Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Workshops: Improvisation During Acting Week

  I've been neglecting mentioning these but lately I have had immense fun with the acting classes that have been happening on Wednesday afternoon. With the basics covered over the past few weeks, this class focused on improvisation. The images above and below were of the second group performance of the day. The first was we were to get into pairs although I was in a trio, and we had to say yes to continue a story. For instance "It's raining cats" was followed up by "yes it is, can I get under your umbrella?" then "Yes you can." I was paired with Lewis and Jack White, and after a few attempts we ended up with a story with Jack as a lemon who was a lemon salesman with a special lemon for a nipple that gave him a life-threatening side effect, and I knew because I was a lemon doctor.

 The task of the second performance was that we would improvise a scene that would be devised by someone else from the pose we took. When the lecturer clapped to single the end, the second person was to freeze and another person came up to repeat the process. It was interesting seeing how people responded to our poses, of particular note was one I did with Dan Reason, where he moved his arms about and I acted like he dropped an expensive painting. He pulled funny faces and whenever I said "wipe that smile off your face" he would pull and even bigger, funnier grin.

  An interesting occurrence was that Vlad made several scenes with Andy when their turns came around, where Vlad would agree on a date with Andy. This culminated in the final scene of the exercise - Vlad remarking there's a meteor coming ot Earth while Andy pulled a horrified "we're all going to die" face. They then decided that then would be the right time for a date.

  After the break, Dan - our lecturer - scattered the floor with various objects. The task was that while one person stood outside, the group decided on a desired performance with an object, with the main condition that it had to be guessable and  unrelated to the object's real purpose. (such as using the belt as a towel). The task for the performer (who was outside the room and so couldn't here) was to try and make the action though guesswork, the only indicators they'd be on the right track is by the volume of an applause as they got closer and closer to the desired performance.

  This led ot some rather interesting situations such as Vlad passing around the silver ball around his body (his performance was to be "alas poor Yorick" from Hamlet), Dan Reason kept wrapping the belt around his legs and my performance was supposed to be that I was a mummy. The only indication of what the action was to be was however was that people clapped as a wrapped toilet roll around my head. So I spent most of my time covering more of my head with toilet roll until Dan the lecturer stepped in.

All-in-all it was an amazing experience. It felt good to attempt these things and reminded me of the term "weird is good" that I concluded on during a life-drawing class. So while it was peculiar to be put into these situations, I far from hated it.


  1. I love this post, Mark - 'weird is indeed good' :D Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hahaha! Sounds like you have really enjoyed this, Mark! :D