Improv Is Easy!

(Then why is it so hard?)

Posts tagged Magnet

4 notes


I just made it on to my first house team. With a few shows under my belt I am still not getting off the back line enough. I am noticeably absent from our set. The thing is, I’m not really aware of this until I think back on it afterward. This isn’t a question, but rather my symptoms. So doc, a diagnosis and/or remedy would be much appreciated.

Diagnosis: Sometimes the back line is like a black hole — it can suck you in if you aren’t careful. (Alternate theory: magnets.)
Remedy: Reverse the polarity!
Easier said than done, I know, but the simplest way to get off the back line is to get off the back line and get into the show.
Also…
Make it a point to be in one of the first three scenes. Let your team know about this — they’ll support you. 
Actively watch the show, and be ready when needed. If there’s a time when your teammates could use you to walk on and make a support move or heighten what they’re already doing, help them out!
Conversely, if the scenes are moving wonderfully, the most supportive thing you can do is hold back and give them their space…  
Although keep on your toes so you can edit at the perfect moment.
Do you have an idea for a second beat? Is there something you REALLY wanted to see, based off those first beats? Then initiate it!
Don’t have any idea? Is there one of those long, dreadful pauses after an edit where no one can think of an initiation? Take one for the team and step out anyway. We all fall on our swords sometime for our teammates.
On an eight-person team, you’re listening 7/8 of the time… but be ready (and eager and willing) when it comes time for your 1/8.
PS: Hope this helps, and congrats on getting on a house team!
Ask improv-is-easy a question!

I just made it on to my first house team. With a few shows under my belt I am still not getting off the back line enough. I am noticeably absent from our set. The thing is, I’m not really aware of this until I think back on it afterward. This isn’t a question, but rather my symptoms. So doc, a diagnosis and/or remedy would be much appreciated.

Diagnosis: Sometimes the back line is like a black hole — it can suck you in if you aren’t careful. (Alternate theory: magnets.)

Remedy: Reverse the polarity!

Easier said than done, I know, but the simplest way to get off the back line is to get off the back line and get into the show.

Also…

  • Make it a point to be in one of the first three scenes. Let your team know about this — they’ll support you. 
  • Actively watch the show, and be ready when needed. If there’s a time when your teammates could use you to walk on and make a support move or heighten what they’re already doing, help them out!
  • Conversely, if the scenes are moving wonderfully, the most supportive thing you can do is hold back and give them their space…  
  • Although keep on your toes so you can edit at the perfect moment.
  • Do you have an idea for a second beat? Is there something you REALLY wanted to see, based off those first beats? Then initiate it!
  • Don’t have any idea? Is there one of those long, dreadful pauses after an edit where no one can think of an initiation? Take one for the team and step out anyway. We all fall on our swords sometime for our teammates.

On an eight-person team, you’re listening 7/8 of the time… but be ready (and eager and willing) when it comes time for your 1/8.

PS: Hope this helps, and congrats on getting on a house team!

Ask improv-is-easy a question!

Filed under improv back line black hole magnet

9 notes

Different Theaters
Yep, I perform at all three theaters. Trifecta!
What’s the difference amongst UCB/Magnet/PIT, you ask?
Hmm… other than a slight difference in philosophy and approach to improv, not much. All have two stages. Lots of great teachers and performers and students, as well as some less than awesome people. Great shows to watch, some might not be to your taste. A lot of opportunities at each theater, as well as the usual bullshit you’d have to deal with in anything involving the entertainment industry. Some people are nice, some are mean, some are crazy, some are in it for the wrong reasons, and two/three at each place are brilliant.
People tend to stick to one theater due to money (you’d rather take Levels 1-3 at one theater rather than three Level 1s at each, right?) It also ties in to Rule #1 from that thing I reblogged yesterday - “Find a place you trust, then try trusting it for a while.”), and that’s the main thing that leads to brand loyalty, I think.
Some people might wanna debate about how “their” theater is better, but that’s most likely an indication that they’re one of those less-than-awesome people I mentioned before.
So really, not too much difference.
And yes, there’s even more out there! More so than those three theaters! Don’t sit around and beg for any theater’s attention. You create your own opportunities, so work hard, be nice, and make ‘em!
PS: Tonight is my debut with Hello, the PIT’s Friday night musical show. 9:30 p.m. I’m now a “regular” performer at all three theaters.

Different Theaters

Yep, I perform at all three theaters. Trifecta!

What’s the difference amongst UCB/Magnet/PIT, you ask?

Hmm… other than a slight difference in philosophy and approach to improv, not much. All have two stages. Lots of great teachers and performers and students, as well as some less than awesome people. Great shows to watch, some might not be to your taste. A lot of opportunities at each theater, as well as the usual bullshit you’d have to deal with in anything involving the entertainment industry. Some people are nice, some are mean, some are crazy, some are in it for the wrong reasons, and two/three at each place are brilliant.

People tend to stick to one theater due to money (you’d rather take Levels 1-3 at one theater rather than three Level 1s at each, right?) It also ties in to Rule #1 from that thing I reblogged yesterday - “Find a place you trust, then try trusting it for a while.”), and that’s the main thing that leads to brand loyalty, I think.

Some people might wanna debate about how “their” theater is better, but that’s most likely an indication that they’re one of those less-than-awesome people I mentioned before.

So really, not too much difference.

And yes, there’s even more out there! More so than those three theaters! Don’t sit around and beg for any theater’s attention. You create your own opportunities, so work hard, be nice, and make ‘em!

PS: Tonight is my debut with Hello, the PIT’s Friday night musical show. 9:30 p.m. I’m now a “regular” performer at all three theaters.

Filed under UCB PIT Magnet Improv