Tuesday, January 19, 2010
I had rehearsal tonight.
As I mentioned yesterday, reaction is an essential component to good improv, especially when performing The Harold. In the Harold, we'll meet some characters in the first beat. For the rest of the show, it is the job of the team to make that character react emotionally. This is done by giving the character what they want, taking it away, etc. In order to do this, the players need to know what's important to the character and what's going to "make their head pop" as Shotts (our coach) likes to say.
I have a lot of trouble with this. I know, both from experience and from witnessing it watching others, that a big reaction to the important things in a scene will elicit laughs. It will give my fellow players something to do with me during the rest of the show. It will make my job as an improvisor easier. Yet I still can't seem to do it. That's not entirely true.
I did a scene tonight where I finally was able to react (with minimal goading from Shotts) emotionally to my scene partner. That's only part of the climb over my "mountain" though. It was still really hard for me. I was very "in my head" which is a term that improvisors use to say that they are thinking too much and not letting the scene go where it wants to. I just have to keep working at it though and one day I'll get there.
We have a show tomorrow. Shotts' always tells us that shows are the time to forget what we've been working on and have fun. But I always want to do good work, so usually I'm just trying to strike a balance between focusing on what I'm working on and just playing with my friends.