Chaos Attraction

Improv 301, 2.0, Week 4: I Walk In A Potential Taco

2016-06-03, 6:27 p.m.

Previous week here.

This week's focus was on character. I do like character week.

Games played as warmups: Pass the Character, and the emotional equivalent of Zip, Zap, Zop.

Brian's lecture:
Remember Denzel’s single tear--he acts by holding emotion in and then letting one tear out. (Also, "Denzel's Single Tear" should be the name of an improv team.)
All your choices should support pattern
Choose location and character
At core we are actors
Commit to the bit
You embody a character
Who of the scene
Don’t do caricature
Do cheats on how to develop character quickly
Anna Deveare Smith does impressions
How someone breathes
Don’t break
Don’t laugh at yourself
Don’t stereotype genders
Stance (wide vs close) and lower/higher voice will do it for playing genders
“Everything I’m about to share with you is not the fucking Bible.” And should have an asterick by it

Then he talked about "character cheats” or easy ways to physically get into playing a character. We walked around leading with head, chest, pelvis or feet, then talked about what kind of people lead with what.

Head: thinkers
Chest: earned confidence
Pelvis: swagger confidence or misplaced confidence
Feet: creatives, stoners, wanderers
(Brian: “I walk in a potential taco.”) Head and feet, worried entrepreneur who also doesn’t care. “If you’re conflicted all the time, walk in a C, folks!”

Then we practiced High and low status walks.
High: unapologetic about who you are
Low status: has no personal bubble

Quotes from Brian in general:
“I don’t care what you wanna do, I just want to see you do something.”
“The best improvisers are the smartest people.” They try new things, watch people.
If he leaves town, he gets inspired by new experiences.
You need to do things out of your area. “Try new shit.”

We finished out with another half Harold:
Monologue A: One guy had a crush on a girl in a record store and kept trying to buy things to impress her.
Monologue B: This lady used to be married to a guy named "Ware" and they would make all kinds of jokes and puns about it.
Monologue C: I did this one about getting lost in the corn maze and having to follow the Boy Scouts to get out.

Scene A: Record store crush (second beat: bookstore), she did a good job at playing in love, and suggesting suggestive book titles. Afterwards she said, “I should have taken you to the erotica section.”
Scene B: I initiated this one with the concept of “people as products”—Jennifer Tupperware, I went on complaining about being treated like I'm plastic, then the guy is all, here, hold this bowl of guacamole...and one guy walked in and asked if I was microwave safe. On the second beat I went with the last name of Vacuum. Bian thought I was portraying an actual vacuum, and “Now that I know you weren’t a vacuum it made more sense to me.” Uh-huh. Maybe it was the part where I was fixated on picking up and dumping random things on the floor?
Scene C: Maze search—this one had issues trying to figure out how to use Boy Scouts, and pretty much petered out right away.
Group scene (I initiated): Wilderness training in Costco. It was kinda hard to get people on board with this and Brian said I was narrating/leading a bit too much, though some people figured it out later.

“It’s always better to know the thing everyone else knows.” –feeding the machine, do setup (on the question of, does the store clerk know she's in love with him or not?)
Don’t prompt people in group scenes, some of them are just gonna die.
Need to heighten and edit
Universal shares what we are familiar with
Simple ideas we can get behind
Say the words on the tip of your tongue.

Okay, still not great, but at least I did better than the last three weeks.

Jam went pretty good:
(a) Told story about my grandfather stealing candy and being a general jerk who was allowed to get away with whatever he wanted in our family because he was old.
(b) This led to a scene about how Old people can do what they want! I played the mom who agrees with grandpa’s behavior and cussed out the kid when he started dropping cuss words. Because remember, once you hit 65 you can call your grandson terrible things with impunity!
(c) Then I was in a scene where father and son went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and were smashing fish in the tanks, Evil fun timez.

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