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Make graceful and lasting change


Cindy Tonkin - August 14, 2008

Here’s the elevator at my favourite hotel. It’s the old fashioned kind with a cage and a door on a hinge.

I can see why they have so much fun with them in slapstick. Because the lift won’t move if either door is open, they are weighted quite heavily to stay closed. This makes them difficult to open especially if you have something in your other hand.

Today’s improv is “free style”. Jason is getting us to just play and find out what we want to do, what we find easy. The ease approach to our final show is so refreshing. The class is full of highly competent improvisors, so the show will be fine. So long as we don’t overload ourselves with form.

We shall see.

Here are some bits from today’s Jason advice:

– jokes kill a scene – only works if you edit on it

– if you tag someone out the point is to extend (not advance) with the intention of adding to the original scene (and of coming back to it)

– Tag outs can provide sub text (show people are lying, that they had a crappy childhood, that they have sworn to kill the other person)

– most improvisors come in with 2 uzis; the best improvisors are shooters with one gun who fire one bullet and get a better effect

– keep scenes in the present and sprinkle in the history rather then filling it with retelling history (show the history, don’t talk about it)

– play adults with childish tendencies rather than children with adult tendencies

– know your scene partner – meanness from your sister means more than it does from a stranger

– one idea is enough for a group game (this is different to what Jet said)

2 new warm ups:

– first person says a word (window)

– go round the circle giving a list that word would appear on (things that need cleaning, ways to describe opportunity, places to order fast food), ending on the person who gave the word in the first place

– 8 things: 1st person gives a category “name 8 things you like about sushi”, the other players count off as they list them

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