I haven’t written about any particular show of mine in a while BUT I just did two shows last night that I HAVE TO talk about.
The first one was my last New Team Harold class show. It was Betsy Stover’sfirst Advance Study class and she was open to experimenting with new ideas. She started by making us work very closely on our object work - which made us all pretty good at it, I have to stay. The class also instantly clicked - it was magical. We got on the same page immediately and from the first class, and developed group mind right away. It doesn’t always happen that way - I have taken a number of classes, including Advance Study ones, and this was the only one class where the magic happened. It was incredible to experience. We knew from the start that no matter what our choices, the entire class, THE ENTIRE CLASS, had our back and would “yes, and” us and play with us to move the action forward.
As the weeks went by, we attended some of each others shows, and hung out, but not even THAT often… still, it helped us build even more group mind. In scenes where Betsy asked us to choose a secret prop, we often had the same or similar ideas for example. At some point, Betsy asked us to try to do silentHarolds. I have been wanting to experiment with this for a LONG time! I had even begged Kirk to do it with me - I wanted to call it “Harold Lloyd prov” (without facial hair, Kirk looks a lot like Harold Lloyd) and dress in 1920s costumes and play silent scenes. I was more than thrilled. I was in the first scene of the first group that got up to try it - I was THAT excited. I think we managed to build a game - it forced us to make strong and very obvious choices right from the top of the scene. It was incredible! Our second show was a silent Harold to the magical music of Frank Spitznagel. I felt like we were in a silent movie!! And I LOVE silent era movies!
Last night, we had our last class show, which means that I will not see those nerds on a weekly basis any more. Some of us will continue to have a practice group together though, so there’s that. Betsy always encourages us to do each others beats, and I think it really adds a level of strength and professionalism to the show that you don’t often see on stage right now. It also forces the back line to pay close attention to what is happening on stage and crystallize the game for a second and third beats.
Our show last night was incredibly fun! Rocco and I did a horse race scene - very physical, very much fun! For the second beat, Brian, Brian and Abby went out for a walking race. The entire show was pretty physical and just a joy to perform with a group of people with whom you KNOW you’re on the same page, who will never judge your choices as a “mistake” and will embrace them and accept them as gifts. We had each others backs - and it showed! We had a small audience, but they complimented us as we got our of the room, and we all felt pretty good about it. I love those people!
Then, at 10, I headed to the Magnet Theater for We Might Just Kiss: A Female Improv Event. Megan Gray, the artistic director of the Magnet hosts this show every month. Her energy is unbelievably positive and communicative!! Many of the ladies didn’t know each other - so I was a little apprehensive when we got on stage. Megan had us play the name game, and do a pass the face, and then warm up scenes. And then it happened for a second time in the evening: instant group mind. It was magical! Every choice was a gift, every character a genius, and every scene a success! I think that, given the laughs, we had a really great show for the audience. I can tell you that we had a lot of fun actually playing together. Twenty minutes before the show, we didn’t know each other. An hour and a half later, we felt like best friends.
As Kirk would say, “Improv is easy” especially when you play with players “with open hands” (that’s Christina Gausas’s expression).
Well guys, P.i.G really brought home the bacon on Sunday. Swoon and Sheldrake both had great shows too! Congrats P.i.G, and good luck in Cage Match at UCB Chelsea! Come back next week to see Krull, The Heathers, and Warren battle for improv comedy glory.
“…this is something - this is my daily mantra - sometimes minute by minute mantra, which is love yourself. Learn to love yourself. And stay in this moment. This moment right here is where your power is. If you drift into the past or into the future, you lose your power and your ability to love yourself. So this moment right now, be kind and love yourself.”—