Dutch TV doc on Kraftwerk and their influence on Detroit techno. I don’t speak Dutch or German, but hearing Derrick May geek out over his fave Kraftwork tracks is kinda awesome.
The Fear of Heaven (Unsolicited Lids Commercial) (by Cuckold Hawk)
Not entirely sure what I just watched but I love it.
THIS IS TOMORROW!!!
Improv Comedy. Comedy. Comedy of Errors. Error 404 Page Not Found. Found Magazine. Magazines. Gun Magazines. Gun Control. Obamacare THINK ABOUT IT FOR A SECOND, SHEEPLE. Improv Comedy. Long Form Improv. Del Close. Close Encounters. Aliens. Illegal Aliens. Immigration Reform IT’S RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR EYES, FOLKS! Improv Comedy. Jokes. Funny. Ha Ha. Laughing all the way to the bank. The banks. Ben Bernanke. Financial Collapse WAKE UP, PEOPLE!
If you want THE TRUTH, then we’ve got a show for you. A show that THEY don’t want you to SEE!
At the LaunchPad in Brooklyn
721 Franklin Ave.
Off the Franklin Ave Stop on the 2, 3, 4, or 5
$5 Suggested Donation
Beer BYOB or available for purchase at venue.
PARTY AFTER THE SHOW!
This is an attempt at a six second harold. It’s magical and I love it.
SO fun, we’re making one (maybe several) this weekend.
“He’d kill us if he got the chance.”
“It’s very difficult to improvise when you put all your weight on your words. Your words would have to be brilliant to get an audience response. None of us is that smart. TJ advocates moving the weight from the words to the emotions. Doing so makes your words less important. And if the words are less important, it frees up an enormous part of your brain – the part that helps you do a good scene.”
Christina Gausas and Rebecca Sohn talked about weight and heat in the workshops I’ve taken with them.
I recommend to anyone involved in improv to read the whole article. There is a lot great in it.
Chris is right; I read through the whole thing this time (I skimmed it earlier and just reblogged it - *slaps wrist* Bad improv blogger. Bad.)
Here are some of the things that stood out to me:
Your words, “Great party last night,” don’t tell the “neutral” actor the exact nature your chosen backstory, but that’s relatively unimportant up top. If you say it wrenched with agony, your scene partner will (hopefully) honor the pain over the words. In this case, “yes and” doesn’t mean a literal, “Yes, that was a great party because we had a clown.” It means, “I hear your pain and that makes me respond like this.”
I like this nuanced definition/illustration of Yes-And. Yes-And doesn’t have to always be the literal words that we build off of. We can honor and support our partner’s emotion - the how of what they’re saying rather than the content/words themselves.
TJ also advocated that we not use our first response line to guess why the person is sad/angry/happy/fearful/whatever. What happens if the scene begins with a sad, “Great party last night,” followed immediately by, “Hey. Sorry you’re sad because I threw your computer out the window”? You’ve jumped too far ahead. Your scene partner is sad. Yes, why matters. But the sadness is the oozing wound of the scene. When a bloody person is wheeled into the emergency room, the doctor doesn’t try to ascertain the motive of the patient’s attacker. What’s important is the wound. Attend to that first! It has more weight than the details.
I think this kind of thing happens because we’re so eager to get a handle of what the scene is about and play the game of the scene. If we sit in our scenes for a bit at top, working with the energy and emotion between both players, we’ll get there. We’ll discover what’s fun to play together.
TJ also alerted us that everything is initiation. Not just words. The degree of eye contact, the emotion, the physical distance, any touch, your pace – all of these things send an enormous amount of information to the audience and to your scene partner.
I love love love this note because it’s so true. People talk about wanting to do ‘organic improv’. Be aware of everything you do and if you use it, that’s organic. In the practice I coached last night, there were moments at the very tops of scenes, before anyone blurted out their premise ideas, where if they just used the very first thing they did, it could’ve been an awesome, fun, surprising scene. For instance, in one scene, person A pulls out two chairs, walks to the one on the right and person B makes to sit in the other chair. But when A remains standing, B quickly shifts over to the seat adjacent to B. Instead of figuring out this dynamic/energy/fun moment (which everyone laughed at), one of them blurted out the premise they had in mind and it basically tossed those first few moments in the scene into the proverbial garbage. I was kinda disappointed.
By constantly making discoveries with what’s available to us, we relieve ourselves of the burden of being clever or propelling the plot.
This goes back to why I think “finding the game” is a misleading concept.
Ambiguity is hard to react to because you’re literally straddling two emotions. Make choices that will be easier for your partner to read.
This is why we’re taught not to play “coy”.
Remain open to something that can change you. Even if you are in a total downward emotional spiral, something can be done or said to halt (if not reverse) the process. We must always keep our antenna up to receive information.
I think this is another part of Yes-And - being aware and receptive rather than shutting your mouth to let your partner speak so you can go ahead and continue speaking.
Great, great stuff. Thanks for sharing these notes from TJ!
Great notes, great commentary. This is particularly well-timed, as one of the notes I’ve consistently gotten throughout 401 is to have stronger emotional reactions.
I’m not a working actor. I haven’t had to conjure a nonexistent hundreds of dollars for headshots because I changed my hair. I’ve never had to ask someone to cover my shift for a voice over auditions. Or paid thousands of dollars for a two-day on-camera workshop that might just maybe help me land a gig somewhere in the kinda distant future. So my scope on this “UCB not paying performers” matter is rather limited.
But there was a time when I was thinking about going to real graduate school. The kind where I’d have to quit my job, saddle six figures of debt, and hopefully have a job doing something that someone with an MFA in screenwriting or fiction would do (no job?). Afraid of major life changes, I took baby steps. Extension classes!
I ran the range at different institutions: NYU, Parsons, and Gotham Writer’s Workshop. These were often $600 dollar courses. Without fail, I always felt like stepchild student. Since wasn’t paying the tuition to be a graduate student, this NYU extension course taught by a non-NYU professor in a windowless middle school classroom in Murray Hill is close enough… right?
UCB is the best non-graduate graduate school I could ask for. I don’t have tuition-induced heart attacks, and I’ve always felt like the benefits of committing to the program were damn clear, even if they didn’t involve getting a cut of the house. And—joke’s on UCB—I was admitted to a musical improv course without having to do a voice audition.
(image via Dan McGillivray)