Chaos Attraction

Improv 101 Week Three: The Genitalia Fairy

2015-04-07, 10:19 p.m.

Continued from here.

This week's class (the rest of them as well) was on the stage, now that nothing else is going on in the building on Tuesdays. This week was mostly all about The Pitch.

Exercise #1: everybody had to sing some kind of song for a few bars, then someone else would jump in singing something related to that song. Those not jumping in were to sing/dance/clap along to build encouragement. This got so enthusiastic I was kicking myself for not bringing water.

Exercise #2: I like bananas. The first person says they like bananas (or some other thing), the second has to say they like bananas so much they eat them every day, the third has to say they like them so much they wear banana peels as a dress...basically, you keep escalating until someone hits Crazy Town. At one point the theme was "I love this chair" and when it got to me, I said I love this chair so much I'll have sex in it. YUP, I WENT THERE. Later when the theme was beer, I said I drink so much beer I pee more beer, which was followed by a guy saying he gets drunk on his own pee, followed buy a guy saying he gets drunk on the other guy's pee...Crazy Town!

Exercise #3: Pitching. Pitching was the thing emphasized in this week, i.e. coming up with a character to base a sketch on. I' mentioned last week that we were talking about doing monologues and then using them as ideas for sketches that follow. In this case, we were to suggest some character with a weird issue, like a guy who's mosh pitting at a Sarah MacLachlan concert, and then come up with funny things to do with that person. My idea was a tooth fairy who takes the teeth (and dentures) of old people. Hey, a recession's on, I got quotas...

The final pitching exercise was having someone do a monologue and then people would think of characters they could do based on it. I hopped on stage and told the story of making Sculpey genitalia at a Beltane party. I agreed to take home the pieces and bake them, but not everyone picked them up and two years later, I had a bunch of clay penises and vadges left over. So the following Beltane, I wrapped up the pieces and scattered them throughout the arboretum, and they were all picked up within 24 hours because everyone loves free genitalia! So we discussed having a genitalia fairy, a genitalia collector... Fun times. We'll do more of that next week.

Notes I took:
* Harolds should be about 20-25 minutes long. "There's nothing worse than a Harold that runs for 40 minutes."
* They have 20 slots at open mike.
* "Harold's like a really nutty beer." (Which is to say, they don't do it too often on sellout Saturday nights, except for the Riot team which is the cream of the crop.)
* If you learn the Harold, you can do any show.
* You have to trust everyone on your team.
* Regarding last week's Cage Match, he said it was very hard to do a 2-person team, and he talked about the Super Enthusiastic emcee of it, comparing him to someone else he'd seen who "learned to focus her energy like a laser." He also mentioned a few people from here that had gone on to move to LA from here and do UCB, one got a pilot for awhile. He said that one decided to move to LA to go after her dreams, NOT be a star. Good point.
* If you snort at something during a monologue, it's probably scene worthy.
* A team will do 3-4 monologues, and try to get 2 ideas out of each one. You can't reuse the same idea after someone uses it. (Darn it.) Callbacks are ok though.
* You don't want a theme during the monologues, you want to get suggestions that are far away from each other.
* "Harold is like an upside-down ice cream cone."
* "You gotta earn your banana fuck." Uh...I'm not entirely sure on the context of this...I think it was during the banana exercise.
* "If you can outsmart everyone, think of what nobody else is thinking of, then you get to Crazy Town faster."
* "It's the smart hit we weren't thinking about."
* "The difference between a good show and a bad show are the fuckups."
* "Our job as a grounded player is to feed the machine."
* Be inspired by the monologue, but don't acknowledge that you heard the monologue. "Pretend that the monologue never happened because audiences are dumb."
* You can't do a scene based on your own monologue.
* Always pitch scenes from the unusual.
* Show the pattern, but don't talk about the pattern.
* Point out a pattern at first, then set up the unusual person to play the pattern.
* Next week he wants to play a game called "Who's That _ I Want To __?" Ruh-roh.

I think monologuing is my favorite thing in this.

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