Improv 301 - January/February 2017

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Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Jessica Peck
Welcome to the 301 thread!  This will be a place where we can have homework discussions, improv thoughts or questions, "Aha" moments,  and any other interesting "finds" you may have!  I really want this thread to be a place for us to dive in and keep the conversation going over the week in the forums.  Yay Improv!!!

Class Roster:
Ben Cohen
Alex Demeroutis
Gloria Elizalde
Daniel Geffre
SETON GRUNEISEN
David Lukes
Zak Morek
Cristin Phibbs
Jeremy Shultz
Christie Smith
Javier Smith
Diane Weinerman
Jordan Wilson
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Gloria Elizalde
"you are my least favorite cousin Matilda"
talk about finding the weird/funny early on!

Game to me is being able to play fully on the puns early created in the scene. It was interesting to have the time and space to follow and elaborate the weird in initial scenes, the interactions created with the help of the audience was also great when exploring this idea of game.


I watch a lot of Friends for one simple reason, Joey's game.
Though I'm a little unclear on how to use the idea of game properly, this character does great at setting up the audience for a full rotation on his character take on life. It usually ends up circling around to a great weird/funny.
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Jordan
In reply to this post by Jessica Peck
Favorite moment:  "We can't call it a Thumb War anymore, it has to be called a Negotiated Finger Treaty."  It was a fantastic way to heighten the scene, I wish I could've heard more.  

Game:  the identifying of the strange/quirky subject in a scene and using it as a base to build a bigger and bigger narrative.  The "game" of a comedic scene is that odd thing that props up the scene/story and produces a comedic effect.

I'm a huge fan of How I Met Your Mother, so naturally my life is LEGEN...wait for it...DARY.  LEGENDARY.  This is something that Barney says all the time and the audience is always waiting to see how it will be worked in and/or what Barney will say in between both parts of the word.  Also in the first couple of seasons whenever he would introduce a girl to Ted he would use the drawn-out phrase "Haaaaaave you met Ted?"

WILSON OUT.      
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Javier Smith
In reply to this post by Jessica Peck
Favorite moments: 1) Diane not falling for Ben's ol' rattlesnake soup trick. 2) The detective guilty of every crime. 3) The "Criss-cross apple sauce because 'Indian Style' is racially insensitive" eight year-old kid.

Game = the repetition/heightening of a character's unique response to its environment or scene partner in a manner that reinforces the character's personality or reality of the scene.

Example of Game: In the movie Swiss Army Man, Daniel Radcliffe's character is introduced with a fart when Paul Dano's character finds him. As the story progresses, his farts become increasingly useful and are utilized in a variety ways in order to keep them both safe. Ultimately, his final act of flatulence is how Radcliffe's character leaves the story.
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Christiegrace
In reply to this post by Jessica Peck
Most memorable opening line for me was: "You are my least favorite cousin, Matilda."
I also enjoyed watching Ben and Diane's sibling relationship, where Ben was trying to feed Diane rattlesnake soup but Diane wasn't falling for it.

Game: it is the thing that organically happens in the scene that is done/visited multiple times (with heightening) and becomes a characteristic/truth. It is a magical pattern of sorts.

I love IT Crowd. It is ridiculous fun and makes my memories of nasa more amusing.
In every episode, Roy says, "Hello, IT. Have you tried turning it off and on again?"
It turns into a recording in later episodes and heightens to a bomb situation.
https://youtu.be/nn2FB1P_Mn8
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Jessica Peck
In reply to this post by Jessica Peck
Great examples/descriptions of game everyone!!  And thanks for the reminders of all the fun scenes from last class, such great scene work :)  Looking forward to exploring game more in this afternoon's class.  See you soon!
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Seton
In reply to this post by Jessica Peck
https://youtu.be/QSa368X1Z2w
Fish out of water
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Alex
Elle Woods in Legally Blonde at Harvard Law School, biggest fish out of water.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLcAQVgMTSY

So good!
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Javier Smith
In reply to this post by Jessica Peck
https://youtu.be/bfRgVbp9gSY

Lilyhammer. Enjoy!
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Jessica Peck
In reply to this post by Jessica Peck
Three great fish out of water examples!  :)  and great job in class yesterday all, keep up the good work!
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Javier Smith
In reply to this post by Jessica Peck
TIM 301 Writing Exercise

1.We are the most squeamish vampires ever!
2.Yes, we are the most squeamish vampires ever, and I can't kill anything for its blood!

1.Me neither, I abhor physical violence as a means to my sustenance.
2.At least you can still get it down, Gerrard! The taste of blood makes me gag!

1.Not so loudly, Hamish! The Count will hear you!
2.But it's true! If I even catch a whiff of that iron-laden meat soup, I toss up my lunch!

1.Hamish, the Count won't allow a vegan vampire to remain in the coven.
2.Please don't tell anyone, Gerrard. I have nowhere else to go.

1.Wait. What do you have to toss up if you aren't drinking blood?
2.I eat a lot of raisins. For the iron.
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Christiegrace
In reply to this post by Jessica Peck
scene prompt writing exercise

1: We are the most unseemly heroes ever.
2: Yes, we are the most unseemly heroes ever. My cape is so static clingy, I keep getting tangled in it.
1: I had to get an orthotic insert put in my left boot. Now my super boots don’t match!
2: At least you look tall when you’re standing. That might scare the bad guys.
1: My utility belt is too tight. My belly is blocking all the gadgets.
2: My mask keeps falling off my head, everyone will see my face!
1: Oh, no, Fionn! We have to keep our identities secret!
2: We are not very good at this at all.
1: Well, we could try being bad guys.
2: That would never work, Enzo. We can't afford to dress that  well.
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Jessica Peck
Great heightening with these ten line scenes!!  And great game :). Thx for sharing!!!
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Ben C.
In reply to this post by Jessica Peck
Emotion. Well, it wasn't my favorite, but it did seem the easiest to use. It's not always hard to increase or decrease the level of emotion. Well, with support of the teacher, it was easier. I didn't start stomping my biggest, until I was encouraged to. But I think it's fun to be able to pick an emotion and play with it, and start somewhere with it, and end up somewhere else with it.
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Javier Smith
In reply to this post by Jessica Peck
Method for getting to game: Emotion

1. Strong reactions -- This doesn't necessarily mean a BIG reaction, just a committed one.

2. Stick with your choice -- "Live" in your emotion and allow it to inform your character's responses.

3. Discover your truth -- Determine what is important to your character, and work towards achieving it. This can help you keep your emotion grounded even as the scene travels to other places.
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Christiegrace
In reply to this post by Jessica Peck
The most fun way for me was Emotions. It was a clear path for heightening because all I needed to do was listen to my scene partner and respond with the emotion chosen, heightening at each gift given. To me, Emotion is like a built in "make it worse" or "make it best" game.
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Jessica Peck
Thanks for sharing your favorite methods to get to game and all the explanations/descriptions were great!!  it's definitely nice to have these tools when entering a scene!  :)
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Javier Smith
In reply to this post by Jessica Peck
•Facilitating game through tag-outs: This is a great tool for enhancing a particular character trait. Once identified, the fun for both the players and the audience comes from exploring that trait in different environments/ situations. I believe the key for successful tag-outs is to keep them short. Quickly establish the new scenario, allow the character to play on his trait, then get out.

•Sweep edits: Trust your instinct to edit. If the game exploration is done, or there's a huge laugh, go out on a high note. Your teammates won't begrudge you editing early and making them look good.

•Montage: I think that free-form scenes can lead to amazing discoveries, and that Montage lends itself to A-->C connections. As with most any improv, I think Montage is successful when strong choices are used to make initiations. These choices can emotional, character-traits, or endowments that add depth/ground the scene.
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Re: Improv 301 - January/February 2017

Christiegrace
In reply to this post by Jessica Peck
•Facilitating game through tag-outs: To me, tag-outs are like punchlines for the same joke. It requires support from everyone. Don't let a tag out linger.


•Sweep edits: Trust you instincts. If your body moves forward, follow it. Choose to go sweep on a laugh.


•Montage: Montages are magical playgrounds. Trust the first thing said/done at the top of the scene and commit hard to explore.