Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Surprise Yourself!

Hey all,

I've been offline for a bit, I've been performing with Goats! and Ladyhawk at the Magnet and Jean Pool just finished their run at the PIT.

If you have been doing improv for awhile and you maybe are doing the same characters over and over again, try this. Surprise yourself!!

A lot of those classes where a teacher gives you tools to use in scenes, they are all just forms to surprise yourself. If they say, focus on a body part, push a chair in a different direction, or just do something physical, chances are they are just trying to get you out of your head and surprise yourself.

If you're in your head, you know what your doing, kind of. You're clarifying, you're cataloging, your'e deducing, when chances are the ONE THING that got you in your head was the one thing you should have tried NOT to figure out.

That sounds really weird but think about it. You only go into your brain when you don't know something. Embrace it.

Here are some AWESOME tools that you can use right now that go one step BEYOND the tools you know. The option A will be the first thing you can do, the option B will be the thing that will SURPRISE YOU!

How do you surprise yourself in scenes?

A) Get Close to Your Scene partner
B) Get UNCOMFORTABLY UNEXPLAINABLY CLOSE TO YOUR SCENE PARTNER. Don't call it out until it becomes an issue.

A) Set the Chairs up in a weird spot.
B) Set the Chairs up in an UNEXPLAINABLY WEIRD SET UP. That means not just two, or maybe one, and DON'T MAKE IT AN ISSUE until it becomes one.

A) Do something you never see in scenes
B) Do something you never see in scenes TO YOUR SCENE PARTNER. I often find the never SEEN things done to the audience. That's great but it's still kind of security blankety, because it's just you, do it to your partner, right in their eyes. Sing, DANCE, make noises. Let their surprise or matching fuel it.

A) Be Silent
B) Be KNOWINGLY silent. Be still Be INTENSE.

A) Repeat what you Start with.
B) Repeat what you start with UNTIL the repetition has MEANING and use it. 3 Versions of "I had a good day" become funny when you have to say something like, "Maybe I'm just trying to convince myself I had a good day"

Surprise is what makes improv IMPROV. And here's the great part. You only need to do it for the initial part, maybe 10-20 seconds, then use that improv brain to chug it along.

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