Show Learnin'


Questions/Comments about the LA Class Program

Show Learnin'

Postby Danny Mastrangelo » Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:02 am

Every once in a while I'll either see a show or do a show and I feel like this door just opens in my mind and I think, "THAT's what it is!" So I was going to ask if people could remember a show that they saw/did that really opened their eyes and if so, what was the big lesson?

To get it started:

One of my favorite shows I've seen was the first time that I ever saw Daily Double: Betsy Sodaro and Toni Charline. I had known both of the players for a while (and had played with Toni for about a year) and I had always considered them hilarious people, but when they played together there was such a level of patience to their work. The lines just came. There was no rush or fear to be seen because they completely trusted each other to own their work together.

Anyway, the big lesson here for me was in their pauses. These two are hilarious to hear and watch, but I laughed about ten times harder when they chose to pause and just loved how those pauses affected the scene and their relationship.

Lesson learned: Pauses and patience: two of the most underused but amazing comedic elements in improv.

So what are yours?
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Re: Show Learnin'

Postby BrynnaCampbell » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:31 pm

I've seen so many shows, they end up being kind of a blur, but here are two things from The Smokes and one from a Sentimental Lady show that I've been thinking about a lot lately when I'm in practice:

There was a road trip monoscene a couple months back that stuck out in that Joe ended up feeding most of the other players their games. That kind of selfless attitude is something I'm trying to bring into a lot of my monoscene work now.

The other thing that I've been focusing on is being more specific in scenes, and especially in the last couple weeks, Eugene has had a habit of topping his own specificity. Every single piece of information that gets thrown at him, he Yes-Ands, even if it seems insignificant, and that makes things so much easier to play.

The third show that stood out was a Sentimental Lady where Billy Merritt was sitting in. He spent most of the monoscene trying to pry himself out of a restaurant booth with a broom. It was so simple, and it got so much mileage just because it was good object work.

I could go on, but I have some super important wikipedia entries to peruse. (I must know how many shirts the costume department of Star Trek III had to make for William Shatner due to his fluctuating weight*).

*IT WAS 12!!!
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Re: Show Learnin'

Postby Drew DiFonzo Marks » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:27 pm

It was a group game from a Harold team I can't remember in NY about 8 years ago. The suggestions was something like "Hush". One guy steps out, and just starts tip-toeing across the stage making "sshh" noises. He's totally buy himself, but keeps tip-toeing. Eventually somebody else came off the backline and started following him, then the rest of the team, so it was this guy leading a whole group people, and all that was said was "shh" and no words. This lasted for about 2 full minutes. Eventually the guy in front turned and whispered "...So its a 3 bedroom house, utilities included..." and the audience exploded with a standing O. Lesson learned: you dont need to get it to do it, just support it and figure it out from within.
Last Day of School - 'Txt Msg Show'
Thursdays @ 11pm
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Re: Show Learnin'

Postby fontakis » Sat Mar 05, 2011 11:12 pm

For me the show was "Death by Roo Roo" at UCBNY roughly two years ago. It wasn't anything specific they did in the show, it was the whole show. At the end I just realized these people enjoy each other so much that they could fuck with each other and essentially abuse the person they interviewed, while still keeping the audience on their side. Good work or bad, didn't matter, they were clearly having fun. Also, I saw one of their first LA shows and Brett Gelman named himself "fuck", which made me nervous he wasn't going to get much milage out of it, but he did, it was great!

Also, something I have been striving towards is the magic created by "Tracers" two years ago at DCM. That show blew my mind.
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Re: Show Learnin'

Postby JiveTurkeyOnRye » Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:58 pm

About a month ago at the Cagematch, it was the week Skinny Business went up against Drew and Alex in HFLD.

There was a moment during Skinny Business's set where Jason stepped out in a chair and sat down, and then no one stepped out with him. Instead, Lennon and Zach each sat in the back line, flanking him and there wasn't any dialogue for over 2 minutes. Yet, none of them forced a line of dialogue or even really got nervous. Jason never looked behind him to see what the others were doing and the laughs just kept building and building. Eventually they each started speaking as if they were all in mini scenes, not unlike the cocktail party practice game, where each of them were being interrogated.

I remember being blown away by it because it showed faith in each other as scene partners and also the relaxation of letting something come naturally, and living in the silence. I have a tendency to talk to much and fill the dead spaces but since seeing that show I've tried a lot harder to let a scene breathe.
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