Chaos Attraction

Improv 301 2.0 Week 2: Use Your Uncomfortable Life

2016-05-19, 11:37 p.m.

Previous week here.

This week: again, group scenes!

* Try to think of ideas for scenes when you read newspaper headlines.
* My idea: listen to podcast monologues and try to think of ideas based on them.
* Use Improv Jam practice as one of a variety of skills to work on, not just to impress people being funny.
* Brian decides to work on a particular thing/skill before every ACL show. The one time he was in a good mood and was all “I’m just going to kill it!”, he sucked.
* You’re going for situational comedy.
* “Sometimes even at the highest levels” people forget what they’re doing.
* Harold is a road map/definitive structure
* We don’t really have time to do openings like invocation here (rehearsal wise we don’t have the time like the LA people), so we do monologues because they don't require practice/training.
* Not a lot of walk ons in the first beat.
* If you are an extra person, initiate group scenes.
* If you’re having a problem thinking of something to do, he says we’re going to go over “mutual scenes” later at the end of class—scenes without a pattern you create together. (Note: this was on the Improv 301 handout:

Group scenes:
* Anti-scene where everyone is unusual
* Most people are in it
* Have a pattern but more fluid
* Have to get 5 people on board
* Listening here is the most crucial of all
* Have to pay attention to how the pattern morphs
* Dynamic and fun, should have moment
* Time dash or analogous on group scenes is a Comedy Spot thing, nobody else does that. Group scenes used to be more about doing improv games.
* “Hey, everybody get in here!” as an opener sucks because it has no information in it for anyone to play.
* Standing on line is not a scene
* Everybody has to go one at a time
* Only have two come out at first.
* “blah blah pattern blah blah hit.”
* “I just have “listening” every other line” (in his notes)
* Little or no justification for what you're doing
* What else could be happening in this place?
* Playing smart gets bigger laughs—choose a hit that everybody knows, but not everybody’s thinking
* 2 hits on something is a pattern
* “Use your uncomfortable life in improv scenes.”

* that game where everyone imitates each other and heightens. You have to check in on what everyone’s doing. “It was like you guys were in a cult for a second.”
* Environmental charades game—show environment in silence. Scenes I was in were being a circus juggler, on a construction site.
* Build a band game. After we were in a marching band going around in a circle (I threw a baton) he was all, “Please keep going in a line…I feel fulfilled tonight."

Then we did the same group scene scenarios from before:
* Horror camping tropes. “This is fun, I’m a virgin!”
* Weird parachute confession scene: “You hot boxed the parachute?” Of course someone did. Also, pushing grandma downstairs is fun!
* Seduction objects in a hotel room
* Dance moves that look like things you like to do. His idea came from “how to kill ourselves as dance moves.” Which is apparently something he'd do in clubs. Also,
“I am the master of calling out little things.”

Finally, we did some practice--one monologue followed by a group scene based on the monologue. I regret to say that once again my entire group choked and was unable to think of a scene based on the subject matter of a chick's boyfriend getting bombarded with spilled food at a fair--or at least the one guy who did come up with an idea--food fight fashion show--got told it was all his show if he was narrating it and the rest of it couldn't talk. Brian stepped in and started a scene taking place on Thanksgiving when everyone spills on each other. The other group's monologue was on a guy being a crappy military surgery assistant and being yelled at, so their scene was a surgery one where people yelled at each other.

Improv Jam, on the other hand, went really well. At least in the group I was in--the other group had a frightening one based off of a guy wanting a volunteer at the SPCA to kill the puppies. (The guy playing the volunteer had no idea how he was supposed to handle that one, he told me later. I was all, even if it's imaginary puppies I didn't want to watch that.)

I did a monologue about my Jedi powers of being able to be unnoticed on occasion, such as when trying to avoid being called on in class or when there was a creeper in the bead store when I was visiting Jess. (Link?) One guy thought I said "bean store," and I was all, "no, bead store, bean store would be a whole 'nother thing," which turned into....

1. A scene in which bank robbers go in and then make themselves invisible and nobody notices them, a cop comes in and starts taking money, I come in as the manager (and then got caught in a weird position when someone else came in, so I don't know what I was doing), and then a black guy comes in and THEN the cops start trying to arrest people...I forget how he ended that gag, but it was great. (And illustrated a point Brian made in class earlier about how only people of certain groups can make certain jokes.)

2. A scene in a bean store where the employees reveal they are made out of beans and are super creepy and being all "one of us" and "eat the samples." I plugged musical beans a whole lot and then got super creepy...and then the guy turned into a zombie bean person and the scene got even weirder, with one guy trying to get away and I was slowly throwing beans at him. Heh heh heh.

3. I wasn't in this scene (for good reason, hoo boy was I not hopping into that), but it was cracking me up. It starts out with two guys narrating a dog show. Eric bounds out as a basset hound, doing a rather laborious imitation of one, and then the first guy is all, "Let's rewind that back and show it again..." after he does that a few times, the scene cuts to Eric telling the guy that as a Time Master, he can't keep on being a dick like this and making the poor dog do the show over again 300+ times. So naturally this sort of thing kept on happening over and over again....On the one hand, poor Eric. On the other hand, it was evil genius to watch.

previous entry - next entry
archives - current entry
hosted by