Musings about Improv

30 Nov

Here are some of the key things I learned/experienced at my 3-day intensive improv class at Second City:

Our teacher said that it is easy for someone to play the King of the Sugar Plum Faeries, but it is hard to play one’s self…that is definitely how I feel–it is a lot easier for me to play a character in a play than to play MYSELF during improv games and scenes!

During a circle game, people would mime a knife, throw it at someone across the circle and yell, “Die!” to which the person receiving the knife would respond, “NOT TODAY!!!” & then would pass the knife & “Die!” onto someone else – at the same time people would run up to each other and say and mime, “Here is David Bowie’s wig” or “Here is a little mouse!!!”  This game helped me learn how to focus better…

If you’re waiting in line to improv with a partner, you can give yourself something simple to incorporate into your character when it’s your turn, such as:  an emotion, a want, a physicality, status, object or activity.

You can be taken out of any logical realm…when you are a given a suggestion (such as you are the air guitar champion), however you want to use it is fine…

It was fun to have a scene where someone would say a mundane thought (such as:  “I want a burrito”) and then the scene partner would respond as if it was the most important thing he/she had ever heard!  Anything can be important…

We believed things that happened in scenes that would be impossible in real life (for instance, someone got bruised by a flicked booger)!

Someone asked if their dream of acting could come true and our teacher responded, “It just takes time.”  What a lovely thing to express – a lot of people would say something about how hard it is and that very few make it…but, our teacher proves that it can happen!

Either don’t ask questions or ask a loaded question or make the question into a strong statement…

I really like what a couple of experienced improv friends (outside of the class) shared with me:  

1) Learn what the game is

2) Don’t necessarily solve the problem

I’m learning….


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