"Go web! Fly! Up, up, and away web! Shazaam! Go! Go! Go web go! Tally ho." - Peter Parker, Spiderman
I'm currently taking a Level 3 class at a friendly neighborhood improv training center and I have to say, being able to join a practice group like HM 100 during the week is really helping the concepts stick.
When I only improv once a week, I find by the time 7 days have passed (that's 3 months in NY time) I can barely remember where class is located, much less what we worked on the week before.
It was our second session with Charlie Whitcroft, improv coach extraoridnaire and unlike most sequels, the second installment of HM 100 was as good as the first.
Session 2: Tips & Tricks
- Aside from Harolds, we performed seated, three-person scenes. Our only instruction was to choose to love one person in the scene and choose to hate the other. I was amazed at how much making a clear emotional choice about your fellow players from the onset, grounded each scene.
- Another reminder Charlie gave us was that the audience finds it very satisfying to see the same characters return in second and third beats of scenes. In one of the Harolds we performed, all of our second and third beats were analogous (different characters, different scenarios, same game). He pointed out opportunities that existed to utilize time-dash (same characters, same game, sometimes different scenario) in at least a couple of the beats.
- We also worked on "pattern openings" and some concepts from the level 3 class I'm taking became clearer. For instance, labeling the pattern silently for myself after it is established, then staying within that pattern until it is "reset". As an example, if the audience suggestion is "battery"… Improviser 1 offers: Assault, Improviser 2: Cops, Improviser 3: Starsky and Hutch… I might label that pattern as Crime and Punishment. My label of course might change as others offer their pattern ideas, but I have a basic theme in which to riff, until we are led back to the original suggestion and the pattern resets.
Until next week web-slingers!
More About Harold Practice Groups Sponsored by Improvisation News
Laura Merrill is a strong comedic actor and writer. She has recently contributed as a writer and performer to "The Beverly Bonner Show" at Broadway Comedy Club, and "In Transit" and "Something Outrageous" at the 45th Street Theater. She has experience in Shakespeare, Chekhov, and scenic design.
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