prusik: Newton fractal centered at zero (Default)
I haven't been writing much about improv here. Mostly, this is because anything that I'd write about, by rights, I ought to tell my improv class instead. So if it's not something where telling them would actually be useful, I just don't express it. (At least not in any fixed form.)

However, this, I actually did tell my improv class, so it's fair game. I'm not talking about people behind their backs.

Where I'm taking my improv class offers extra a la carte rehearsals on Sunday nights. One of the people in my class talked about how great those rehearsals are because "there you can take all sorts of chances you'd never take in class." Now keep in mind that we're in the midst of preparing for our graduation show. This person has basically said that she's saving her best work for these a la carte practices. We, her classmates, we who will be up on stage with her in front of a paying audience get only the work she's done before. *sigh*

Of course, I called her on this. (Otherwise, I wouldn't be writing about it. That would be passive-aggressive.) She apparently has this notion that our improv show needs to be this pre-packaged, predictable product. (Ok, since we all agree that our improv show will, in fact, be improvised, I am sticking a few words into her mouth here, but not many.) She did talk a bit about doing the stuff she knows she can do since we're rehearsing for our show. The point is that she apparently thinks that our graduation show will be "improv without risks." *sigh*

I guess I should be happy that she is taking those risks somewhere. That must eventually filter back into her work with the class.

Besides, if there is anyone in the class with an attitude problem, it's me. I just want to get the graduation performances over and done with.
prusik: Newton fractal centered at zero (Default)
I've been extremely frustrated of late by the story I'm currently working on. At first glance, there are so many things I need to in-clue before anyone has the first clue as to what's happening. On the other hand, the text can't actually hold all that in-cluing without sounding desperate (or worse, like exposition). Of course, I don't feel like I can do any of this until I know exactly what's happening down the movement of each molecule of air. Not to mention, every time I think about this story, I get the strange sense that I'm never going to hit an ending. (Most of you are probably ahead of me at this point. Yes, I was seriously over-thinking this.) The result was that either I stare frozen at the screen, or a write a lot of very desperate prose which fortunately no one will ever get to see.

Anyway, today was my last improv class of the term. (The penultimate class was the weekend of Boskone. We had a week off in between.) It was review, work on heightening emotion, and a preview of what we're in for next term. (We're going into long form. Our ten scenes all of the theme of travel worked surprisingly well.)

The thing about improv is that you get on stage without even the first clue as to what's happening. Then you're expected to construct a scene with your partner that, ideally, people will want to watch. (e.g., "You and Ian are eating at a restaurant. Go!") Personally, just the notion of improv scares me to death. For me, doing it is definitely an act of risk and commitment.

After several weeks of being skittish and unwilling to commit in my writing, today, I had probably the best improv session ever. (It's all relative, of course. The pros have nothing to worry about.) The instructor used me as an example of how much we've all improved this term. Even I thought my scenes worked. (I had several "Where the hell did that come from?" moments, in good ways.)

Of course, those scenes worked because I made choices, committed to them and just went for broke without worrying about whether they were any good or not. Sound familiar?

So, lesson learned.

I had to do some shopping after class. But after that, I didn't worry about in-cluing, what the long term structure was, or where the story would end up. I just sat down and wrote what had to happen at the start of the story. And look at that, it's coherent, and tells you unobtrusively what you need to know right now, and sets up the rest of the story. I don't know if I'll keep this opening. (Unlike improv, I'm not ultimately forced to keep my choices.) But it'll get me going to the next scene.

Trust the beast. Always trust the beast.


prusik: Newton fractal centered at zero (Default)

January 2014

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