Thursday, October 29, 2009

Impfest Workshops

So, I took Jill Bernard's Fireball Theory workshop during Impfest. I took SO much away from it! I must say that I am now jonsing to take her other workshops!

Intellectually, I have known for quite some time that you have to have confidence and that you have to shut down the negative voice. (The one that tells you that you aren't good enough, smart enough, funny enough, shaped right, etc) I have applied the clamp on this negative voice of doom in my normal, everyday life. So, when Jill talked about out running the negative voice as though there is a fireball chasing, it made COMPLETE sense! I think I was letting the negative voice catch me. Sometimes, in normal class, I am able to stave it off, then John stops the scene and has me fix something. While I'm stopped, the damn voice catches up with me. (Not criticizing John! He is amazing and nurturing, the things he critiques are valid and he is definately NOT mean in ANY way when he fixes them.) So for that concept, I was like, 'AHHHH, YES!' Along with that, Jill said to 'Think you are awesome!" Makes sense, right? Then why don't we?

The next amazing NUGGET from Jill's workshop is the amazing anti-argument idea. It is all about LOVE, which I freaking LOVE ! It makes absolute sense, really. In order to get out of an argument, you LITERALLY put yourself beside the person you are arguing with. Then take on the blame, even apologize! "You stole my boyfriend!" -response- "I know, what was I thinking, I am so sorry!: or " I know. God, I am such an asshole!" You put yourself on there side. It is damn amazing!

My very favorite thig that Jill Bernard has ever said or written,
OMG, I freaking love it!

We did the Mad, Sad, Glad, Afrad (afraid) exercise where someone comes in with a benign line and the person already onstage reacts completely off the hook. This is what I pulled from that exercise (this time)- Strong reaction impell more information, it prevents you from being vague.
Jill also said, "Everybody is secretly afraid that they are monsters." That was in relation to people holding back their emotions. I think that is true. People are afraid of what their emotions will do, so they mute them. I think that using emotions make you vulnerable, so you have to be careful of your scene partner's emotions. That also falls into the TRUST category, in my mind. If you don't TRUST your scene partners, then you will not emote with them the way you should!

Jill Bernard side-note quote of goodness-
"If you can't set aside your ego, it fells terrible to be the straight man."
WOW! how freaking true! Way to name it Jill!!!

Fireball Workshop End. Next, Fix it up shop with Jill Bernard.

Nifer and I were doing a scene in the Fit it up Shop. She was my spouse, and did not work, just stayed at home all day. We were arguing about her needing to get a job. Jill stopped us and asked, "which one of you is wrong?" Neither answered. She asked again and said, " Somebody is wrong." Nifer fessed up that she was wrong. ( rightly so- :D jk) and she played that way. Defending herself by saying that T.V. needed to be watched, etc. Long story short, conflict gone- scene great- and I was able to be magnanimous rather than angry and argumentative. So- One person in an argument is wrong, admit it to yourself, and play it that way.

Three things for/ about starting a scene:
1. Start with a predator/ prey mindset.
2. In the first two lines of a scene each person says something, regardless of the actual words, the first person says, "I'm proposing a game." The next person says, "I'm playing the game with you." OR " I think this game is stupid." Which one is more interesting? YEAH- NOT DENIAL! Don't make your fellow actors feel bad! Play their game.
3. The body segment thing-
head- intellect/or lack thereof
chest- love or superman type/ or lack thereof
loins- lust or sex/ or lack thereof
legs- worker or grounded/ or lack thereof.

Whew. That's a lot! Fit it up Shop over- next Trish Berrong's connections workshop.

The first and foremost thing that we talked about is listening like you have a crush on the scene. AKA Take in EVERY DETAIL. Remember specifics, but not necessarily EVERYTHING! Better to remember a few specifics than vague lots. :D

TRISH'S GOSPEL- Plot is Evil and will Kill you.- I think that is self explanitory.

So, Trish doesn't believe in sweep edits, or well, doesn't LIKE them. I am not sure I am on board with that thought. Her reason was that it gives imrovisers time to think of plot. I personally don't do that. When I sweep edit, I am thinking, " Edit, Edit, Edit, Edit." I know, deep of me, huh? I do agree with her when she says, " Edit by starting a new scene." There is nothing wrong and a great deal right about starting a scene from the edge of the stage. Keep ahead of the asshole voice, right? SoI get what she is saying, but I wouldn't get rid of sweep edits completely. Along with Jill's line of thinking, Trish says you should trust yourself to edit.

Finally, the last amazing nugget in Trish's workshop is about people. FOCUS on WHO someone is and NOT on WHAT they do!
I love that. Genius.

So, that is what I leared last weekend. No wonder I am tired now. :D
The end.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Impfest and Ramblings

So, I read in Jill's tiny cute book of improv about the 'sine wave of suck'. I totally adhere to this theory. For about the past three or so months, I have seriously been on the bottom part of the sine wave of suck. About three or four weeks ago, I had a break through about what the hell my problem has been. I HAVE BEEN IN MY HEAD. Like 100%. Someone would say somthing in a scene, and I would say nothing but be thinking ' how do I respond to that?' So when I realized what was wrong, I began fixing it. Doing things to get me out of my head when I am in scenes. I feel like Impfest was like the test. I think I passed with flying colors. I had so very much fun playing, that I didn't even realize that I was sick when I was on stage- because my characters were not sick. Amazing.
Man I LOVE improv!~ and improv people!
The outpouring of support from the KC improv community was touching. I want NOTHING more than for my brother to succeed. So seeing other improvisers feeling the same way is just an indescribable feeling for me. At the end of Saturday night, I was so happy that all I could do was walk around saying how happy I was. I think the energy of our theater really lent to that. As opposed to the large theaters at Crown Center and Union Station, our theater let a bubble of energy be created and the cool thing, is that even though the bubble is around the stage, the energy can be translated to and from the audience. That really helps everything be more connected, and I think makes the shows just that much better.
The Brownies Don't Lie set was, to my mind, completely outstanding!!! They were able to created super memorable characters and form some of the most amazing and natural relationships that I have ever seen. The thing that actually shocked me about their set, is that there was NO conflict. There were obsticles, things that got in the way of complete happiness, but NO arguing. Trish spent a good 7- 10 minutes completely silent, and imrov-ing with NOTHING but her right arm. AND that was not borin- no sir- quite the opposite actually, the audience was leaning forward- desperate for her arm to do something else, every tiny movement cherished and loved. The amazing amout of TRUST that she must have had! The trust was one-sided in the least. Jill spent an entire scene as a raptor. She committed fully to being a raptor, trusting that Trish could carry the verbal part of the scene. Trish did a great job in that scene, adding to the scene while at the same time, seeing if Jill wanted to speak. When Jill didn't, the scene was set and it got even more playful! Their entire set was playful and trusting, and that translates to the audience and makes them comfortable but focused and eager to watch.
Something happened to me during the Coma set. I was about to have a scene with Nifer, then Jessica came on too, which is great. I quickly realized that I was not needed in the scene. I LITERALLY thought, ' I am not needed here. I am going to sit down and watch.' So when John scene painted a wives boxing match, I was simpley commenting on the scene when I said, "Zombie wife has nothing to lose." I don't normally play a very good 'number 3' character. That being said, I don't know at what level commenting on the scene from within the scene is okay. I realize that is is not okay to be an asshole and point out holes in the improv, but how much internal commenting is okay?
In conclusion:
Impfest was a success. The performers and the audiences were there physically and mentally, and it was fun! What more can you ask for?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

If wishes were fishes...

We'd walk on the sea.

I wish I were better than I am. At school, music, improv.... I keep trying.