Improv 301 2.0 Week 6: Jacking Off A Llama
Previous week here.
We discussed invocation, which is another method of getting ideas that Del Close came up with, and it seems pretty well based off of the pagan idea of invocation to me. I actually saw Brian do this in a 2-person Harold show, so I had some questions.
How invocation works:
(a) Inanimate object suggestion
(b) Describe object: it is, you are, thou art, I am
(c) Turn those descriptions into characters
(d) Everyone talks as character. “I am chair.”
My friend Melinda keeps telling me I should have “a stable of characters” a la SNL while doing improv, so I asked Brian about that. He said that was hard to have a stable of characters that you regularly use-but he does have go to voices. He also has a weird quirk of always wanting to do scenes in boats--“Oh shit, we have nothing, let’s row this boat.” (I’ve never seen him do it, so I guess he’s broken himself of it?) Anyway, he said we create characters on the fly, and he’s not into having safety areas to default to--have ideas to play coming from the scene.
Warmup: We did “dance party,” one of my favorites where you make up a dance move based off of something you do IRL. I did real moves like knitting and putting on a backpack. “Jacking off a llama” is what someone thought someone was doing…which makes you wonder about someone’s regular daily life if they do that :P
* Entrances start on the back line.
* Lots of info you can give walking out, be in character. Chris Farley made big decisions.
* Best way is to make an entrance and say something.
* Commit to simple things as a way to play character.
* Lots of detail in monologue
* Clearly stated pattern
* Give an example in group scenes
* Start second beat at a 3
* Third at a 7 or 8
We did a drill where we had to walk in through the door to the classroom as a character, and Brian made some comments like “Same absent-minded professor, but I want you to inject steroids into him” and
“This isn’t fucking Shakespeare.” I a did tipsy debutante. He liked watching me already laughing as I came in. We are automatically engaged with that character!
Another fun Brian share was that he used to get naked at parties a lot. He got paid $37 to play a naked hustler in Six Degrees of Separation-found out later they were going to pay 4k for a professional stripper to do it.
Full Harold #1:
Monologue A: me at Disneyland being a scaredy-cat and not wanting to go on adventurous rides at age six or whatever.
Monologue B: Hoarder dad getting drunk and thinking he’s God, or talking to God, I forget which
Monologue C: Carsick on a bus full of soccer fans
Scene A: guy who is super motion sick, I play the friend.
Second round: we’re at the movies, he barfs on me
3rd round: he’s in bed, asking, do we move in our dreams?
Scene B: Haunted house, Mickey phobia
2nd round: toys. “oh shit, Candy Land”
3rd round: kids’ nursery
(I’m not entirely sure how to explain this one after the fact and I don’t think I want to try.)
Scene C: a guy who is pissed off at God for stupid shit, and God talks back. “I work in very straightforward ways,” says God.
2nd round: Same guy is all, goddamit, I can’t get cell reception! God thinks he should have better priorities, so he kills the other guy’s mom.
3rd round: In heaven, the guy is all, I helped a few people! But God was all, the last words you said were bad, and your mom is dead in hell.
Group 1: gods screwing with people’s hair below.
Group 2: I initiated a party bus, where people drink and die and nobody cares much.
It really was the best show we’ve ever done in this class, THANK GOD, because we have not been doing well prior to this. It gives me hope.
My scene: we should know each other better, great capper on the dreams line, great job to us both :)
Scene B: should have stayed in the haunted house for all 3, one guy made all the hits, “haunted house the shit out of it.”
Scene C: God was so good, on point, “you always edit when mom dies.”
All the scenes were good to watch on first beat, best one ever in class. Their patterns meshed well together. such as the God-scene guy being self-centered, and God being annoyed at that while wars are on.
“Pattern is you with only one interest.”
Gods messing with insecurities…Isis is all, now you’re gay. Yeah, that happened.
Party bus: picked the easiest thing and went with it. Just kinda found it. Easy and fun.
Always edit on success!
Full Harold #2:
Monologue A: snowboarding
Monologue B: Tourists
Monologue C: LA life-cops at the motel, shifty dude
Monologue D: getting a face piercing.
Scene A: I initiate-Californian in Colorado doesn’t know how to deal with snow
2nd round: Californian in Seattle doesn’t know how to deal with rain
3rd round: Californian goes tornado chasing
Scene B: piercing clothing store
2nd round: costume store with associated disfigurement
3rd round: get a haircut and a piercing
Scene C: motel murder
2nd round: shifty guy with no money robs a guy
3rd round: killed all your friends already
Group 1: Russians in the airport, look, there’s actual food, taking photos.
Group 2: Russians in country club jail. They used gloves in the anal probe! (me) The bars aren’t missing! There’s food here!
(Half the fun is watching Brian do his own scenes after, I swear. This second Harold was also pretty strong and pretty good ideas.)
Californian: too much info at the start. Funny comes from what Californians do. Far away from California. How this new state is affecting you.
Penalty for buying things at store: Hat, price, shave head or break a bone
Creepy guy from the motel-need to point that out. Stop in this alley.
America has things! Justify that one guy was in storage and didn’t know he was on a plane. Also picture taking.
Second scene was a time dash. Brilliant. He loved my gloves on the anal, we should have said to take a picture.
In Improv Jam that night, I did a monologue on the time I drove a car into an onion field, and I played a football player when nerds were trying to egg the house.
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