* Apparently Dave was in Groundhog Day? * Q: What are 'heat' and 'weight'? * It's a quick way of figuring out a scene quickly at the top. * 'Heat' = relationship proximity/intimacy (close versus distant). * 'Weight' = the 'heaviness' of the situation (casual versus sersious). * These are easy to intuit from the environment as soon as the lights go up. * Q: How do you avoid taking personal issues onstage? * This is generally not a problem. * They tend not to rehash issues onstage. * They don't see each other much outside of shows. * Even if they have a shared experience, they each have their own unique perspective on it. (?) * Q: What's the best improv advice you've received?" * Dave: Play to the top of your intelligence. * "Don't pander to the audience. They're a fuck of a lot smarter than you. Treat 'em like that, and they like it." * Don't be afraid to be smart. * Be as smart as you are. Be genuine. * TJ: Improv is not meant to be executed perfectly. Just steadily improve your failures, and keep experimenting. * Q: Have you guys ever just completely bombed? How do you recover from that? * There haven't been horrible TJ & Dave shows. * There's been no *perfect* show, either. * But they've certainly been in other shows that bombed. * Let it hurt for a while. * That said, make sure you enjoy the good ones. * "Play your way out." * Let the good shows gradually blot out the memory of the bad one. * Note that everybody has a slump shortly after they start out. * When you emerge from a slump, you come out a better performer. * Q: Have you guys ever done a 20-minute TJ & Dave show? * Once. * 20 minutes is not enough time to get any momentum going. * They often only 'find' the show at the 30-minute mark. * Q: What's good about being in a duo? * It's easier to sort out what's going on onstage. * There are fewer other people to focus on. * It's easier to get on the same page, improv-goal-wise. * You're less likely to "get your shit stomped on". * (On the minus side, you can't do any epic, big-cast stage pictures.) * Q: What was it like to create the Harold? * Del Close did the creating. * Everyone else just tried to keep up. * Q: Have you ever 'hit the wall' as performers? * TJ: "When am I done learning?" <-- get used to the answer "Never." * Often you just need to find like-minded people. * ... and know what you want. * Q: How has improv changed over the years? * Dave: It's mostly the same; we're trying to do what we first learned how to do. * It *is* more commercial these days. * TJ: It's bigger now, and it has more applications outside of theater. * Q: What arts influence you? * Dave: Everything -- music, prose, plays * TJ: Talking to very smart and competent people. * Q: Do you devise scripts? * Dave did that for Second City. * Dave: all writing in groups is improv, really. * Stuff you write alone tends to feel 'written' and stilted. * TJ: They have lots of show DVDs. * Theoretically, they could go back and devise from those. * Q: How do you bridge personal truth to an 'authentic' fiction? * Stay true to the established situation. * ... and give a real reaction. * You can add personal truth to nearly anything. * Character is a 'thin veil' on yourself. * Dave has trouble doing wild grotesques. * Q: Do you ever tailor the show to an audience. * Not for this particular show. (TJ & Dave.) * Other types of shows require reasonable adjustments for different audiences. * All sorts of people 'get' TJ & Dave much more than you might think. * Q: What non-improv advice have you used in improv? * TJ: Odd bits of factual & specific knowledge to bring to a part. * Talking to a chef, for example, and learning about (say) sesame oil. * Then, in a scene, playing a chef, he knows he's putting *sesame* oil in the skillet. * ... even if nobody ever asks him about it. * This works out well for Dave, who can then ask TJ about *any* detail in the scene and get an answer. * Dave: J. D. Salinger had a great sense of which details to include. * Q: What do post-show debriefs cover? * TJ: Did they 'get it right from the top'? * Were they true to the initial moment of the show? * What did they screw up from that moment? * Checking in on details they never talked about onstage. * Did they match up w/r/t those? * They rehearse beginnings (the first 10 minutes) over and over. * Other shows are less beginning-focussed.
Mood: contemplative · Music: none