Chaos Attraction

Improv 301, Week 3: When In Doubt, Grab A Pole

2016-04-02, 12:05 p.m.

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I came in late (stupidly mixed up what day it was) so I probably missed a bit at the beginning, darn it. When I came in, he was lecturing about third beats.

* Third beat goes from an 8 to a 10.
* Can try to blend 2 scenes, or 3, or do a group if you want.
* It's improv nirvana when everything comes together and all the scenes blend well. It's rare, Brian's only seen it one time in two years.
* All he cares about is seeing that you got in all 3 acts.
* Third beat is a space in time.
* You can add Scene B to Scene A, then Scene C to Scene B.

The rest of this night was dedicated to group scenes.

* Group scenes usually have most of the people on stage in them.
* They are anti-scenes where most of the time everyone's unusual.
* You have to have a pattern.
* People tend to stand there talking and hit the pattern without doing anything. "Wow, that was super boring."
* It's hard to duplicate with 5 people, the pattern may shift.
* One person should initiate and one person should edit.
* You get to Crazy Town a lot faster.
* You can have second beats on a second group scene--usually it's a time dash.
* "Whatever happens, incorporate it and make it work."
* Third hit solidifies the pattern.
* Most important thing is listening--don't drift off
* Establish a world where you initiate
* Use tap outs and cut to's, endowments can be done.
* Listen, agree, "what world am I in and if this is true, then what else is true?" Be invested in the group scene.
* "You have to have that group mind."
* He said that at I/O, they do "organic openings" which he hates because people just kinda start randomly moving and then all the scenes start out with like, astronauts or something, and they don't do a monologue. He likes pattern based openings. Also, the audience thinks it's weird as they're trying to figure out an idea by doing random shit on stage.
* Group scene is organized chaos and that's why you go out one at a time.
* If you don't know what you're doing, go big.
* Give it space to develop at the start, don't just hop in.
* The audience realizes how difficult it is to have everyone in sync.
* A second person should follow the initiator out, and everyone else should be ready to jump in.
* You should all know each other in group scenes.
* Can repeat an entrance/signature move
* End on a hit
* "Play the pattern to crazy."
* Everybody can edit in group scenes if everyone is in it. if someone is still on the wall, they edit
* Seven people in a line is the most boring scene

Random Brian quote during this as he's reading his notes on his phone: "Blah blah...I made some changes to the curriculum, I'm not blah blahing things you need to know."

We played a game called "Follow the Follower" in which we were all supposed to kind of imitate each other in one giant group scene....which is kinda hard to describe. Though at one point Brian said he was changing the name of this to Boy Band.
Then we did one called "Environmental Charades," in which one person defines what they are doing in a space, silently, and others come in one at a time doing something related to that. The first two people were doing something in a barnyard. The third person couldn't really figure out what they were doing and just picked something...."I was cracking a safe. in a barnyard." However, this looked like she was being a vet, so that was all good. Someone else said they were butchering a pig.

Brian approved of this and said we should be supporting people and not punking them out. Justify what someone is doing if they don't get what is going on and are doing something that doesn't fit. Make them look good, don't call them out and make them look bad just for the laugh.

We did "Build A Band" again and then I ended up being the one who didn't get what was going on--I thought someone was playing terrible guitar and then started playing terrible triangle and they really meant to be doing bagpipes. Brian was all, "That's what I say when everything is out of control: oh, it's a fusion band." Later he was talking about how Scottish bands only seem to consist of bagpipers and the guy throwing the pole in the air and said, "When in doubt, grab a pole."

Then we did group scene practice for the rest of the night:

* Eating bland foods (I didn't really get why that was a thing)
* Someone doing a story about spotting a masturbator in their car on prom night, which led to....well, "there's so many ways to masturbate!" and "we just want to orchestrate the jacking off." This led to a discussion about following the simplest things in a pattern, which sometimes may be the smartest thing or sometimes may be the crudest, and even if you're uncomfortable, you should "play it like you want to be in the masturbation scene."
Other fun quotes from others: "You can't unsee this shit!" and "Sometimes you gotta go down the rabbit hole."
* From another monologue: "This is how I'm going to die, in a table fire." This led to a scene about inept campers who lose things, which led to people saving water and pee in boots.
* I was in a scene in which using power tools was drowning out construction. "So my supervisor said to me... (drill drill drill) and I was all, "I don't know what to say to that!" That was fun.


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