Chaos Attraction

Improv Lab, Visit 1

2015-05-27, 4:04 p.m.

So my improv school also has a weekly drop-in lab session where you go to a class for an hour and a half and then can go see the last 2/3 of Harold Night after it. (There's also an Improv Jam thing, but that's on Thursdays and I am still booked on those for a few more weeks.) Now that I have some free Wednesdays, I have decided to go to those whenever I can between now and class starting again. I miss going to class already and it's been what, a week and a half? Though I did come to the sad revelation that I can go to only a few of these--maybe one more lab and one or two jams--before class starts due to meeting schedules and going on vacation. Bummah.

Anyway, I enjoyed the lab workshop--I have the impression it has a wide variety of people's levels of experience. There were more women than men--to the point where until the first guy walked in, we were all thinking it was weird to not have any. Everyone was super nice and we all had a great time performing together. It was somewhat dedicated to warmup-type games, a little lecture, and a little Harold-ish improv, in a style called "Dinner Party" in which we were paired off in twos of different pairs at the same party--you create a scenario and then try to come up with ways that your groups blend into each other. I liked how ours came out--the first two were at a White House party and one of them was trying to suppress something secret, and I was on the other side being all "I'm a Californian! I didn't know we were going to the White House! I would have worn nicer clothes than this!" So we raided the coat closet and found someone's badge and gun...heh heh heh. Score.

Other games played: the name game, doing gestures, high and low status posturing.. There was one called "Thunderdome" in which people competed against each other trying to name stuff from a category until someone ran out of ideas. And then it finished off with a game about both of you trying to come up with some random word at the same time, and eventually the two of you need to get to the point where you're both saying the same word by finding common words in the middle. Good lord, that was hard for people and was making the teacher swear a lot. I've been reading a lot of improv books lately (if you see the bookblog, anyway) and some of them talk about group mind and telepathy kicking in--well, I don't think that was going on with complete strangers!

* Come off the back line in character.
* It's natural that you want to get along with others on stage, but don't match the other person exactly. If the first guy is digging, then you don't start digging too right off the bat.
* Agree and then add.
* Start blending conversations together.
* If you're the supporting character and the crazy character is just freaking awful, keep tossing them thing s to do.
* We'll buy anything you're selling once you establish the relationship.
* Use awareness of the stage setup
* Make it easy on yourself and your partner.

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