Welcome to this weeks Improv Diaries, it has been a reasonably busy week in the world of improv – we had a show first thing this week – this was at Hoopla Impro at the Pre-Party, yet again we were using it to test out new content and games that we wanted to bring into our July show. Each of the games that we played got a good response and from playing them in front of a crowd, it is obvious to us where we need to improve them moving forward.
The show had a good crowd this week and was a stronger mix of improvisers then we normally get so whilst out shows are usually filled of non-improvisers it is always important and interesting to see how other improvisers and acts respond to them. Our show is in a few weeks so there is still time to develop and work on the grey areas but that is why we do these mini shows – to see what we need to alter and improve.
This week in rehearsals it was all about getting ready for our July show – both Yiannis and Jake are hosting as their on stage persona the Bobs so it’s all about getting them ready for the show! We also are bringing a few brand new games to the stage so we had to rehearse them to see if they worked. One of the games that we are going to play in our next show includes me playing the keyboard with my eyes closed. I was worried it wasn’t going to work but the concept we have been able to knuckle it down and have realised how we need to play it in front of an audience and I think it will work really well. The good thing about being able to play the keyboard from the age of 3 is that I know my chords pretty much off by heart so even if I can not play well (which is part of the game) there will at least be a melody to the madness!
It was a good week for rehearsals and even though we only have two weeks to go, I feel that it is only the start of things being awesome.
Case Study – Jeff Goldblum
This is a bit of a random case study this week but once I explain the reasons why you will be able to relate. I had a night shift this week and I am not a fan of waking up and going straight into work, instead I like to do things before I go in as it keeps your energy up on a twelve hour night shift. So I looked at what was on and saw that Jeff Goldblum was playing with his orchestra up the road so I went along.
I originally came across Jeff’s band when it appeared on Spotify and I was originally going to review it for this site going into it thinking it was going to be bad – how foolish I was, it is so good! He is a very good pianist and show man so the opportunity to go and see him live seemed intriguing. ( I never did the review – sorry!)
Let’s get the music review out of the way – it was great and entertaining. What I want to talk about is Jeff Goldblum – when he does a gig he doesn’t do a gig in the normal way, he does it in the Jeff Goldblum way – charming, witty and completely unpredictable just like Jeff Goldblum!
The one thing I took away from this show was that persona both from what people think you are is just as important as to how you project yourself on stage. I have seen Jeff Goldblum on many chat shows as well as on podcasts and he goes off on a tangent and comes across as one of the friendliest people you will ever meet. In the show that I saw this was the case and also he was very funny – I like the fact that he is sort of a parody of himself as he knows people love him for being a cult character in Jurassic Park and he really plays to it throughout the show.
Another thing I learn from Jeff Goldblum’s show is use the space – he didn’t just stay on stage he used the space around the audience as well to make them feel connected and engaged with him. We tend to do this already as a show but seeing someone like Jeff Goldblum really puts a whole different spin on things and again allows you to think of stage and production values a lot more.