Also from my main blog: Keith Johnstone Podcast... →
From my main blog: The Sine Wave of Suck. →
I learned about the concept of Tactics in an acting class I took a long time ago. At each moment a character not only wants something he is also using a tactic to get what he wants. The overall motivation may remain the same, but the tactic can change from line to line. In this exercise we’ll work on exploring tactics. Two players, Kyle and Laura, get on stage. Kyle is instructed to sit and...
Improv Nonsense: Maybe Every Game Is Just... →
Way back in 2001 I took a comedy writing course at Second City. It covered certain very basic comedy structures one could use when writing a sketch or humor piece. Two examples of categories are the somewhat self-explnatory Fish Out of Water and the Simple Yet Impossible Task. Categories are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but knowing them helps focus your thinking when writing or...
I’m not sure why, but a lot of improvisors forget that they’re allowed to move while performing their scenes. Very often we’ll fall into a very simple pattern of talking heads: two people standing 3-5 feet apart and just talking. This is not fatal, but why not move around a bit? A stronger scene will certainly emerge. Pivot The way to get improvisors into moving around more...
A Quick Note on Leaving The Stage
There are things you shouldn’t do when you’re a beginner that you can do after you’re more experienced. One of those things is leaving the stage. I’ve seen beginner improvisors in the middle of scene get to a point where they think they’ve run out of ideas. At this point, I’ve seen them reference something that exists offstage that they have to go to. Another...
I’m always interested in the hybridization of improv: taking thoughts and skills from one discipline and applying them to another. One particular oddball thought of mine is to lead an improv class in Life Drawing. Life Drawing is, of course, drawing from live human models both clothed and nude. I’ve taken a few Life Drawing classes, and there’s a few lessons we can take and use...
The following is a thought that I’ve been developing lately. As I write out these exercise descriptions a word keeps popping up again and again. Values. I love tactics. As a coach I enjoy giving my players tactics to use that will help put them in stronger places. But behind every tactic, tool, trick, or rule is a reason. There’s a reason why we’re doing any move. I was...
Fast Food TJ and Dave
The following is an exercise that I like to run. It’s name and mechanics are based on my understanding of a TJ and Dave exercise that was explained to me. This exercise is all about create complex layers of emotional truth in a scene. Two players, Kate and Liam, face each other. They both close their eyes. Kate or Liam may take a step forward or backward, adopt a posture, put on an...
The House That Del Built: A Note on Notes →
Hey, followers, here’s another cool improv blog. thehousethatdelbuilt: If you’re reading my blog, you may be enough of an improv nerd to have already seen this amazing video of the most generic notes for a Harold ever. What’s great about this video is how universal it is. Although the show it’s reviewing never existed, we watch it and think, “I’ve gotten that…
Billy Merritt's Improv Dance Party Pt2: Form is... →
Another improv blog you should be following! improvdanceparty: I just got an email today asking about a phrase I recite in class all the time. “Suggestion is Opening, Opening is Form, Form is not Form.” I feel it is all about inspiration, or to be inspired. To get a suggestion and then apply a set and practiced opening is not inspired, it’s mechanical. It…
September is National Sketch Writing Month: How to... →
naskewrimo: National Sketch Writing Month (NaSkeWriMo) begins tomorrow. In past years, I’ve not done too well. I’ve signed up at least twice before and I’ve written a few sketches, but I haven’t come close to writing 30 sketches in 30 days. I think this year will be different. I’ve had two problems in the…
Improv Nonsense: Accepting Offers, Rich Specifics,... →
Another blog to check out for great intelligent thoughts on improv. Seriously, read through it and get talking. improvnonsense: This post is about things you can do in your improv sets that provide instant gratification in terms of laughter from the audience and are also usually (though not always) healthy for your scene overall. I’m thinking about when you’re about to do an indie show and you...