Over the past few months, I’ve been letting my pirate tendencies take over in improv scenes. I was playing confidently and having fun. The flipside to that is that when I initiated a scene off of an opening, it was often an idea right out of the opening, rather than an analogue or recontextualization of that idea. My second beats in Harolds were often time dashes for the same reason.
One of my coaches pointed this out to me, not necessarily as a criticism, but as an observation. Either way, I decided that I’d try to cultivate my robot side, and holy shit it’s like I’m in 201 again. I’m completely in my head, falling back on my tendency to play the frustrated straight man (another thing I’ve been called out on) as I try to figure out the scene.
Anyone have any thoughts on squaring the two sides of my improv brain?
- I once took what I’ll call an accidental Besser workshop (first day of a UCB class, the teacher couldn’t be there, and so the sub was Besser), and he described that he thinks of the backline as the “writer’s room” of an improv show, and that’s where you should be doing the bulk of your thinking and analyzing. So maybe that’s a way to approach it? Robot on the backline, pirate in your scenework (and a ninja all the time).
- I had something else here, but I’ve forgotten it.