Improv Diaries – New Punders and Our First Musical Set! [Case Study: Bartolo Creations ]

This week has been a very musical based one at Punders HQ as we wanted to start testing out short form music game ideas that we have had. It is something that is still very new to us but we want to start incorporating music based games to our shows as they are different and very fun.

This week in rehearsal we started to test out new games to see how we feel about them as an idea. We started the rehearsal with lots of warm ups to get us in the mind of music including two aubergines, the Kevin Song ( which we nickname after an ex member who introduced us to the song) and in house favourites King of the Jungle and gibberish rap battles.

We then went into the musical games – we wanted to start focussing on ways we can bring music to a scene without it always being about the singing. So we started to practise a game called Oscar Winning Moment. What happens is that the person in charge of the music plays a random instrumental genre of music whenever they want to and then the person that is talking at that particular moment then has to do a monologue and act in that particular style that the music is leading them into.

The next game that we practised was a rap / rhyming game where a drum beat will come in and then the person then has to start busting into rhyme. This game has taken a while to work out how to play it most successfully but we have taken the time to get an idea in place that we are going to develop throughout the next few weeks and months to perfect it.

Another game that we worked on was greatest hits where two people act as hosts on a shopping channel and promote a greatest hits album about an object that is suggested by the audience. There are three people that act as a band and then they sing improvised songs to the genre of music that is played. It was a really fun rehearsal and being the ‘dare devils’ that we are we decided to plunge into the deep end and perform an entire music based short for set at our show this week. To see just how well the audience react.


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So this week we ended up performing at set at the Hoopla Clubhouse – we were opening the second half which was good because we had tech to set up but also it was really nerve-wracking. I was super nervous before performing because it was entirely different to what we normally do but I love those nerves as I feel it makes you a better improviser and I haven’t had nerves like that in such a long time that it was kind of refreshing.

I think all of us felt a lot of pressure because all of the groups that came before us had performed really great sets (Gamez, The Ol Bill and The Descendants) all of them had received big laughs and all of their sets were very good. So we felt a really huge pressure on us to perform. Plus we had a new Punder doing their first set – which we were not worried about at all because Jake (read more about him here) is a very confident improviser and he is also a very good at getting the whole gang pumped before a show.

The set went really well, it got lots of huge laughs and we all upped our game in the scenes. The characters were big and the music worked really well and got a fantastic reaction for the games and that was something that we are really happy about for a first show.


Case Study: Bartolo Creations

I don’t usually like to use myself as  a case study but for this weeks article I felt that it was really relevant to what we were doing in rehearsals and the games that we were playing.

One of the things i have to do a lot as a video editor is intertwine music into video edits, and this is why I enjoyed some of these games that were playing this week because I sort of got to incorporate what I do for a job.

I really enjoyed being in charge of the music in the Oscar moments game because when you see an opportunity for comedy you can ingest it and that is what I do as an editor – I am always trying to find ways to bring a bit of comedy to an edit and sometimes the music is a big part of this.

Another big thing about incorporating music into anything is that it is all about timing. The one thing I adore about comedy is the perfect timing of things whether it is planning or by accident – if the timing is right then the comedy can be big and hilarious. I do find that with the oscar winning game you can really have lots of fun with it and create these timings.

I am really proud of the Punders this week, to go into a show where we didn’t really have any idea if it was going to work, to a set that went very well – it is something i am really happy I will have in writing to remember.

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