There is something to be said for improvisors knowing each other and knowing their craft.
Saw the Armando Diaz Experience and Hootenanny last night. There is a regular (large) set of experienced players who seem to randomly show up to play it (less a troupe, more an invitation only club like some of IA’s shows).
The show was good, although a much less interesting monologist was up.
The good thing about this show was they had a “panel” discussion afterwards. The 9 players (including one woman) answered all kinds of questions from their comedic inspirations to how they knew when to come on (unfortunately they announced it to the whole audience so it wasn’t just improv students, but some interested audience).
The minimum no of years individuals had been playing was 8 (and one of the cast was in the first Armando with the real Armando Diaz, apparently).
Here are some snippets:
– “I did the monologue for 2 years when I first started directing – I got stage fright”
– what I want in a scene partner – listen, honesty, trust (don’t judge), listen to HOW I say something
– “stock” characters are OK as long as they aren’t stock scenes, stock names, stock responses (if the mask relaxes you…)
– characters can be facets of your own personality
– stage fright – being in a regular weekly show helps
– “I used to say I’ll be OK when I get the first laugh, but if it didn’t come I would panic and start yelling and racing around, which wasn’t useful. Now I breathe”
– call backs are inside jokes contained in a single show
– likelihood of someone listening increases with their experience
– most people don’t do things that make them nervous any more
The photo here is my classmate Erin wearing her brand new false moustache!