Saturday, February 7, 2004

Level 3L - Harold, Ross White, class #2

I really must commit to writing these journal entries as soon after class as possible.

The focus of the class was finding the game. I know what that means. I know what to look for: the first unusual thing, the first thing that gets a laugh, the thing that gets repeated. It sounds easy, but sometimes I spend too much time looking for the game and not enough time in the moment of the scene. Other times I forget to look at all. It will come with practice and exercising those improv muscles.

The class was fun. We first played a pattern game to get information for our scenes, and then we used monologues. Ross wants us to learn to get to the three nipples of the clover. That’s right Ross; you will never be able to erase that image from our minds. And we will never forget that we need to start in one place, loop around and then wind up at the starting point again, and again and again.

I attempted to put into practice some of what I learned in the scenework class about directly engaging my scene partner right at the start. Sometimes I succeeded, sometimes I did not, but I believe I was right in thinking that taking the two classes at the same time will teach me a lot.

We learned about editing – by the time we are thinking, “I wonder if this needs to be edited” we should already have edited. And we discovered how very awkward it is to start to enter a scene and then creep back out again. It makes everyone feel icky, including the audience. If you’re in the scene, you’re in it. Deal with it.

We practiced mirroring each other. This is always great fun, and it is something that Throw Like a Girl enjoys immensely. We always have fun scenes when we start out by mirroring each other.

We talked about keeping what we bring into the scene and not completely dropping it when our scene partner starts something different. Don’t come in visibly angry and then get happy because that’s what your scene partner expects. The audience will wonder where the anger went.

And play real. If we are in love, we don’t hug each other with five inches of space between us or give each other air kisses. We should trust each other enough to risk a real kiss and a convincing embrace.

And Ross attempted to drill into me once more that my not playing looks a lot worse than anything I might do in a scene.

I am enjoying reading my classmates' notes. I am finding them very helpful. Thanks, guys!

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