who will pinch your cheek and other areas; taking shots from your pillbox, snorting Klonopin, panties in the kid's face, and the kid wondering if someone had a diabetes needle or a heroin needle. GREAT scene.
Scenario B: first round was a supposed hippie roommate who sacrificed the cat ("she's still squirming." "we have to let her die naturally!"), second round was an obsessive football fan.

Afterwards was Improv Jam (you should all be going to that to get practice stage time). Scenes I was in:
(a) told a monologue about trying to get my car headlight replaced
(b) scene with drunk bros in a bar where one of them gets very easily drunk, I eventually got him married off to another girl spontaneously in the bar and filmed it
(c) scene where the birth of baby Jesus was re-enacted except they were looking for a car mechanics, I was one of the Three Pep Boys, and the baby was named O'Reilly.
(d) scene in a playground where we were all in time out acting like prison inmates and I was bragging that I made someone bleed by tripping them in Chinese jump rope.

It was nice! Some folks said hi to me and that I did a good job--which helped after how class went. NICE TO BE BACK, Y'ALL!

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