Yes And…part 15- ‪Steve Martin

This week i was back on the Improv wagon and was back at the C3 Something lessons with Carleen. It was great to go back as haven’t been to them in a while because of rehearsals with Punderstandably so was really nice to see some of my favourite people on the improv scene as well as meet some new and friendly faces. Out of all the drop ins i have been to this year, this was definitely in my top three for more the one reason.

The first was that it was a huge detox / destress from the job i am currently on. At the moment i am working 50-60 hour weeks for a fast turnaround television show so being silly for 2 hours in a weekday was like a breath of fresh air to the system. The other reason was that because I sort of felt i needed Improv this week, i put a lot into the having fun part of the improv and enjoyed it a lot for what it was and didnt bother doing what most improvisers do from time to time – judging myself for what i was doing.

This week we started off the lesson by playing a child television like name game where you introduce yourself to everyone else in the form of a children’s television presenter and say something Interesting about yourself. 

This week was all about making statements and staying with them for your character. To get us in the

Mood for this we played a short form game (yay) where you can only say statements – this for competitive and we were broken into two teams and my team won (double yay!). 

We then focussed on this weeks lesson. The first thing we did was present to the other half of the class a monologue of what little thing annoys us and why and we weren’t allowed to stop talking until Carlene told us to. After doing that we then had to explain a specific example where this has happened in everyday life and then finally sum up why we found it annoying. It was funny hearing the little things that annoy people from Stuart’s pen tapping annoyance to carolines annoying road junctions to Mateus’ bar man irritations. 

After we did this we then all got Ina semi circle – we would be playing a scene to the person to the left of us as to the right of us. The person to the right of you would start the scene in the character they “found” in their last scene and the person on the left would then find their character in that scene and so on. 

In the first scene I was a part of I played an enthusiastic coffee barista who complimented the lazy character type that Mateus had found in the last scene. In the next scene I was on a bridge helping the other improviser discover she really loved people! 

After we did the whole circle we then went at random times to see which one of our characters would compliment others. It was a really fun evening and I had a lot of fun playing crazy enthusiastic characters. 

Case Study – Steve Martin 

This week my life has had a lot of Steve Martin in, mainly because I was listening to his stand up shows on Spotify, but also because he pops up a lot in the book I am reading about the history of SNL.

He is a great person for a case Study for improv because he is a comedy genius and is so naturally funny. When you listen to his stand up you realise that he really does provide both the audience and his routine with a lot of energy. He is famously known for playing jerk like characters in films and this is something I find highly inspiring and enjoy channeling.

I love playing high energy characters and from watching a lot of his films this is something I look up to whe doing improv. The last few times I have done lessons I haven’t felt my inner crazy characters come out as I feel I have been holding them in but this week it felt so nice to become these high energy people again.

Sometimes i think, like many actors, artists, comedians, I think too much about the actual comedy form and worrying I am doing right then actually focussing on the silly and the fun. From this weeks lesson I am going to try and remember to channel the silly more and not worry on the artistic approach/ whether I am doing something right. And hey, maybe working 50+ hour weeks and being really tired is helping me Channel the silly!

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