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Make graceful and lasting change

Last wed, more…

Cindy Tonkin - July 10, 2011

Hey, so i just discovered some notes from last wednesday’s class that i hadn’t written up. so here they are.

butterflies at chicago’s field museum

for shift left/shift right (four squares they call it here)
avoid retelling or rehashing the plot, assume the audience is with you

high stakes death
you are dying (from the water rising, from poison coming out of vents above you, from attacking zombies) but you cannot talk about it (it made me think of hundreds of scenes in Buffy and Angel – the world is ending but we’re offended about a comment about our hair).

only talk about the objects
you’re in front of a buffet / a market place / a dinner party / travel brochures, you can only talk about the food/objects  (this is a subtext exercise)

types of song: metaphor song
seems complex, but is ridiculously simple
you don’t do the work, the audience does; e.g. listing things about a pen, chuck in a rhyme with pen, but essentiaily just list attributes of a pen. Our love is like a pen; it’s inky, it’s fluid but goes on smooth, it comes in many colours, it’s useful, it’s what you need when you have to write a cheque…

general ideas
you can have an emotional point of view on an object, but an object can’t make a roller coaster like a person can, because it has no point of view back (and no shifting point of view)
because of the emotional tone in dialogue, there is subtext in talking about objects

slow men working the fast ones are elsewhere chicago road sign

words don’t matter – you need a point of view about your partner – whatever comes out of your mouth must be about how you feel about your partner in some way
it’s not our job as improvisers to be funny or make jokes, be specific and make emotional offers, that’s all we need to do

in musical improv you don’t have to fix anything. the scene is done in the first 2-3 lines, the rest should be emotional reaction: “Dave is gone, we have no leader” starts the scene, the rest is the cast response to having no leader (not their plan to elect a new leader)

the keith richard’s biography has a section on how they wrote songs, it was essentially improvisation

structure of an improvised musical
opening number and closing number (in pippin and wicked these are the same song, may or may not work for improvised)
1st scene protagonist has a song about what they want (i wish)
everyone else then lines up to hurt or hinder that quest
being protagonist should be the easiest job – just follow along with the offers of help or not
make it clear at the top of the scene whether you are helping or hindering

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