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The End of Improv Level 1
pokemon
unwiredben
Today was our last Improv Level 1 session, and I had a great time. The class has dropped down to nine people from the original sixteen; some people had conflicts come up, and I know some people just didn't like the class. However, I'm really glad I stuck with it. Each week has been structured about different techniques and activities. Here's a loose outline:

Week 1: Spontaneity
Week 2: "Yes And" and Blocking
Week 3: Association and Disassociation
Week 4: Storytelling
Week 5: High Status and Low Status
Week 6: Maestro Games

This week, we used all the skills and ideas that we'd been developing and played actual games used in the real Maestro performances of the Heroes of Comedy. We started with a warmup exercise: Word-at-a-Time Movie Trailer, then moved into the games. This included Tag-Team Monologue, a game where four of us were on stage in a line, the front person started a monologue, and the person behind him would tag him out, replacing him mid-sentence. As the monologue progressed, the tags would become more frequent, getting to the point where someone wouldn't even be finishing a sentence before being replaced. We also did a layered scene where the audience suggested a word with multiple meanings, and that word was used to start a monologue, then another player would enter the scene, changing it to another meaning, and so on until all four or five people were on stage. Then, the scenes would unwind back to the original monologue. I was the anchor player for my group, and our word was "sea". I started by talking about the "C" programming language, then it shifted into a order dispute at a Mexican bar ("si!"), then people playing in the sea, and finally a faith healer helping a blind man to "see".

I had a little trouble during the "He Said, She Said" game -- the scene I was doing involving a shopping trip with my mother-in-law just wasn't going anywhere, but I had more fun during the "Try Again" game where I played a limo driver that helped his boss rub-out his ex-wife over an alimony dispute. Unfortunately, none of the three female classmembers were there today, so things tended to degenerate into "guy-prov" a bit with a lot of gunplay.

One of the best games was "typewriter" where a romance novel was being narrated by its author. I wasn't on stage for this one, but the actors developed this whole sequence where a guy falls in love with a mannequin, so he gets a locksmith to help him break into the department store. They both elude a wandering cop, and bring the mannequin back to the guy's home, where they bring it to life using a candle ceremony. Then, the scene ends with a conflict over the love of the newly alive girl, leading to a fight.

After this, I'm still excited about improv myself. I'm not signing up for the level 2 class right now, as I need some free weekends, but I'm planning on joining up with the next round of classes that should be starting in June. I'm also going to try to go see a couple of the Start Trekkin' shows that the Heroes are doing over the next six weeks. The first one's tonight, but it conflicts with "Ghengis Khan".

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It's been a little bit, but I took the full set of those once, and I came back and took the same class you did a little while ago. I enjoyed it a lot, and it changed a lot of the ways I interact.

By the way, having trouble for "He Said, She Said" is very usual. Only really seasoned improv people (which I am not) manage to do that one without stumbling. I think it's the hardest game they do regularly.

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