Improv 4: Curtain Call

Last night was our final class together. Although we had all known each other for a short amount of time, I couldn’t help but feel a certain melancholy at the start of the night. My previous experience has led me to believe many of these passengers on this road will step off and go on their separate ways. More on this later. Nevertheless, we were encouraged to bring our A game and the energy level rose quickly.

This week’s class felt like we were reviewing what we had learned over the past few weeks. Although we retread some exercises, each had a bit of a twist. The collaborative story was altered to fit the “Pixar formula”:

They forgot to include the part when you make millions of dollars.

We later moved on to work on platforming where we were given one of the “who, what, and where” and had to quickly establish the other two within 3 lines of dialogue. One of our classmates is an aspiring actor and his skill really shined through. When given a bit of direction, he rapidly developed a character before the scene began. This enabled him to draw attention throughout the scene by his mannerisms and body language. Later that night, he explained he had taken miming classes in the past and demonstrated the skills he learned more directly. During my own performance, I tried the same, but perhaps I was too mechanical in my approach or focused too heavily on an action rather than mannerisms. Something to reflect upon for the next session.

The running gag throughout the whole show was another classmate who would always mime placing his drink on the floor. The joke being he could easily pretend there was a table nearby to set his drink on. The best new exercise was “tableau”. In it, we would have three people call out an object or person and pose in the middle of a circle formed by the rest of the group. Those outside the pose would then call one of the three by what they were mimicking and creating a new tableau. My finest moment was in response to “fireman”, I called out calendar.

Sorry ladies, I’m not going to post a beefcake 😉

In honour of both the ending of an amazing experience and a fellow classmates’ birthday, I baked a cake for everyone. My success rate is now at 50%! In a way, it was my way of expressing my genuine and sincere thanks for the overwhelmingly positive experience this endeavour has been. I’ve met 20 individuals I would otherwise not meet through my regular social circles. I sincerely hope to maintain and develop as many of these relationships as I can going forward now that I have more free time. If it does not happen, I remain thankful for the memories. I will keep to my word of not including names involved as I never sought or asked permission. If any feel I characterized them incorrectly, I truly apologize and will redact the offending statement.

After class and cake, most of the group went to the Old Orchard on St-Laurent and mingled. The topic of the level 2 classes came up. Unfortunately, due to the Summer, many are going on vacation so the group will not remain entirely intact. Still, there was talk about getting together for board games and for karaoke (tonight in fact). There was also talk of a trip to Ottawa for our nation’s holiday.

As the night went on, talk turned towards relationships, and the male vs female experience in dating. While I’ve written at length about the topic before, there was a moment of discomfort when the threat of sexual assault and harassment crept into the conversation. Both subjects are often taboo, but I do enjoy earnest and thoughtful conversation on it especially when women are involved for the different perspective. My discomfort came when I was being pulled into a certain position which I did not agree with. As in many things, I hold a nuanced view. I won’t go into it here, but it was somewhat pleasing when the birthday girl stated she recognized me as a feminist. I write somewhat because I feel that is too limiting a term for my general outlook. I am a white male and as such benefit from a certain level of privilege. Nevertheless, I strive to be inclusive and try to empathize with the experience of others. For further evidence of Facebook’s algorithms analyzing our behaviour, I was suggested the following video this morning:

Some of the arguments in the above video were brought up during the talk. One of the lines that struck me the most was at the 2:00 minute mark. A lot of food for thought.

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