Improv 101 June/July 2017

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Improv 101 June/July 2017

Cory Jenks
Whatup my summer Improv 101 class? This is YOUR thread to post comments, questions, AHA moments, and anything else improv-y! I can't wait to see what you all have to say!

FREEDOM!

Cory
Mo
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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

Mo
I loved the video of Stephen Colbert and Keegan Michael Key because it helps further instill that improv is about teamwork and about "serve the other person" and "you're more important than I am" as mentioned in the video. I also like how they say "agree and add on to that" as an way to think about "Yes and." That was one of my aha! moments. Also when I realized how I think improv will help me in other areas of my life. I kind of got sucked into other videos on Youtube showing examples of "Yes and" and I watched one with Tina Fey.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmafmRIeet0
The dada speech was harder than I though but hilarious to hear what came out of my mouth. Like, did I just say that?

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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

Cory Jenks
Mo-
Thanks for throwing your 2 cents in! It is great to see some aha's a happenin'! Indeed, an improv scene is not about you, it is about the other person. In fact, I like to go into scenes thinking how I can make the other person look good. Also, "agree and add on to that" is a nice alternative way of saying "yes, and." Thanks for highlighting that!

That Tina Fey video has a great example towards the end (around the 1:45 mark) of what happens when we sell out a scene for a joke and trying to be funny that involves legend Joan Rivers. Sure, we may get a single laugh, but the scene grinds to a halt because we haven't served the scene, just tried to make a one off joke.

Oh, and as far as that dada speech? You definitely said that.
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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

Kassi
In reply to this post by Cory Jenks
Wow, it's been a fast week so far in my world!!  After watching the interview, I definitely wanted to catch up and watch the movie 'Don't Think Twice'.  That was a really great movie! It was a great example of how important having each other's back's really can be.  For the dada speech, I felt kind of silly, but have had 'ah ha' moments while doing it this week: Being silly and learning to be more ADD-like was really ok. I definitely see how it helps to train the brain to keep going with more words when it might be at a loss for words.  

A friend sent me a link to the latest 'Whose Line Is It?' to check out one their question game  (http://cwseed.com/shows/whose-line-is-it-anyway/view-in-app/?play=e608adc1-8aa1-4082-88dd-cf6c0f05255c).  The whole episode was very silly funny.  I had no idea they had new shows to watch!
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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

David
In reply to this post by Cory Jenks
The "Yes, and..." concept does allows us to collaborate with other people, while adding on more details based on the idea that was suggested.

I realized that I needed to expand the idea, and not adding anything else that my be irrelevant. When I was on-stage last Saturday, someone from the audience suggested that my occupation was being a black jack player. I had no idea what black jack players do or what the rules were, so I stirred the conversation to something that I was familiar of (e.g. Las Vegas lights). I was aware that I made this mistake but since I've never been to Las Vegas or knew anything of black jack, I was perplexed on what to do with the conversation. However, my scene partner collaborated and added on more details about the city's lights. Kudos for him! I know I messed up.

The "Yes, and..." concept allows us to listen to our partner and react based on the actions or ideas they expressed. It is difficult for me at times since I have to think through my feet at that given time. I tend think about the situation I am in, and the right answer to respond. The only thing I realized as I am writing this is that there is so much I can do, especially if the situations is beyond my control.

Such example:

Guest: "I couldn't sleep last night because there was a drag race outside the hotel at 3 a.m. I am so tired and upset with the hotel for not doing anything about i! I want a full-refund!"

Me: "I apologize for the inconvenience, Mrs. (name). Since it was beyond our control and I was not here during the time the event took place, I am afraid there is nothing I can do at this moment. You are more than welcome to speak to my supervisor as she will be here tomorrow morning".

Guest: "I will. I will never come back to this place again!"

I learned the first thing that pops in my head tends to be the answer that is accurate and relevant to what is being brought on. I do improv at work without even realizing it, while providing customer service to meet or exceed our guest's expectation.

I will work on the dada right now. And I have a few videos I will like to share as well.
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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

David
In reply to this post by Cory Jenks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5z32wSfeF8

I hope this video helps! It did for me. Thank you, Tina Fey!
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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

David
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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

David
In reply to this post by Cory Jenks
The dada speech was so difficult for me. I get stuck and I have no idea what to say afterward. I only say two sentences and my mind goes blank. What can I do at this point, Cory? Thank you.
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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

Lucinda
In reply to this post by Cory Jenks
Loved the video with Colbert and Keegan - and also watched the Tina Fey clip Mo mentioned. Yes, and ... I'm pretty enthusiastic about this concept. And it is interesting to try to incorporate it into daily thought processes - actually I have to interrupt some of my thought processes to do that. Yes, and opens doors.

The dada speech felt really awkward at first, especially since I was doing it for myself. And it was easier the more I did it. It reminded me of an aptitude test I took once, that measured something called "ideation," which is the ability generate ideas (regardless of merit). I found once I got into a certain mindless mindset, the ideas came almost faster than I could speak them. So maybe I had a sense of what it feels like to not think so much.
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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

David
That's amazing! I guess I tend to think too much that I stop because I have nothing left to say. Although, it was pretty funny! Thank you for that feedback!
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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

Branden
In reply to this post by Cory Jenks
These videos are all pretty helpful, especially the one that included the excerpt from Tina Fey's book.

Man, trying out the dada speeches are surprisingly hard. There's a weird balance of having to sound like you're forming a coherent thought while still not devolving into complete gibberish. More than once I caught myself just making noises with my mouth when I couldn't think of a new word to say.

The dada speech actually reminds me of another Stephen Colbert video, one where he mocks Sarah Palin's diction. I found myself trying to channel this when attempting to do dada speeches. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LPR7DktumA
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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

David
In reply to this post by Cory Jenks
I used a couple of the dada speeches with my associates here at the hotel, and they thought it was very funny. It is so hard to come up with anything else since I don't want to say sentences like "the rabbit used an umbrella when it rained outside".

Saying the dada speeches out loud helped me release some stress when the guests gave me a hard time earlier today.
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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

Robin
Loved watching the video links!  Thanks everyone!  Can't wait for class tomorrow!
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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

Cory Jenks
In reply to this post by Kassi
Thanks for sharing!

Don't Think Twice works so well because it appeals to long time improvisors, but also sheds light on the art for someone new to it (and the importance and pitfalls of having/not having each others backs)-glad you checked it out!

AHA! The dada speech IS incredibly silly, but most of us work in jobs and have lives that are so "normal" that being silly and getting a chance to play is a rare treat.

Haven't had a chance to see the newest Whose Line, but know that those folks are REALLY excellent and have honed their improv craft well!
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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

Cory Jenks
In reply to this post by David
David-
I LOOVE all your thoughts and videos that you have shared, keep up the great participation!

Re: your blackjack scene. You most definitely did not make a mistake. The beautiful thing about improv is that whatever is said becomes the reality, and it sounds like our scene partner just went with your Las Vegas lights idea. I would argue that was the BEST choice you could make based on your knowledge level. The audience won't mind exactly WHAT you choose, but THAT you choose something strong and build.

Re: doing improv everyday at work: What a great epiphany! We are ALL improvisors every day! Stay tuned for the homework this week...

Re: your blank mind in the dada speech. Your improv muscle's need to be worked. Try to worry less about WHAT is said in a dada speech and more about THAT  you say something in a DADA speech.
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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

Linda Varela
In reply to this post by Cory Jenks
Hi everyone! I watched the video of Colbert and Key repeatedly throughout the week. I think it's great that they talk about supporting your scene partner and team work, while also playing to the conversation and making something really entertaining out of it.

I tried the dada speech exercise almost every day this week. It wasn't necessarily difficult for me, but I was very slow when it came to connecting ideas. I came up with some pretty random things though! My brother even joined in because he thought it was funny!

I'm excited to go to class today! See you all there!

Mo
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Open mics and Dating Game

Mo
In reply to this post by Cory Jenks
Hi Ye'all! I said I would post events I have going that you may be interested in.

Here is the FB link to The Dating Game https://www.facebook.com/tucsondatinggame/ and our email is thedatinggametucson@gmail.com and the next one is on July 30th at The Flycatcher and we are notifying people on July 3rd.

Here is a FB link for the next comedy open mic at The Surly Wench

https://www.facebook.com/events/356135168135333/?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A%222%22%2C%22ref_dashboard_filter%22%3A%22upcoming%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22[%7B%5C%22surface%5C%22%3A%5C%22dashboard%5C%22%2C%5C%22mechanism%5C%22%3A%5C%22main_list%5C%22%2C%5C%22extra_data%5C%22%3A[]%7D]%22%7D


And starting the week of June 21st there will be a weekly comedy open mic on Wednesdays at Cafe/Bar Passe located at  417 North 4th Avenue
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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

Branden
In reply to this post by Cory Jenks
For anyone interested in seeing other examples of some of the games we played during last class (all from the "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" group of people:

The story telling game:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBuo02_NC0U
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSVxeDvjPBs

Freeze:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBTwNGYnEFQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ngNfI2jJ2w


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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

Linda Varela
In reply to this post by Cory Jenks
Hi everyone!

Since one of the homework assignments this week was to "yes, and..." situations we normally would say no to, I gave it a try and had a pretty fun result. A couple of my high school friends came to visit me in Tucson. At one point we decided it would be fun to get tattoos (temporary ones that is). We found a place that sells them here and we ordered online and headed over to pick them up. The store happened to be in an area of town I'd never even seen. Normally I don't venture out of the places I know, but homework made me do it. My GPS stopped working in the middle of our drive and we ended up pretty lost and almost all the way at the airport. We joked around the whole time about how we were probably going to die or something. It sounds pretty boring when I write it, but we had a really good laugh. Now we have a new memory and a story about how we got lost shopping for tattoos. That never would've happened had I said no.

As a bonus, I've also found myself listening a lot more and joking around more often. I don't consider myself a funny person or a person who tries to be funny, so it's been interesting to see how natural it's felt. Maybe my improv muscles are starting to show!

Anyway, I hope you've all had a great week! See you soon!
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Re: Improv 101 June/July 2017

David
This post was updated on .
I have a funny story to tell.

The other night, I answered the call here at the Front Desk where a person wanted to book a room for the following day. I informed him about the rate and this is how it went to:

(The phone rings at five o'clock in the evening. I pick up the phone).

Me: Good evening! Thank you for calling the (name of the hotel). My name is (you know who). How may I direct your call?

Caller: Hi! Yes. I would like to book a room for tomorrow.

Me: Absolutely! What kind of room are you looking for?

Caller: A single bed, please.

Me: And for how many nights?

Caller: Just one.

(I check the regular price for tomorrow in my computer system).

Me: Great! The rate for tomorrow will be at $119.00.

Caller: C'mon, David! You can do a lot better than that!
(The man answers with a serious tone of his voice)

Me: Are you a member with the AAA?

Caller: Ahhh....no.

Me: Are you affiliated with the Federal Government?

Caller: No.

(I look at the occupancy rate for the following day-more than 100 people arriving)

Me: Unfortunately, that's the only rate I have available as of right now.

Caller: You guys should lower your rates in Tucson. I mean it's hot in Tucson right now!

(I was speechless of what he said that moment).

Me: Yes, and Tucson's a great place to site see and visit other locations at this time of the year as well.

Caller: I see that (name of a third party) offers a better deal at $69.00. I'd rather do that!

Me: That's absolutely fine! You are more than welcome to book a room through a third party, if you feel the rate that they are offering is reasonable for you.

Caller: Yes. I'll do that. Thank you.

Me: Is there anything else I could do for you?

Caller: No. That's it.

Me: Alright, then. Thank you very much and have a nice day, sir!

Caller: You as well. Bye.

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