Improv 3: The Big Show

I’ve been fairly busy of late, combined with my personal computer dying, I haven’t had a chance to update lately. Level 3 improv classes started back the 2nd week of September. Unlike the previous classes, there is a graduation requirement beyond attendance: a public show.

Unlike previous classes, I am the only man, So while the group has been amazing, I still occasionally find myself feeling awkward as I do not want to mistakenly offend anyone during scenes by being too over the top either. Luckily, one of the other classmates is good at playing the really overbearing douche/alpha male which makes things easier 🙂

That said, so far we’ve mostly retread similar exercises we’ve performed in level 2 except our new instructor really delves deeper into the subject. Her style differs in I would compare our level 2 instructor to be a masters teacher who expects you to figure it out on your own while in level 3, she is more like a cool high school teacher. An example of a more advanced exercise might have us have to pass multiple word patterns to multiple people at once to heighten our awareness of what is going on around us.

One of the new concepts introduced to us was “the Game”.

No, not him.

Games in improv, at least how this was presented to us, was akin to a sort of running gag or escalating joke in a performance. For example, in one scene I was working on repairing a door with rusty hinges. My partners were giving me various lubricants to fix it. Each time, they would offer me oil in increasingly bulkier containers. Meanwhile, I was voicing over the sounds of the door differently with each one. In this instance, there were 2 games. The changing sounds of the door and the ever growing size of the containers and how we interacted with them.

Other lessons focused on becoming more aware of the different “offers” our scene partners might be projecting either physically (body language or actions) or verbally (the words or tone). One such exercise had us repeat the dialogue of our partners so we might have more time to reflect on what was said. Another had us purely begin with very mundane conversations without trying to be funny. The latter made the conversations feel more natural and less stilted. So if we were to then introduce a funny element, it would have more impact to the audience.

While I understood the lessons in level 2, I feel the group as a whole is more comfortable and mastering these concepts in level 3 which makes for a better back and forth between us all. Our big show will be October 27th. So wish me luck!

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