Level 1 at iO West (Intensive)

July 25, 2015

Oh goodness. Here we go again with improv!

By the time I’m writing this, I’m already in level 3 and it’s moving so fast I hardly even know what to say.

I also don’t even know what view of this to come from, really – Do I compare it to the Groundlings? Do I compare the experience of an intensive to having class a couple of times a week?

How do I frame this? And why am I asking? You’re here to read, not to listen to my mind try to figure this stuff out…

So, let me put my mind back in the week 1 brain space.

It’s interesting and exciting to have an improv class for 6 1/2 hours a day four days a week. One thing that I find that can be hard is to bounce back when a scene goes poorly. But when you do it this much, you kind of have to.

And that’s probably a good skill for me to try to foster – bouncing back from bad scenes. ‘Cause I noticed that in at The Groundlings. Sometimes when I’d start to slip downhill, it would really go down pretty fast, and I just couldn’t get back on track.

Well, considering I have 5 weeks of this intensive, I better get back on track somehow!

Overall, I’d actually say most of the scenes are going pretty well.

Most. Not all. 🙂

There was one day where we played a fun game where each person is whispered a want, then you’re given a location and you just play the heck out of that want. The want I got was to be forgotten. And we were given nursing home!

Now, I imagined I was old in the nursing home. But my partner labeled me as someone just visiting. She didn’t label my young, so I still got to give information that made me an old person just vising a nursing home.

But still! Do you know why it was so easy for her to label me a visitor? Because I didn’t make a big physical/vocal choice to show I was an old character! I would’ve gotten yelled at so hard at the Groundlings for being given the gift of nursing home and not using it! Aye, aye, aye, aye, aye.

Also, I could’ve hit my thing way harder on the head. As it was, when she complimented my snacks, I said something along the lines of, “They’re not that great. I don’t even want to give you the recipe. Nothing I do deserves to live on.”

Yeah, that’s getting toward the vein of being forgotten. But I could’ve played it harder – taking pictures of me out of scrapbooks, etc.

I don’t know. I guess there’s no real “wrong” and “right” choices. But I could’ve done better.

The point is, there were certainly moments where on breaks I needed to retreat to a couch and just die on it. (Me “dying on the couch” is this thing where I dramatically fall back and then just basically die on the couch. And sometimes it’s necessary.

Before I move on to level two, I’ll say one thing I loved that our level one teacher really stressed was to never cross your arms when you’re on the sidelines. It’s a body position that keeps you at bay, not one that says you’re open. That’s directly applicable to life (outside of improv)!

I have more to say and will talk about it in level 2!

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?