* "Play slow, edit fast." * Savor scenes; attend to its moments * Also work on the macro level -- attend to scenes. * Always edit to help *this* scene, not just to jump-start the next. * Your #1 job: make your partner look good? * What does your partner need? * This attitude will solve most any improv problem. * e.g. being too thinky. * It'll see you through every moment, and it'll make things go right. * Conflict is normal & truthful. * Conflict != tension. * Comedy often comes from building up and releasing tension. * In a conflict, play the tension. * Savor the awkwardness. * Always look for the relationship. * ("It's not about the waffles.") * Letting the conflict *affect* you aids this. * Exercise: "Pivot" * Four people line up across the stage. * The first is the 'pivot'. * The Pivot does a quick exchange with each other person. * Maybe about two lines. * The stationary person initiates. * Each line can be more than one sentence. * Make it a "complete thought". * Then go through and do three more exchanges. * Keep the same characters as before. * So: the Pivot is talking to three different charcters. * If you master this, try doing two-exchanges each. * This exercise forces us to *listen* more. * Especially the first eight lines of a scene. * Beginnings = where the problems happen. * e.g. cautious vagueness, delaying. * We want to *initiate* scenes, not 'stumble into' them. * This forces us to pick up on the partner's offer. * Don't shut them out. * We also need to focus. * Even when the other scenes distract us. * We have limited lines. * We have to assume knowledge of a lot of stuff. * ... instead of carefully attending to exposition. * Just assume that the audience 'gets it'. * This helps take care of your partner and the audience. * "Yes, *because*" can be a form of "yes, *and*". * "A scene is never about solving a problem. It's about *dealing* with the problem." * Leaving tension unresolved is especially improtant in longform. * It's also realistic. * Important problems rarely get neatly finished off. * He gives lots of "Why?" directions. * This helps make scenes *about* something specific & significant. * Scenes tend to be filler 'til they "latch on" to something. * That's usually conflict. * (People panic, default to hating on each other.) * Open conflict is easier to play. * "Let your partner's words hit you like a punch to the stomach." * We're aiming for a conscious, consistent approach. * Pursue relationships, etc. * We shouldn't waste time at the top of the scene. * Come with your own energy, attitude, etc. * ("Don't be a vacuum.") * Don't immediately focus on the activity. * You're not derailing their activity. * You're not 'hinged on' their activity. * Exposition can just *happen* later in the scene. * ... so there's no need to 'force' it. * It can be slower and subtler. * You can do crazy stuff, but be sure to justify it. * Same for apathy as a character choice. * You can do it, but make sure it's deliberate and justified. * Compliments also have to be specific. * Wanting something from your partner is a great aid to relationship. * In a Harold, often the 1st beat is a mess. * ... and then beats 2 & 3 are cleanup. * Things are *more* fun if scene 1 *isn't* a mess. * If you totally focus on your partner, your work will *still* be informed by who you are. * "Why these two people *now*?" * The answer needn't be extreme. * But it has to be *something*. * i.e. "This is the day that...." * Exercise: get two people. * #1: do an activity in a location. * Never mention it. * Only use your partner's lines as a springboard to generating information about yourself. * (This information also works as inspiration.) * This exercise included a lot of "why" directions. * This got us to more deep and specific character info. * "Now" directions get us back to the present. * This forces you to do several things at once, none of which are actually scenework. * #2: same as #1, except only endow your *partner* * Lots of "I know that..." statements, as opposed to "you must have..." * Don't make the endowments secretly about yourself. * So, provide facts, not your character's emotional attitudes. * #3: combine #1 & #2. * That is, endow both in each line. * This is a very difficult exercise. * But, it makes your partner look good in a scene. * "I don't want you to feel like you have to be a loaded gun, coming into a scene." * ... just don't be a relentless blank. * Exercise: do two-handers where you deal with, BUT DO NOT SOLVE, a problem. * Like the 'bottle episode' of a TV show. * ("Oh no, we're all trapped in the walk-in freezer!") * Butts-in-seats onstage tend to *stay* in seats. * This can kill the blocking/physicality of the scene. * Generally, don't let your physicality go *blank*. * Exercise: heighten an emotion until it *has* to turn into something else. * A three-person scene is *about* 3!/2!=3 different relationships. * Information doesn't *have* to 'pay off', but it gives you possibilities you can leverage off of. * Always check in to see how scenes feel to the other players. * You can err on the side of *too* over-the-top w/r/t emotions. * ... especially if those emotions are truthful.
Mood: contemplative · Music: none