I’d made it to week three! Wohoo! I must admit before going to the improv course on Monday I was not well. I’d been in pain for most of the previous weekend due to my on-going headaches and very nearly didn’t go at all! But seeing as I am writing about my experience and thinking about how much I have gotten out of the first two lessons I put my pain aside and ploughed on through!
When I got there however I kinda wished I hadn’t come…. Firstly we were down 6 people! There were a lot of people at the Body & Soul festival last weekend. This was a good thing apparently as we would be doing “status” in today’s class and would all get a chance to do all the activities….I’m not so sure this was a good thing!
As always we started with a warm up. This time round we killed each other with a game called ninja stars! It was great craic altogether. There was very imaginative ways thought up…I chopped people’s head off and stabbed people mostly, granted this was after stating “it’s very hard to think of ways to kill someone!” Next it was “bunny bunny”. Bunny bunny started off VERY simple…..it ended up with lots of chanting/laughing and slapping of thighs followed by the words God damn it being muttered under people’s breaths!
So status was the name of the game for this week. Status is all about confidence, how you project yourself on stage. The first thing I did was to project a low status by not making eye contact, fidgeting and giggling. This I found really easy. The hard part was projecting a high status, where I had to keep my head perfectly straight and make eye contact. It was a strange experience for me.
Then we had a party, complete with a table laden with soda pop and food! We were to act our varying status during the party. This while being lots of fun was an extremely hard thing to do. It was hard to remember to stay within the status I was given and also remember the other rules of improv I’ve learned in the last two weeks! Everyone wants to be the best, wants to be the one who delivers the funniest line, it is human nature. What these scenes made us do was to recognise the status that we were given and how to interact with other people of higher and lower status. This was evident when we did a status competition scene which again was really weird! It took me a little while to work it all out in my head!
On a personal note I learned that I don’t like looking people in the eye and when I have to I get really uncomfortable! It’s a strange thing but it seems that improv is not just teaching me about performing but is also teaching me about life in general! (That sounded rather profound didn’t it?)
At the end of the class we played Freeze. This is a fast paced scene changing game where two people started off with a scene, someone shouted freeze, and they then stepped in, in the exact same position and started off a new scene. This was hilarious. We went from dancing in a nightclub to hand gliding down the side of a mountain to dancing at the opening ceremony of the Olympics to playing golf! It was rather random I’ll admit! Oh and by the end of the class I was delighted I had made the effort to go to the class!
If there is one bad thing I will say about improv it is the frustration I feel when I am on the way home or in bed on a Monday night after the class and I am thinking of all the lines I could have said or things I could have done! Not really the point of improv I agree but God damn frustrating none the less. Though maybe I can kill two birds with the one stone and use those extra things to create that book of short stories I have planned to write this year?
As usual I am leaving you with another “Master of improv” recommendation. It’s another one from Neil this week. This time it comes from Beer. Shark. Mice. It’s another long one but I can assure you it is well worth it. You might even see a familiar face….
Until next week…..be spontaneous!