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Author Topic: Get out of your comfort zone much?  (Read 8947 times)
jonzr
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« Reply #50 on: Apr 03, 2014 at 10:53 »

Um, we're not quite ready for video!  Really though, improv is more of a live theater experience IMO.  Unless you're talking UCB or Second City, of course.  Just search on youtube and you'll see lots of really awful improv that may have actually been funny live.  Maybe.
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« Reply #51 on: Apr 03, 2014 at 14:00 »

So, stupid question:  do you have some basic concept and just riff?  How do you start?  Does someone else give you a theme?

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« Reply #52 on: Apr 03, 2014 at 15:14 »

We ask for a one-word suggestion from the audience.  Last night we got "wedding" and went from there.  We just riff, it's all improvised.  Never seen before or again.  For instance, last night, the first scene (there are 5 of us, generally 2 on stage at a time) a man and woman were on stage, he said, "Grandma, it'll be time for me to move on soon, I can't take care of you forever."  She demanded that he change her diaper and that 35 was too young to get out there and find love.

From there another player (lady) walked on and the man exited.  The two women continued (the first lady was still the grandma) but in a different scene. The new lady said she was lonely since her husband, Harold, died.  The grandma told her to try try some "toys".  About that time I walked on, the grandma walked off and the remaining (lonely) lady and I did a scene.  I said, "Greetings, I am Harold Unit 9000."  (I was a sex bot. ) 

And it went on from there, we rotated through about 10 scenes and ended up with my robot character marrying one of the women to the consternation of the original male character.  Hey, my guy had attachments!
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« Reply #53 on: Apr 03, 2014 at 15:33 »

That format is called a La Ronde, it's the rotating through of the characters.  We do predetermine our ordering prior to taking the stage and endeavor to rotate through twice.  We try to end with a group scene if it makes sense, last night we got 3 on stage at the end.

It also helps to have somebody running tech (lights, music, etc) who is paying attention.  I spoke to the guy beforehand, and he remembered us from before, to let him know that we're nearing our end when we get >2 people on stage at one time.  Plus there's a 20 min limit, but it's not a hard limit.

Our very first time we didn't make it through the rotation twice.  But the last two times we've nailed it and the tech guy cut the lights on a funny line and you can't ask for more than that.
« Last Edit: Apr 03, 2014 at 15:46 by jonzr » Logged

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« Reply #54 on: Apr 03, 2014 at 19:07 »

Interesting.  I'd probably do better at improv than standup, since I have zero memory for jokes (or song lyrics, FWIW).  Good at ad-libs, snarky rebarbs, impromptu retorts.  Plus I do physical comedy.  Back in my "High Fidelity" days did a lot of pratfalls to amuse co-workers, though frankly now that might break a hip.  Guess I need to fax my resume to you in case I ever hope to join the Juanderers, or WTF you're called.  The Juanders?  Isn't that a Tom Hanks joint?
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« Reply #55 on: Apr 04, 2014 at 08:53 »

Yes, standup and improv are different animals.  I don't know much about standup, but do know that it's about writing, timing, performance and connecting with the audience.  And the audience perspective is different, too.  It's subtle, but when watching improv one is less demanding of the performers (I think the collaborative cloud extends from the stage and envelops everyone) so long as they don't break the contract.  You know, don't deny the reality that's being discovered and built on stage. That let's the audience member's minds make the associations and further paint the picture, thus becoming more invested.  

In standup though, the audience member can be somewhat detached and take a "you better make me laugh" approach.  I never realized this distinction until seeing my first improv show, but it was a glaring difference to me.  

I fell in love with improv.  Mrs. Jonzr still prefers standup.
« Last Edit: Apr 04, 2014 at 09:06 by jonzr » Logged

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« Reply #56 on: Apr 10, 2014 at 19:35 »

Yes, standup and improv are different animals.  I don't know much about standup, but do know that it's about writing, timing, performance and connecting with the audience.  And the audience perspective is different, too.  It's subtle, but when watching improv one is less demanding of the performers (I think the collaborative cloud extends from the stage and envelops everyone) so long as they don't break the contract.  You know, don't deny the reality that's being discovered and built on stage. That let's the audience member's minds make the associations and further paint the picture, thus becoming more invested.  

In standup though, the audience member can be somewhat detached and take a "you better make me laugh" approach.  I never realized this distinction until seeing my first improv show, but it was a glaring difference to me.  


Very apt assessment of stand-up vs improv. I tried improv for the first time the other day... and I was awful. I was like the kid on the basketball court that wouldn't pass the ball. I was trying too hard to make jokes and make people laugh. I did get some laughs, but I did nothing to heighten or move the scene forward. I just killed the momentum...I was making it all about me, and not about the team. Which apparently happens a lot when stand-ups try improv. I respect the improv people, but I'll stick to stand-up!
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« Reply #57 on: Apr 11, 2014 at 09:50 »

A couple months ago a bunch of the standups who frequent the open mic night took the level 1 improv class together.  I don't know if all continued but some did.  I spoke with one of the guys briefly and he said it helped his standup but didn't get into how or anything.

BTW, we won another King of the Mountain last Wed.  Up again next week!
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« Reply #58 on: Apr 17, 2014 at 10:15 »

Improv "King of the Mountain" update:  we won again last week so we defended our title last night.  We faced off against the team we beat a couple weeks ago when we were cannon-fodder but pulled the upset in a tie-breaker.  This time they won.  Still, I thought we had a really good show.  The thing is, our group is not so overtly funny on a regular basis.  We can get to the absurd sometimes, but mostly we present a slice-of-life episode with a few laughs here and there.  Frankly, I'm surprised we've won all the times we have.  The thing is, you can't force the funny, it has to be organic or it falls flat.  For me, it's gonna take more reps.  But mainly I have to learn how to be in-the-moment.  It's not so easy to forget everything and live only in that world we're creating on the stage.  It's weird.  I don't know why I'm compelled to do it.  Sometimes I feel like I'm banging my head against a wall.  Then a few months later another break-through happens.  But the main barrier now is that ability to forget the self and truly live in-the-moment.  I have to find out how to get there.
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« Reply #59 on: Apr 17, 2014 at 22:12 »

But the main barrier now is that ability to forget the self and truly live in-the-moment.  I have to find out how to get there.

A few caps and stems. 
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