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Make graceful and lasting change

Do not play on or around

Cindy Tonkin - July 30, 2008

Sign on a dumpster, but an ominous warning all around.

This morning’s class was all about listening.

First we topped off yesterday with a “real” scene. Shad took us all outside of the room and asked us all to take on “another person” when we walked back in, as if it was first day of class.

We played these characters for 45 minutes. Shad sat in the back of the room. We chatted for a while then began a warm up. People kept asking who the teacher was, one of the group identified himself, but couldn’t pull of the status of it. One of the guys got so into it he left the room and went to the admin office and said “our teacher hasn’t arrived”. The administrator didn’t know what was happening, so apparently he had to break character and tell her what was going on. She came in, to her credit, and said a teacher would be here soon, and in the meantime to play “up your butt”.

Up your butt is a rhyming game similar to da doo ron ron, except you say “up your butt” between every line. For the sensibilities of one of the more traditional female characters in the room we changed it to “in your hat”.

We played wink. We did our “bios”. At 45 minutes Shad stopped it. The point was that there were a number of comedic moments which came from just playing people. More entertaining than reality TV. And when we were playing real people we had no moments of hesitation, we gave heaps of information about ourselves, lots of useful detail which could have been useful later.

There is a 2 man show here called “bass-prov” where 2 guys have fishing rods and they just chat all night. Unfortunately it’s not playing at the moment. But they just play real people.

Then we did listening games. We sat on the floor and closed our eyes and listened. Later we were asked to reiterate the sounds we heard and the order in which they occurred.

Next we did scenes where we repeated every line in a stage whisper before saying our own.

Then we were told “everything today will come back”. We did our scenes with a “scene ruining” offer from both players in turn. Shad then mentioned call-backs (what we call shelved ideas). He said if you use call backs you don’t have to be funny.

I assume we’ll be asked to bring those scenes back later today.

And some Shadvice: there are 6 ways to end a scene:
– return to the beginning
– high energy out
– low energy out
– all fall in love
– all die
– just leave the stage!

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