Monday 4/21: Third week of Art Of Improv with Think Fast!
This week, Rory expanded on scene work with the students by going over characters and relationships.
The following are excerpts from his general notes that he shared students:
“Relationship– this is how our characters feel about the other person on stage. Relationships are complex, and can completely change how a character acts. The way you act around a cop is different than who you react with your significant other, this is true for your character too!”
“The scene is the combinations of the character and the relationship. As long as you know who you are, and how your character feels about the other person, a scene will happen. It has to.”
“…what is happening is important to your character. If it’s important to you character, it’s important to everybody else. …and we would all feel bad if some Nazi jerk shot Indiana Jones….”
Thursday 4/24: Short Form Improv Program: Naive Short Form Games
We covered quite a few naive short form improv games at last week’s Short Form Improv Program! We even experimented and switched the roles of a naive player in one game to see how that would work out.
Naive games are an interesting beast to add to a set list. There seem to be more variables in play when it comes to this particular category of short form. For those that are curious, naive games are short form games in which one player is unaware of the audience suggestion and it is up to the team to clue that player until they guess it. This usually involves asking a player to leave the room, or even in other cases place headphones with loud music playing so they can’t hear the suggestions.
I’ve been improvising for about 5-6 years now and I can easily say that while I’m well aware of the tips, tricks, rules, and loopholes of most naive games, I am still quite terrified of them. I am not ashamed to say this at all. It is a skill that I am not very strong at, and that’s okay. However, it doesn’t mean in the slightest that I will not give it the respect that it well deserves, to the team, and of course to the naive player.
Everyone learned that night that naive games can be very unpredictable. Some games ran very quickly, with team members delivering clues so effectively that the naive player hit the suggestions after only one or two guesses while other naive formats ran 5-8 minutes long. Now it’s not to say that when a naive game runs long that game is a bust. This is where all the variables come into play. Sometimes the naive/team member doesn’t know the particular suggestion very well or at all.
During Superhero Welfare Department where the naives were superheros with a certain name, special body part, or rule over a domain, the clues were mainly delivered by the Welfare Dept. clerk. In this case, our “host” had to get our naive to guess he was the Silver Wombat but she had no clue what a wombat was!
Another variable is that when asking for a celebrity or historical character, players might not be familiar with them to give solid clues.
Here are some friendly tips when it comes to naive games:
- If you are the naive: KEEP GUESSING. I can never stress this enough! Even though you think it may be the wrong answer, you can never know with the audience! So guess, guess, guess! When you guess you are also communicating with your team on where your thought process is going. They will be able to guide you closer to the answer based on where you are!
- Word play is your best friend here. Dissect the suggestion and sound out the other words that come out of it. In my previous example for wombat, team members entered the scene as walk-ins and delivered clues involving WOMB and BAT for the naive to make out. It worked!
- Be honest! Here we can let meta playing slide. If you are the naive and you know the celebrity everyone is hinting about but you simply for the life of you cannot remember the name, go ahead and have your character say it! True Story: This happened during a show after we had dropped all sorts of movie references for her celebrity and she said she knew but couldn’t catch her name, even after we did the word play trick. The audience loved her honesty and cheered for her! As her teammates, we laughed with her and moved on to the next clue. No punishment was dealt, no one from the audience yelled at us or her for not getting it. It’s okay, it’s just a game after all!
Some games we played:
- Superhero Welfare Department
- Polly’s Pocket
- 101 (to get that sense of puns and wordplay on the front burner of our improv brains)
Friday 4/25: Think Fast’s House Warming Show at Ong King!
It’s official! Think Fast’s new home at Ong King happened this past weekend! We have played several shows there before for their First Fridays and our Regards! Sketch Comedy show. This show was the one where we brought in a toothbrush and got our own drawer. With the Loading Zone moving into Ong King as well, we have the whole family together!
A special welcome back to Drew McCalmon for returning on to Think Fast! You’ll be seeing more of Drew and his antics at our shows and classes!
As we are in transition, so was our house. With our small but mighty audience, we played short form games and our long form The Library. Our special guest improviser/novel for the evening was The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera. There’s something magical that comes out of a small audience. You form a closer bond with them as it’s easier to decipher the energies coming from them. In return, we gave them our all regardless of their numbers. We’re always thankful for an audience, and you should never belittle an audience for coming out!
Thank you to Chris for running our bar that evening, Diane Kim for taking care of our door, and all the awesome peeps that came out to have fun with us! Our upcoming May 9th show is gonna be a blast with four, count ‘em, four improv teams performing! Be sure to check us out as we welcome our improv pals to play!
- Sunday 4/27: Think Fast volunteers for St.Baldrick’s Foundation: Head-Shaving event
Think Fast! members Aaron Pughes, John C. “Mustache”, Rory Chaim Franzen and myself volunteered on Sunday at the St.Baldrick’s Head-Shaving Event! It was held at Dave & Buster’s with an amazing turn out!
St.Baldrick’s is a foundation that raises funds for research on childhood cancers. “Shavees” get pledges to donate to St.Baldrick’s and then on the big day shave their head with other shavees! It was a fun event with great people, solid music and tasty food! There was also a silent auction and a kid’s fun activity area in the Paina Hall!
Thank you Patrick Tyrrell for your amazing dedication and work into this event! We’re looking forward to next year! Maybe we’ll be in the barber’s chairs by then.
Check out the video below on this year’s St.Baldrick’s Foundation Head Shaving Event! Courtesy of Videhop.
For more information on St.Baldrick’s Hawaii, visit their Facebook page!
Thanks for reading!