Chaos Attraction

Sketch 101 Week 7: Nothing's Going To Be Too Weird

2016-10-17, 7:40 p.m.

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Previous week here.

This week we talked about blocking and stage directions. After doing a table read of our sketches, we had to attempt to block/act them out...which was pretty difficult because well, most of us really hadn’t written something that was stage-worthy, myself included. Which is to say uh...this was all more film-ish.

The scripts were:

“Disney Lines:” This one was great, about the joys of standing in lines (and surprise lines) at Disney, complete with mascot. Awesome.
“Rudolph the Raging Reindeer.” Rudolph is not pleased to be replaced with a flying car and GPS. I like the premise, but I kind of wanted an angrier ending after the car is set on fire. (See what I mean about stage issues?)

Mine was “Barbie for Boys,” kind of a cross between “Chess for Girls” (an old SNL sketch that sadly isn’t available to watch) and the idea of “What if Barbie decided to go after the GI Joe market?” Except I couldn’t really figure out if I should just have a bunch of terrible toys or have actors dressed up as Barbies or what...yeah. Good concept, but weird execution. Anyway, I got some good notes on this, should I choose to rewrite it.
Like I said, staging these was...hard, especially mine (*wince*), not to mention “how would one blow
up a car on stage?”

After all of that, we had a little Q&A’ing.
* It’s okay to change stuff during rehearsal
* You can get to 90% happy with your sketch, but it won’t be a hundred percent.
* Parody: must be a well known thing. If you’re doing something specific that not everyone knows, make more generic (like a generic kids’ show).
* Don’t change too much if you don’t need to, use what you have already.
* Don’t hold on to anything precious if it doesn’t fit.
Rules for simplfying:
* 1 scene/time/location.
* Watch some sketches on TV before you start.
* Imagine yourself on stage to figure out how to do it. Act it out.
* There’s no right or wrong across the board for sketch.
* What is the purpose of this?
* Pull your resources--what does this remind me of on another TV show, can use something similar in my sketch.
* Stick with it for awhile, don’t flake after it doesn’t go well for 20 minutes.
* Keep it something you can relate to, but also do things we’ve never seen before.
* Surprise the audience, go where they don’t expect.
* “Don’t ever think that you’ve gone too big.” Go TOO BIG, but earn it.
* Going from grounded to unusual for putting in order.
* How would the world react to it? Possible to do, vs. nobody in the world would ever do this? What’s unusual to you?
“Nothing’s going to be too weird.”
“What about death and explosions?” someone else asked. (I forget the answer to this, but it was kind of along the lines of “whatever you can replicate on stage…possibly with the lights off.”)

Homework for the last week is to do TWO sketches:
(a) one original, any style or hodgepodge
(b) rewrite one of your previous sketches, preferably one that’s less done.
We’ll reread the old one and act out the new one.


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