August 27, 2009

Improv 101: Learning more about characterizations

August 27, 2009 - Categories: Uncategorized

Improv is so hard! <laugh> It’s a good kind of hard, though.

We warmed up with a game of Hotseat, but with a singing twist. The game is to have someone singing in the center of the circle, and for other people to tag in, replace that person, and sing something inspired by the previous song. It was fun drawing all sorts of connections. I was surprised to find that I could sing and be audible. I normally sing softly. But it was okay to be out of tune and it was okay to forget the lyrics and it was okay to just play, and all of those okays let me relax, resonate with my chest voice, and just have fun.

We also warmed up with 7 Things, and Annie encouraged us to come up with categories that demanded creative answers.

Most of the class time was spent on doing two-person scenes inspired by monologues. I had no problems coming up with a monologue based on an audience suggestion, but the scenework was hard. What I found particularly challenging about it was fleshing out my motivations and reactions as a character. I got a little bit better at listening for the game, but I haven’t quite figured out how to make up a real person. Annie encouraged us to really listen to what our partners were saying and to think, “How do I feel about that? Why is it important to me?” We need to have stronger points of views, stronger characterizations.

How can I practice this? I’d like to get together with my classmates outside class too, as we need a lot more practice, and it might be fun to hang out. Maybe reading short stories will help, too, because then I’ll be able to learn more about characters interacting with each other. Writing might be fun, too. And practice, lots of practice…

I’ve just signed up for the next course in the series. This is really good training in stepping up to opportunities, listening well, and fleshing things out, and I’m looking forward to practicing more so that things flow better.