Tag Archives: ComedySportz

ComedySportz 202 with Mel Evans, 26 August, 9 September

Today’s lesson started with a noticing warm up exercise.

1,, 2 3, 4 5
In a circle, one after the other, we went round saying the following (everyone says the numbers, the person saying the words is describing the person they are handing the verse onto next):
1,, 2 3, 4 5, my name is “(x)”, and I say Hi
6,, 7 8, 9 10, this is “(y)”, and s/he’s my friend.
1, s/he has a (a), 2, s/he has a (b), 3, s/he has a (c)
4, 4, 4, 1,, 2 3, 4 5 (at which point it starts again with the next person in the circle)

Song singing exercise
In a circle, someone jumps in and starts to sing a song as far as they can go. This is a real supporting exercise, someone must jump in and save them by singing another song before they run out of things to sing. Played at a 10 this is fun.

Then we did the same but the songs had to be fake.

Next, we did 2 person scenes with a bold character choice. Mel’s note for me was to try strong characters as well as weaker ones, change it up, do characters with big voices.
Be active, look after your partner, look then in the eye, give them a name.

Games

Countdown
2 person scene with a further person walking on.
We did a scene in 90 seconds.
Then we did the same scene in 45 seconds, then in 20 seconds, in 10, in 3 seconds
What was particularly important in these scenes was to be active, and to sell it as hard as we can. Make sure to use the time when you have it, and as walk on, make sure to get to your beat before walking on, don’t come on too soon (or too late even!)

Entrances and Exits
3 person scenes (2 on, 1 off)
Each person gets a word, which, whenever they hear it the must come on stage if they are off or leave the stage if they are on, and come up with an excuse to do so.
The first person’s word should be common;
The second person’s word should be a usual word, but not common;
The third person’s word should be a really fun word to say.
Then, with a given location, the scene is played.

The key is to listen really hard and remember your word!
You should not say your own word (or, maybe better, your own word doesn’t work on you)
The game is to use the words as much as possible, really pimp them.

9 September

Warm up with historical figures monologues. In a circle, choose a genre, someone steps into the centre and does a monologue as a historical figure from that period. The next steps in before the first has run out of things to say!

4 Corners – try to agree.

Parallel Universe – make huge physical choices. Practice with huge physical object work in advance of playing this.

Tag Team Monologue. Listen hard, start simple, build to a crescendo of tagging out. Have a strong voice, strong physical, something big already, to copy and heighten further.

In ComedySportz, always make stuff bigger, more animated, more emotional.

Forward / Reverse – speak in short, memorable sentences. Big actions. Be massively physical.

Think ways to come up with strong physical choices. Exaggeration. Practice exaggerating.
Exercise. Double size everything. Silent scenes, where interacting with at least 3 objects, all of which are twice the size they would be normally.
Objects with a mind of their own. Scenes where each person holds an object that changes size and force, moves the body around.
Puppet. Either act as if being controlled by a puppeteer or with an external person poking and being puppeteer.

Entrances and exits – 3 words. Don’t pimp yourself – but pimp your scene partners mercilessly! Try to justify why going in and out. Be real in this.

Countdown – this is effectively an editing scene. Strong physical choices. Each scene faster.

Replay – a base scene, then 3 replays – a film style, accent, high school clique.

Oscar Winning Moments – again, strong physical choices. Really enjoy it!

New Choice – remember relationships. Don’t talk over one another. Strong physical choices. Make sure you jump into your partner’s boat.
Pimp your partner, not yourself. Strong Point of View, and lots of different ones. Relationships, relationships, relationships.

You should be tired after a ComedySportz show. Big physical – it is tiring! And this is good.

Weekend at Bernies – make a judgement as to how much you help your scene partner. Carrying dead weights requires a real effort, but even a fair weight requires effort. Don’t be a dick.

We finished with 2 minutes each, where everyone gets to say what they like about improvising with that person. This was a nice way of doing this.

ComedySportz – a great place to fail at 100%

Make a list of objects to practice with, and build it weekly.

When thinking bold physical moves, think of a number of location. The a warm up exercise of 8 moves someone might make in one of these locations.

Think about bold physical moves to / with another person.

ComedySportz 202 with Mel Evans, 19 August

Each of the schools here have a different focus and emphasis. ComedySportz are shortform games, and what they feed into my long form game is the urgency of making a quick choice and committing at 100%. I am sure they feed in in many other ways too, but that is my thinking as I write right now, sitting as I am, with a beer in hand in Salt and Pepper, a sort of diner place under the iO theatre.

The world is passing, through the window (the comma was essential there) and I’m going upstairs shortly to watch a show. It is 10 in the evening and warm here right now, and I confess, I have a hunger. None of which has anything to do with these notes…
Continue reading ComedySportz 202 with Mel Evans, 19 August

ComedySportz 303 with Kat Gotsick, 20 August

Another bouncy class with Kat. She will be in Germany for the next class, we’ve asked her to bring us back some pumping Europop!

The first game we played was to encourage our listening faculties. All the exercises we played today required particular listening skills – as does all of improv. In fact, the more I do these ComedySportz lessons, the more I realise how these short form games are so useful for one’s long form playing.

Continue reading ComedySportz 303 with Kat Gotsick, 20 August

ComedySportz 202 with Mel Evans

I am finding that my Saturdays are the day that I do my writing up of my notes. I say that after only a fortnight, so that may be an over identification of the game within my life! However, today is again Saturday, and again I am writing up my notes. I have got the same number of pages to write up as I did last week, but I don’t feel the same pressure. Which is a little bizarre as last week I didn’t finish until 3 am and didn’t even finish them. Oh well, let’s carry on…

There was a great deal of fun to be had in the past week. One part of it was my level 202 class with Mel Evans. I have started noting my classmates; one day, without a doubt one of two of them will will have their names in lights, but also it is good to note these things down to try to remember, I am meeting so many people here in Chicago. And that is fine, however it does mean that I don’t have the tight knit group that people on a month long intensive have to fall back on, so it is slightly isolating. If I were less busy I might be lonely!

I am, however, not lonely (well, maybe on the odd occasion, but man up Cowie!); and I am certainly enjoying my classes. I am finding that ComedySportz, being such a family-like school and the classes being such a difference from the long form improv, is a great foil to the other, a nice way to relax and play in a different way.

Continue reading ComedySportz 202 with Mel Evans

Wow. Just wow. Loving this place. A journey of discovery. Enjoy the journey? Thoroughly!

I really cannot convey how much I am enjoying it out here. There is so much that is thrilling me, and it is nuanced by bits that I don’t understand, some bits that make me think, yeah, well maybe, and then those bits that make me just go, this is the best thing since the bread knife (way better than sliced bread in my opinion).

Continue reading Wow. Just wow. Loving this place. A journey of discovery. Enjoy the journey? Thoroughly!