Yes, here in the blog we’re still in October and John Timothy just got to town!
John is currently a member of UCB Theatre’s improv team The Curfew and among his previous teams you can find Sandino, where he played with Alan Starzinski – our subject from last week. John has trained at the UCB since 2006 with the like of Betsy Stover, Neil Casey, Doug Moe, Porter Mason, Dyna Moe, Jeff Hiller, and Jordan Klepper, which made it very exciting to in turn, be learning from him!
JT – yeah, not only first name basis, but initials basis – came to teach Thematic Harolds, Action Improv and The Movie! I could describe the forms he came to teach, but that would probably be dry and boring, so I’ll focus on philosophies and the small nuggets of wisdom I learnt, or was reminded of, from his classes.
Watch out for being allergic to your own reality! – Will Hines
We always tend to create problems in scenes – somehow we think that will make them more interesting. It all becomes even harder to handle when we start by saying – “I don’t like shrimp!” when all you have to eat in the world you just created together with your scene partner is – guess what? – shrimp! Will Hines quote is a handy tool to have at the tip of your tongue and it’s always fun when people quote people you have actually met before!
Avoid creating problems – John Timothy
And even just creating problems like – “I forgot to put on gas!” when you’re at the start of a road trip is very unhelpful! We want things to happen in our scenes, so let’s just get in that car and drive to where it takes us and let things happen! I’m sure we’ll only find fun things to play with. Don’t be afraid of the places you can take yourself!
Everything is here/exists – it’s an improv scene – John Timothy
Another problem we like creating for ourselves is the – “I haven’t brought it with me” – Yes you did!; – “I don’t have £80M to buy a theatre!” – Yes you do! – It’s an improv scene! Everything you say you have and everything you say is there exists! Try it and find what would happen if you actually had everything you needed in life!
Live and show as opposed to just hitting the highlights – John Timothy
We’re good at finding the funny thing in our scenes, if not for anything else, but for the fact the audience will pick it up and laugh. An easy thing to do to make it clear to everyone in the scene is to say it out loud and maybe even let your scene partner repeat it – framing the game is a super helpful tool that will get everyone on the same page. Once you do find it, don’t keep hitting it over and over again and linearly heightening it. Just live in your reality and find new ways within it to show us what is funny!
The only right path is the path we take! – John Timothy
Written by Mariana Feijó