This week was another busy one in the world of Improv, we kicked it off with testing a new game as part of our set at the Hoopla Improv Matahon. On the last weekend of September, Hoopla, in London Bridge hold a 48 hour improv extraganza where a number of different improv troupes take part with a short set. Our show Channel Flip was on in the afternoon of the Saturday and we wanted to make sure that it was high energy and also a show where we could experiment with the format.
The set that we were doing welcomed a new game called Pokeprov which is a character based game where two improvisers compete with the emotion and characteristic that are pulled out of a hat and send them to battle. So for example excited cactus vs. drunk cowboy. To create the effect of a ‘channel flip’ between the two shows we did a few mini scenes of other television channels to create the effect you were switching over.
This week in rehearsal we went a bit back basics and used basic tactics to start refocusing ourselves for the main show that we have coming up in November. We were focusing on the physicality and creating scenes by taking a little step back from the original word.
We did our normal warm up routine and then went straight into exercises. The first thing we did was scenes where we came in with a movement and that was the justification for the scene and we had to build up the who what where with that.
The next time we did scenes we would get a suggestion and then we would talk about what it makes us think of to make it go further away from the original idea. This is helpful as it can create some really fun and creative scenes.
We then focused on physicality in a scene and did ones with no speaking. This was really helpful as it really allows you to focus on the creation of strong creative work.
We finished off rehearsals with a number of games to just have a bit of fun.
Case Study – Jimmy Ginger, City Impro
This week was all about physicality and creating characters. A few months ago I met Jimmy at a City Impro Camden Fringe gig (in fact he was the one that invited us along!) and the one thing that stood out for me was his character work.
I came across Jimmy again a few weeks ago at the musical related night that I was telling you about and again his character work shone. He is very good at bringing characters to life and was so surprised he didn’t have actor training when I asked him.
From seeing him do one scene as a zombie it has inspired me to really focus on my characters as much as possible. Just the simplest physical movement can really make a huge difference in a scene.
I noticed this alot with Jimmy’s physicality on stage. The simplest shoulder movement or eye movement can really make a difference and stand out to the crowd.