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Two whoppers $4

Cindy Tonkin - August 6, 2008

This afternoon’s improv centred on second beats. We did a random first scene and then created as many second beats as we could think of.

It was so much fun.

We started with the obvious, story. Then we tried using the same blocking (stage set up, not the saying no kind); mirroring a gesture or body position; taking an expression (facial or linguistic); same location, different characters; same relationship different characters; when it doesn’t have to be linear, it really frees and delights the imagination. We even went to sheep from botox, which was so off beam!

Warm up: the quick draw game. Person in centre of circle points and says draw. The pointee ducks, the two on either side say “bang”. If anyone stuffs up they make a noise to acknowledge it and takes the centre of circle place. No one polices getting it right or wrong, no one is eliminated, it’s just a game for focus and fun. (I have played it as an elimination before and it involves a lot of testosterone! This is a gentler version).

Jet’s contention is that it’s a good way to get a dose of adrenaline before going on stage – her theory goes that the second dose of adrenaline (going on stage) is milder and easier to play with.

We topped off this morning’s openings (dressing 3 characters) by talking about other options: 3 environments, 3 objects (or an environment, a person, an object in that environment). Important to make it not just a laundry list but endow the character etc (he’s wearing black shoes dusty from selling encylopedia door to door).

Another story-based opening: story theatre. Like a typewriter but not scenic, with all players building the scene and characters (no one off stage).

More Jet:
– women (or men) who have hair in their face may end up playing meek characters, because of the repetitive action of moving hair off their face + also hair in your face blocks your face
– if a character is too close to the actor that’s when the actor “goes clever” which takes the magic out of the scene
– if you follow plot you can end up with too much to remember – follow something else it’s more fun to play
– second half of the Harold is often less fun because of the pressure to tie everything together
– best characters to play are curious or suspicious because they make everything important
– we like in comedy to see people suffer
– clever is the foam at the top of the beer (that’s actually Del Close)

Off to a few more shows tonight. Getting a little sleep deprived!!

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