Krik! I’m about to start a new team with three friends. Some of us have improvised with each other, some not. Any advice for the first practice? What do you do in a first practice? What should we look for/ask for in a coach? How do we pick a form? In the other team I started, we were good friends who went through class together and so our first two practices were coachless, just hanging out. It worked out, but coachless practice is a gamble. So anyway, thoughts on starting new teams?
Great question, Sean! Along with this post about forming new teams (most of which might be old hat to you), here’s what I’ve got.
- Keep it fun. It’s your first practice. Just have fun at first, start getting comfortable performing in this quartet.
- Coaches. Here’s a post on coachless practices. If you’re going to do scenes, hire a coach (if you wanna take and do sound & motions or play smackball, save your money). Ask your friends for recommendations, check out your theater’s message board, see what coaches are around. You’re in LA, right? If so, I’d recommend Pam Murphy or Susannah Becket. Mention my name and they’ll tell you embarrassing stories about me.
- The Form. I wouldn’t worry about this for now. And also, don’t ask me! As you play together, the four of you should decide the form, and it should play to your preferences and strengths. Do you wanna do a Monoscene? A bunch of scenes? Fast or slow? Do the form you want to do. If you’re not sure, just experiment and try stuff out - things you’ve seen and would like to emulate, whatever. And I’d say the coach should NEVER dictate the form - maybe mold it based on the group, but if they’re making you do something you don’t wanna do… find a new coach.
Best of luck to the four of you - starting a new team is always exciting. Keep it fun!
Ask improv-is-easy a question!