Second of two entries for today.
Previous week of improv class here.
Molly substituted in this week while Brian updated the website or something. Our remaining two classmates joined us, including Chris. Hi, Chris! Nice to see you again! She talked about the Harold structure, which goes along these lines:
* Opening monologues
(She said we're going to learn the "invocation" in this class, which sounds like fun. It's covered in the UCB Comedy Manual--Del Close was a pagan/wiccan sort and of course one would come up with that.)
* First beat: 3 separate scenes inspired by the opening monologues. Do some really easy idea in them all. First beats are the longest, they get shorter as they go on. Start grounded.
* Group scene #1: done by at least 3 players (most or all of them can be in it), where everyone gets to be crazy and unusual. It's based off the opening or things that have already gone on.
* Second beat: 3 scenes returning to the first beat patterns. More heightened, a little shorter. Either do time dashes (same characters, different time) or analogous (same pattern, different characters/scene). Walk ons are ok to do here. Avoid plots, keep the pattern.
* Group scene #2: can be new, time dash, or analogous. Everyone plays crazy.
* Third beat: revisit all 3 patterns in 3 scenes once more. Have to sick to time dash or analogous the whole time, don't switch to the other one. You should start at 8 or 9 level crazy because the third scene is short. If you can blend all three scenes into one universe, that's great, but don't force it if it doesn't work.
* Try not to do walk-ons in the first beat.
* Walk-ons are to clarify or enhance/heighten a pattern
* All walk-ons must be grounded characters.
* If someone points out another person during a scene, someone needs to walk out and play that person.
* When initiating a scene: establish foundation of who, what, where in scene. Patternwise, how would you describe it? ("I'm the ____ that does _____.")
* Establish a relationship.
* Say your pattern up front at first.
* Everything you say on stage is fact.
* Drastic contrast between two ideas.
* Simple repeatable pattern
Theater games done this week: name gaming, doing a game where one person comes up with Thing A, another comes up with a totally unrelated Thing B, and someone else has to come up with a Thing C that relates the two of them together. It was hard.
This time we were all "on stage" for pretty much the entire class, including standing around on the "back line" while we got notes on what we did. It was....really kinda weird to be "on stage" the entire time without a break, and Chris said as much to me afterwards. It had been nice having "time off" in between, but well, I guess you get more practice in this time.
Stuff I was in:
(a) did a scene with Chris in which he was puking everywhere--eh, that was hard to do. (Based off of someone's monologue about having to puke while driving.)
(b) did a scene with the other new guy in which we were supposed to be investigating a murder and he didn't really want to deal with gory details and wanted to instead investigate the water meter and the grass. Kinda hard to deal with.
(c) played a person who was terrible at playing and wanted to do "air violin" in the orchestra--the guy I was in with in this (also the crime scene) said he didn't get what I was saying because I talked too fast. Oops.
(d) told a monologue about going to the Pirate Festival (link to this)
(e) did a scene in which the other girl was trying to put on doing an amusement park in our own home, by sitting on the washing machine and flipping the lights off and on. I ended up realizing during this scene another problem that I have: I'm too used to playing along with crazy people IRL. (Which is probably why I am a crazy person magnet, when you think about it.) I got called out on that and that I should be saying I don't like this, which led me to being all, "Well, if you flick the lights off and on and run the water, IT'S STILL NOTHING LIKE WORLD OF COLOR." Heh.
I am pretty much NOT used to objecting when someone does some crazy shit in front of me. I play along with crazy. So in a world where it's relatively okay/kinda expected that I call someone on their nuttery? WEIRD. I must think about this some more.
After class, most of us went to Improv Jam, where Molly got up and told a monologue about how she and her boyfriend (ALSO ON STAGE RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME, MIND YOU) went to see Inside Out and he cried like three times (yes, he verified that) and they got annoyed when they had been in an empty theater and then a bunch of kids came in and sat down in their row. This was followed by another guy talking about the time he snuck wine into a theater and spilled it. Hah, so like my afternoon...
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