Chaos Attraction

Musical Improv Week 4: Traffic and Glitter

2016-12-08, 8:13 p.m.

Previous week here.

I’m getting around to writing this entry a bit late because well, Thursday was busy as hell. Ah well. Anyway, thanks to having an afternoon dentist appointment that my boss said I didn’t have to come back from, I spent the last hour of the workday trying to get into Sacramento in pouring rain. The traffic was just as terrible as last time, except I knew this time I had most of two hours to get there in time. I got there around 5-ish and then just ended up sitting in my car calling relatives until class started. I was the first one there, and Lincoln was suspecting we might not have too many people show up, so he called his girlfriend to come over. In the end, almost everyone did show up, albeit late (one girl wandered in halfway through). I’m debating leaving early again on the last night of class since it’ll probably be the same situation.

Lincoln started out with discussing different sections of song. You remember choruses, verses are the other part and they trade off.
Chorus: statement of pattern, what the song is about, you want that part stuck in people’s heads, it’s easy to identify. Reiterates the idea of the song, it’s the glue. They don’t normally change.
Verse: this is the part you mumble! It illustrates a thing.
Each section is melodically different. Slower rhythms, higher pitches. You remember those things.
Point out the conflict/main point in chorus.
Bridges: these are hard to do in improv.
When we’re performing, we should all be singing along to someone’s chorus in case they forget it on stage, and it sounds better.
Three kinds of voice: chest, throat, and head. (“Full voice”...I don’t quite get the concept of this as explained, but I apparently don’t listen to that kind of music.)

I had issues figuring this out: 8 bars of verse is supposed to be your singing two lines of song, not four. That was an issue for awhile.

Anyway, we did “Chrisball” again, only this time we were supposed to switch off between doing two verses (uh, 4 lines, not 8) and then a chorus. So we did songs on being afraid of bees, various uses for pumpkins, and one song that turned into being about glitter Chapstick and driving an Uber. “Traffic!” “Glitter!” “Traffic and glitter!”

Then we went into doing “Sing It!” again. I was in a scene that ended up being about dodgeball, except I have NO CLUE about dodgeball (are you supposed to hit someone? catch the ball? That was considered way too dangerous to be allowed at my schools) and basically ended up not doing much other than trying to play someone who was afraid of getting hit, which didn’t work with everyone else’s enthusiasm for the game at all. Oops on me.

The second group went a little better, Lincoln said something about “let’s see if the rest of you disappoint me” and someone inevitably yelled out, “Just like my dad!” Eventually the scene evolved into being about Tracy the Party Friend, and “nobody cuts Tracy off!” Lincoln said afterwards you gotta go with what’s working, and related the time Eric tripped over a chair during You! The Musical (I know I wrote about this sometime.....) and then made it a running gag until he finally got murdered by chairs.

After that, we went into “That’s Not A Musical!,” back to fairy tales even though there was a bit of commentary about one class in the past doing...”that’s why Saving Private Ryan was all about Doritos.”

First scene was Snow White, who of course was played by a dude: “I hope somebody’s not trying to kill me right now!” “Here’s a syringe of Botox and an apple!” Also, “even a sleeping maiden is more beautiful than you.” In the end, Snow White ends up with a rash, but declares that she still loves herself. “That’s an ending better than the actual one.”

The second scene that I was in turned into “The Princess and the Pee,” as in the princess insisted on checking her suitors’ pee for the right pheromones, and the winner produced a plant to come up with the right scent. I just played a random prince trying to be dirty (“you like beds?”) and that was about it.

Honestly, I didn’t really do well all night in class this night (and I didn’t stay for Improv Jam, I just went home and went to bed!), but after the week I’ve had, I gotta give myself bonus points for showing up at all.

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