Wednesday, January 04, 2006

On my knees...?

Improv class was a lot of fun yesterday. For one, only six of us showed up for class. The rest either were sick or possibly had just plain forgotten that classes had resumed following the holiday break.
We spent the first half of the class warming up and performing two, three and four person scenes, with our instructor Sandy side-coaching. A lot of great choices were made and I was specifically proud of the two scenes I was in.
One was what we refer to as a fishing scene. Two people on stage doing an activity, but discussing something else. Jeff and I were playing snooker, but the scene itself was about my character trying to reconcile the fact that his wife was obviously leaving him (I threw the comical idea in that it was unspoken, but her belongings were slowly leaving the bedroom and ending up by the front door in boxes - this put the rest of the class in stitches). Jeff's character was on his third marriage by his own choices, and when he realized my character actually wanted his wife to stay he made the interesting choice of asking if my character and his wife were talking. I threw in immediately a yes, but then slowly backpeddled and admitted we actually hadn't really talked in over two years. The scene ended there.
The second scene I did was with Santino and Marlin. Santino and I played two collage buddies who ran into each other on the street. Santino was successful and married. My character lived on the street after suffering a bad reaction to drugs, though was now clean and going to AA and NA. His character invited mine to lunch (Marlin was the pushy waiter), where he mistakenly ordered beers and pasta with wine sauce for each of us. Marlin was the comic relief of this skit...he kept walking over and pushing us to order as we tried to talk. Sandy pushed us to create conflict in the scene, and I created the scenario that my character had been in love with Santino's wife before they were together, and that Santino had introduced the drug dealer to me who caused my life's problems.
It's interesting to see the perspective of others when they look at a scene from afar. When we discussed the scene, they thought it would have been a more interesting choice for me to not have been timid about Santino's wife with my love, but that I had actually been sleeping with her, which would have made for interesting dynamics. Hindsight is 20/20, so they say. I may actually script out a polished version, if I can keep it fresh in my head.
Following break, we ran a longform exercise for the rest of the class. A lot of fun scenes were created, though I made the choice to stay in secondary characters for the most part because I liked what people were running with. A recurring scene was a little girl (played by Jen) who's cats were constantly being killed off by somebody. I saw a need to have a cat in the scene, but I had not attempted to play a low to the ground character in ages because of my knees. So, I slapped my knees a few times, and when I didn't wince decided to give it a try...and I did fine. OK, my cat was stabbed about 40 seconds in, so I got to play dead cat with feet in the air for the rest of the scene, but it was the offer that made the difference...it helped wrap the scenario up.
Another scene was very Scottish. Jeff started the scene telling a sheep joke, and after two full minutes of this joke was cut off five seconds before the punchline which was hilarious (I thought Sandy was going to piss himself laughing). Chris and Marlin then made as Sheep Shearers complaining about bad Scottish jokes, so I popped in as a sheep with a few bleats to keep the gag in.
Afterwards, Jenn commented to me that I was brave to come onboard as a sheep during a Scottish scene...she thought they may do much worse then shearing. We shared a few laughs over that.
And that was class. I felt great afterwards. I was still cracking up in a few spots, which Sandy and I discussed a bit (I think it's because my brain considers it playtime, and my best stress relief is through laughter), but overall I think we all did very well.
My knees being that forgiving was a delight especially. The ability to kneel changes so many things. I can bathe Nathaniel in the tub now (and did so tonight, btw). Sandy made the best joke about kneeling at the start of level E. When I told him I couldn't kneel he asked with a straight face, "How do you get roles?".
Hmmm...Hollywood bound? Er...nah, don't need it that bad.

1 comment:

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