Improv: Level Up!

Today was my first level 2 class at Montreal Improv. This session we’re a much smaller group; down to 9 (albeit one person was missing) from the previous 20. While it was disappointing to see many of my level 1 classmates would not be making the jump, it was good to see many familiar faces; we were six of us. It is understandable with the Summer as many embark on trips to make the most of the weather. With the new job, I had to reschedule my own vacation until the fall.

On the positive side, the smaller group will allow us to better build chemistry with one another. I found it was certainly easier to play along with the other 5 from level 1 as we were more familiar with each other. I also found the venue of the lesson to be much better. We were in a slightly smaller area with much better lighting. We also didn’t have two columns in the way. The volume level of the class wasn’t as deafening during the one on one exercises.

As part of the first class, we went through many of the storytelling exercises we had already gone through during level 1 but the instructor was more hands on. He would occasionally interject and ask rhetorical questions of us on the progress of the scene or exercise. I found this was a welcome change to continue to improve our skills. My level one instructor stressed he wanted to create an open environment. This class appears to be more about exploring the situations we create and the characters we’re portraying.

After an initial intervention from the instructor, I thought I was quicker on the draw as he suggested I try to project more the words or actions I am taking to my partners in the exercise. Although I’ve never taken an acting class, I do feel this first experience is a bit closer to what that might be than what I experienced in the first. I really appreciated the feedback as well.

As for the highlights, my favourite moment was a “pixar story” I started with “Once upon a time there was a six foot, man eating chicken named Joel”. Through the story he was forced to reform his ways after the K-mart stopped selling chickens and as a result he lost a whole bunch of weight and looked sexy. Until finally, a Walmart replaced the K-Mart and the chickens became plentiful once more. I concluded by stating and “with his new sexy body he was able to pick up all the chicks.” Yes, I was kind of proud of that pun.


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