Friday, August 26, 2011

Improv Level B

So, as I've said, I've decided to take the next level of improv classes. Despite my horrific showing during the after-class improv pick-up game, I think I'm generally pretty good at it. And I of course mean "Level A good". I'm no Colin Mochrie here, I mean come on.

And really, is anyone?

Oh my god, the majesty of that gif. The majesty.

So anyway, I'm not sure what else to say about it. But people seem to be curious about it so here goes. Second City does a good job of easing you into the situation until suddenly you're creating scenes with people and you had no idea. All of a sudden you're just in the middle of one. What's great is the scenes don't necessarily last very long and no one expects you to be hilarious. There are plenty of scenes where I've gotten a slight pity chuckle and then put out of my misery by the teacher calling "Scene!" And there are times when I feel like I have the scene in the palm of my hand and people are laughing. There was one where I was a gym rat working on my pecs, and another where I was a bored teenager slouched so low in my chair I was almost laying down. Those were both fun. I could have kept doing those scenes all day. Then there was the one where we were nudist paintings and I said nothing except somehow a Lost reference (I don't even know), or one where we were picking out prom dresses and it went absolutely nowhere. I think that's kind of the fun about it--you're not always amazing. I mean, is anyone ever 100% great at what they do? Except, like...Mozart, It's what makes those successes so much sweeter, when you've already failed a bunch of times.

Besides that class, I'm taking another one at a place called Improv Olympic called "Talk Show Portfolio." Basically you learn how to write two-liner jokes, like the ones on Weekend Update or the Tonight Show. Once you take that class you get into Sketch Writing and then Spec Script writing. If you want to be a sitcom writer, you submit a few spec scripts of shows that are already running. That's how Mindy Kaling got her job writing for the Office: she wrote a spec script for Arrested Development. So I'm starting with the joke-learning. Once the class is done, I'll likely be in San Francisco so I can't take the next two from iO, but hopefully there's something comparable if I want to keep going. I just keep telling people, "I don't know exactly what they have in San Francisco, but Robin Williams lives there so there's gotta be something."

I figure it's now or never if I really want to go into another kind of writing in time to be discovered and put on screen next to Tom Hanks before I get all wrinkly and droopy and get typecasted as the school marm. So I'm testing the waters. And maybe I'll know where I stand a little bit better before I move.

Anyway, that's the story with that! I'm sorry this wasn't more funny. It's weird, it's like I can't be funny when I'm talking about being funny. God, I need to quit digging this hole. It's getting steep.

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