Improv Diaries – When Improv London and Punders Drop The Mic… [Case Studies: Rory Bremner and James Witt]

This week has been another week with sadly not alot of improv – you see, I turned the big three oh this week and instead of going to rehearsals, I was abroad drinking good wine and travelling (which will be talked about in the Travel Book – keep an eye out). Even though this week hasn’t technically had improv I am going to fight that it actually has – maybe not in the style of a stage but definitely in front of a microphone….

For my birthday, I organised an evening of Karaoke with friends and 90% of the people that came were improvisers and it was great fun. I have done karaoke before with improvisers and the thing I love the most about it is that because everyone is so used to acting the fool on stage they do not care if they act the fool in karaoke as well.

It was such a fun night, the thing I loved is that whenever anyone went up to perform a song together they would really get into it and commit to the character – like you would in improv. There was some great characters that came alive and it was so fun to watch and also perform.

Throughout the night I found it fun to watch fellow Punder JBB perform as he really got into the roles and went crazy and it was great. His rendition of the Time Warp was so fun and would be something that I would love to see be transformed into a character on stage.

The other person I loved watching perform karaoke was Stuart  – some of the characters he created when he sung karaoke was awesome and really entertaining – when he was with other improvisers and actually even my non improv friend Tom, they all committed and really got into character.

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Halfway through a pop song that we were singing we naturally did a very improv thing and turned into characters. I think the only way I can describe them is sot of like a very exaggerated version of Politicians doing a very passionate speech. The characters we naturally moulded into ( I think it was to a Blue song) got laughter from everyone else – so we did what any improviser did and upped the anti and made the characters even stronger.

Just like a good improviser knows, you always bring back a character later on and that is what we did – we brought them back in another pop song (i think it was Britney) and it worked a treat.

Improv and karaoke was so fun, I want to do it again or make it a show or something!

Case Studies – Rory Bremner and James Witt

This week there was only really two people I wanted to talk about and they were people who I think have inspired me in relation to character karaoke. When myself and Stuart started create characters it naturally happened but in the back of . my head all I could think was – I feel like a very political character that Rory would of created and then I felt myself trying to commit to the actions and the motions.

Rory is such a talented impressionist that he is a pleasure to watch and I adore his ITV show The Imitation Game. You only need to watch him for a few seconds to find him hilarious – the way he creates a character is so inspiring and he instantly clicked in my head when these characters started to happen.

Another person who deserves a mention this week is James Witt of Dreamweaver / Newsical. He is another person that really commits to a character and when I started to talk in this very political and passionate way I was also trying to channel my inner James. When you watch him as a character on stage, especially his Boris Johnson, he uses very strong and bold movements with his chest and shoulders – I don’t know if he realises he is doing it but that sort of movement creates power and determination and that was sort of what these characters were turning into.

I always love coming across people who are great at character work as it is such an interesting topic. if I could of written my Dissertation on it at uni, trust me I would turn back the clocks and do that.

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