Well it is becoming clear that I am biting off some quite substantial chunks in this game. This week I have a mere 40 hours of improv, and I am nearly on top of my notes (yeah, right), and over the next 10 weeks I will have a total of more than 300 hours of improv. Thankfully, some weeks I will have less than others. However, this does mean that one week it is looking like I will have a phenomenal 55 hours of improv training. Methinks that week my bed will be my best friend.
If you have read my my other post on ComedySportz, level 202, you will know that ComedySportz differs from the other 3 schools in that they concentrate on short form rather than long form. This is quite interesting for me to play with, and the classes are fun. A different brain muscle if you would. And as well as Level 202, I am also doing Level 303 concurrently, with the lovely Kat Gotsick.
The class was nice and small, just 6 of us, and the room was a compact room in what seemed like a private house, with the other rooms also being used as studio space also. This is a new location for the school, so they are still fixing it up. I understand that last week they didn’t even have air con, and having the air con was certainly a help! It cooled the room slightly and also meant that they windows could be shut. As we were right next to the Subway (which actually runs a story above the street), that blocked plenty of the noise of that.
We started off with a carrying exercise. In pairs, we mimed picking up a heavy object.
Our instructions were to have an opinion about the object, what was it? Why are we moving it? Who is the other person to me that I am moving it with?
Obviously each of us has a different interpretation, and it will have affected how we lifted and moved it.
Work on creating interesting, deep, complex and specific assumptions.
There are 4 steps for a great scene.
1 The initiation.
2 The second person establishes a relationship to each other.
3 A point of view is layered on top.
4 The situation is layered on top.
We did a 6 person, no talking picture painting exercise, based around a location. Each of us took an individual aspect of the scene, no duplication (i.e. at a swiming pool, only one bather, only one lifeguard etc), and playing it at an energy level of 6 to 10. We decide on who, what, where. Looking after ourselves boldly made it easier for other people to play their part. Spacework for each person made the scene interesting to see for the audience.
The object of this was to get people to guess what it was that we were miming (given the object by Kat). The key for this was to think of the context for the objects.
I had to mime an MRE (military rations). I mimed the rucksack, the mess tin, and the squeezing of the pack into it, but because I failed to contextualise, i.e. showing me marching or saluting, only one person got it, the rest thought I was a tramp or a backpacker.
We then did it with sound. It was more interesting to watch with sound.
Sideline dating service
One person was sat in the chair, as if making a dating video about the type of person they were looking for. The other person had been given an occupation, an adjective and a hobby by the audience (while the video dater had been out of the room), and they had to mime these things, while the video dater tried to work out what it was by describing what they were looking for in a partner.
Start with occupation, then move to adjective and finish with hobby.
Late for work
Suggestions from the audience of a noun, adjective and a pop culture reference.
The referee is the boss, there are 3 work colleagues, and the person late for work is out of the room.
The 3 tell the boss the reason Mr Late is late, based on the 3 suggestions.
Then Mr Late comes back into the room, and speaking to the boss, must work out the lie that his colleagues have told the boss by interpreting their mimes behind the boss, and tell the boss why they were late. If they are taking too long, the boss can help out.
(Stage picture is 3 to one side, boss facing away from them in the middle, Mr Late on other side facing both boss and colleagues)
Two teams, one preacher each. Stage picture, the preachers at the back, the teams to the side, on opposite side to their preachers.
The audience give an adjective, a noun and a verb, and the preachers return to the room. The preachers then sermonise wildly, trying to work out what the suggestions were from their team’s mimes, by putting these words into their sermons.
This was a great fun game.
The class was lots of fun, and after 7 hours of long form, is was a nice way to end the day doing something slightly different. Looking forward to next week’s class – again after a full day of class…
Ah, I can sleep on the plane home!