Monday, May 11, 2015

Ground and Pound : Strategies for Better Scenework

Hey All,

I've recently been taking a Master class with Ed Herbstman at the Magnet Theater. From his teachings, I was able to glean a strategy that may work for you, because I've tested it to work for myself.

The first step is to be on GROUND CONTROL.  Pull down the initiation of your partner into the ground. Or start very grounded with some unimportant line. It is important though that if you are initiating, that the line have some kind of everyday premise. The key is that they all hint at something small.

Here's are examples:

"Your references check out, you're hired"
PARTNER HINT: You  got a job

"It's good to have you back in the office, Tom"
PARTNER HINT: I'm Tom and I was out of the office for some reason"

"I've been feeling a pain in my lower back"
PARTNER HINT: I'm someone who should care about the health of this person.

"We're out of eggs, I'll put some pancakes on"
PARTNER HINT: Probably mother or father, someone who usually cooks for you.

"I'll just take the bus to work today."
PARTNER HINT: Something is wrong with my car. Probably a person who has a vested interest in my working. Family possibly.

"I miss you, buddy"
PARTNER HINT: We're friends or were friends. I've been gone for some reason"

"Dad, thanks for coming to my recital"
PARTNER HINT: Father Son. Recital.

Just realistic examples of stuff. They give some info but aren't completely nothing. They have some kind of feel to them. Hints of stuff. Also notice that there is a lot of discovery possibilities for the reaction, a lot of holes that could be discovered by the partner organically.

What about GROUND CONTROL in response to initiation. First off, you HAVE TO YES AND HARD!! That is what Ed Herbstman always says. Yes AND IT.

***************Here is a masterful note that ed taught us******************************
YES AND doesn't have to mean everything they say is right. It just acknowledges it. YES AND could make someone wrong. Try it like this. You can either A) YES straight up or B)Examine what the line says about THAT PERSON and acknowledge it straight away.

Examples of weird initiations:

"Johnny is dead!"
A) Yes. He fought hard.
B)  *** what does this say about that person. 1) They knew Johnny, 2)They can assess death 3)They are surprised maybe (depending on delivery)"
Possible B Routes
B1) You knew Johnny? What was he like?
B2) Thanks doctor. I'll inform the patients family, great job, keep up the good work.
B3)  It was just one jump too many.

"I like Maroon 5"
A) Yes. We can contact their manager for your bar-mitzvah.
B) *** what does this say about that person 1) They assume you want to know about their likes 2)They know about pop music 3) They are responding.
B1) I like them too. Would you say you're more Madonna or Gaga?
B2) Ahh yes. Pop culture in this future time goes by color and number. Efficient.
B3) Here are all the color swatches for Maroon 5. It would work well for a summer wedding.

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