Friday, August 12, 2005

Improv Show Hosting Notes August 9th 2005

The show begins.
Audience warm-up - get them to give suggestions
Bartender/Waitress/Drink of the Night/Elixir Announcement

The Die Game Title of a story.
Then, for each death: object from a kitchen Thom Kirstin
Jason Alex Matt

Green Cheese. This was a good game and has a lot of potential. Good job with me just throwing this game at you. It would be better to die more dramatically. Also, don't be afraid to fuck up and react when you do - the audience likes it. I think I should have warmed the audience up a little more though, even though this is a audience warm-up game itself.

Fairy Tale Nursery Rhyme/Fairy Tale Character AND Fairy Tale. E.g.
Jack from Jack and Jill and Little Red Riding Hood Blaine Paul

Gingerbread Man + Sleep Beauty. Wow, I thought I remembered this scene but now I don't. Anyway, apparently I wasn't watching but I wrote "go places". Instead of talking about things, do them, progress in the plot of the fairy tale.

Sit/Stand/Lie-Down A mistake Kirstin Thom Kelsey

ex-girlfriend. strangely, she was there. Anyway, good physicalization and movement. You enjoyed the scene, and so did the audience. AWESOME!

Open What you wanted to be as a child
e.g. fire fighter, astronaut or marine biologist Paul Kelsey

Paleontologist. I wrote "good characters", "good feed Jason" and "what is going on?" When scenes degenerate into petty dialogue argument either end the argument and go somewhere or end the scene. It saps energy.

Monologue An event
e.g. County Fair Jason Kate Alex Kirsten Kelsey

ninja festival. Good varied characters initially. You seemed static characters at first and I was afraid you wouldn't go anywhere, but eventually you all ended up at the same bar. COOL. however, it would have been nice if the characters had changed/reacted instead of "crazy! we're all at the same bar!" Good job dying Jason, you gave a good thing to react to, good commitment.

Silent A dirty secret Kelsey Matt

This is where I went into the audience, which I really enjoyed personally. Although I think I should have chosen something better to ask of a random rather than "A dirty secret". Anyway, Tim helped out. We got: Seven Days, Totalling your parents house and drinking.
First, don't feel the need to ACT IT OUT EXACTLY. Be creative a little, maybe play with the idea, do something unexpected (without being crazy). There's no point to seeing a scene which is essentially completely suggestion. I'm not saying the scene was bad, it was pretty funny, just keep that in mind.
Second, these scenes are a little too much like mime. That is sort of due to the suggestion, but you guys don't have to do that. What if you started after the party with everyone all over the floor, and you are the lone survivor needing the clean up the mess?
Third, awesome stage business. I could tell what you guys were doing often, even if you weren't the characters at the centre of the action, you were involved in something obvious.

Open Something sad
E.g. your puppy ran away Cheryl

Taking your cousin to prom. Good job jumping right to the prom, although this was sort of like "acting out the suggestion again". But you got away from it and did the pair-switching thing, cool. This scene went on a little too long though.

Musical Open Page from "365 Scientific Facts" Jason Alex

I should have introduced this book a little better. its a series of question and answers. If anyone has any other stranger books please bring them in, they would be awesome for suggestions. The suggestion was: Raised beds in backyard gardens. I think I should make these suggestions a little more clear. I wrote that Matt made a good entry and established a conflict. Whoah I forgot this was musical. Alex I like you better with your guitar walking around on stage than sitting down, it makes you more engaging.

Side note: if you guys know that you are going to be in an open scene together, you can pre-plan a structure. Go nuts.

Open "If you like drinking Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
If you're not into yoga, and you have [FILL IN THE BLANK]" Cheryl Blaine

This suggestion was a little awkward, my bad. I think I rushed the audience. We got: Pirate hook, which I find hilarious. Good job on the intervention, created a conflict. Although Cheryl, as the parrot, could have reacted more, making the conflict meaningful. Good job Paul (I think) on the feed about the ship sinking. Cheryl was hilarious as the bird - you play characters really well. Shakespeare would have made the bird die and turned it into a dramatic tragedy. Haha. Good job guys.

Kick-It. Something to fight over. Jason Kirstin

Crayons. Jason, high pitched rap voices = pain, but good job keeping it up. Paul was also in this scene, and Thom. Good job making it about religion? I can't even remember why. I need to learn to write more descriptively. Kristin had a fucking intense rap/talk. The scene needed some levels though.

Intermission. This is where I started to sort of feel really crappy. I
got food poisoning, which I wrote more about in the first e-mail.
Elixir Announcements.

3-Way Dub Something stupid that you bought Jason Kate Matt

Waterproof vibrator. Where the hell did that come from? Good platform guys. Jason/Kate: a competition can lead to sort of boring, formulaic improv, try to avoid starting one. Otherwise, good job.

Open Where did you lose your keys? Blaine

In the freezer. I over-built the suggestion, but you guys did well with it. Paul AKA Billy was hilarious, although I forget where he came from. Try to confront the Billy problem rather than avoid it, it makes it funnier and continues good scene energy. Good entry as CAS Tom.

Monologue Something Miss America would want E.g.
"World Peace" Paul Matt Thom Cheryl Blaine

"Puppies across Canada". Yet again, you went straight to enacting the suggestion. Good scene overall, just take you time and play with the suggestion a bit. The audience doesn't care that you nail it right away, or possibly ever. Its more entertaining if you lead up to it, or show it already in place. Pre-destined events are not as exciting. You could even use the puppies as a solution - cats breed to much, how can we get rid of them?

Open A guilty pleasure Alex

Dancing in women's clothing. Can't really remember this scene. What did I do to Montezuma, I ask? Good raising of stakes Jason.

One-person Scene Thom introduces Thom

Film Noire, Regicide. Pretty solid scene, characters. It looked like you were really comfortable with the genre, which makes it easy for you. The scene did bridge for too long though, and went on, although you managed to keep the energy up. One-man scenes are hard.

Open A reason to quit your job. Paul

Spying on another company. What a confusing way to get a suggestion, oh well. I wrote that there was a bit of blockin in this scene, and it started to make no sense.

Seen Enough Explanation: When you have "seen enough" of the scene, put
your hands up and I will say "next!" ALL

Give me feedback on this scene. I think you guys and the audience did well at it. I saw some interesting stuff but I let it go on too long. Don't be afraid to start something really different with lots of people, like an intense dialogue or something.

Helping Hands An expertise
e.g. Rabbit Removal Alex Kate Matt

Cryptography I should have defined this topic a little better. Alex your interpretation was pretty funny, and I like how you brought the VCR in.

The next two scenes were skipped because the night was going on too long.

Open What would you buy with $1 million? Kirsten
Open Page from "365 Scientific Facts" Alex Cheryl

Ballad Get volunteer, find out stuff about them. ALL

Got Jamie, Art, History, and "girls out east?" Good job with the chorus and energy of the song, although we should practice singing the chorus together. Again, solid job with stage persona Alex.

End of Show.
Jug. Here is where I made a strange comment about ego.

Everyone Say Goodbye!

A few things:

Yes, I was sick Tuesday night. Give us hosts feedback too, its the only way we can learn. I, personally, think I need to slow down introductions and not spend so much time joking with the audience. Someone prompted the count on me (Kelsey?). Good job keeping me on top of things.

Paul did an awesome pre-hosting warm-up with me. Fucking solid job, we should use that I'm not sure if its applicable for the show but it helped me out.

Monologues: This is sort of turning into perspective narratives of a single event. We should talk about what we want this to be. I like doing it twice a night so everyone has a chance to be in it.

Thats all folks, good job!

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