Monday, February 16, 2004

Level 5 - Advanced Scenework, Class #3, Scott Jennings

Yesterday’s class was, again, very challenging, and also fun. I think we’ve all been concentrating too hard to have fun up till now (all except Corey, who makes his own fun wherever he goes). That is what Scott is trying to get us to move beyond. We need to learn to stop thinking. To learn to trust that we have internalized all we’ve learned about improv and we don’t need to concentrate on it anymore.

We started out mirroring each other – or at least trying to. We first kept doing sound and motion type stuff, which was not at all what Scott was looking for. He must have felt a little frustrated with us, but he just kept patiently explaining what he’d just finished explaining a few minutes earlier. I think we finally got it in the end, although we were so concerned about repeating the sound and motion thing that all we actually moved were our hands.

Then we did the exercise where we repeated things to each other over and over, but with phrases this time. That was followed by us sitting across from each other and saying the first thing that came to us in response to what our partner said, and back and forth.

It was hard not to plan and build a conversation instead of just responding without thinking. All our lives we’re told to think before we speak. This can be useful advice at times, but not for good, honest scenework.

After we sat and blurted things at each other a little bit, we stood and attempted some scenes like that, just saying the first thing that came to us in response to our partner. That was where it got fun. Maybe I was having fun because Eric and I just complimented and validated each other. I will always take compliments wherever I can get them.

The second time up, Tom and I started out ok, but then wound up just having a strange conversation about how hurt colors would feel if they knew I had different favorites for different situations. We all spent a lot of time talking about colors. And shirts.

We’ll get there. Unfortunately, it is obvious that we need a lot more than five weeks to really get down to the meat of what advanced scenework is. I think we’d need much more time to really begin to get a handle on this. In spite of that, though, I do feel like I am learning a lot.

I want to second Austin’s thanks to everyone for being so committed to this class. It feels really good to work together like this.

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