6 Week Harold Intensive for $60 w/ Cody Dearing

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6 Week Harold Intensive for $60 w/ Cody Dearing

Postby TexasImprovMassacre » January 8th, 2013, 8:07 pm

Hello,

I will be teaching a 6 week Harold Intensive for $60 on Thursdays from 6-8pm beginning Jan. 24th (and skipping Valentines day) @ Messiah Lutheran Church, 5701 Cameron Road, Austin, TX. There is currently 1 spot left .

If you would like to sign up, all you need to do is go here to pay to reserve a spot: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?c ... B5KXVC935N

This a chance for people to get a condensed versions of ColdTowne's level 4 class on the harold for goofy-cheap.

It seems that when most people think of the Harold in Austin they think of the classic form from Chicago that follows an "Opening, 3 scenes, game..." structure.

Here is a lovely poster describing that structure.
Image

While that 3 scenes, game structure has the potential to produce some amazing shows, it is also common for the perceived rigidity of the structure to hinder some students' performances. It can also often lead to shows that seem to be lacking some creative spark/inspiration.

However, instructors often note that executing the 3 scenes/game format "correctly" or "in order" does not ensure that your show will be good...and you don't HAVE to do 3 scenes game to do a good harold.

So, if it isn't the predetermined structure that's important, what is it about the harold that you're supposed to be learning?

I have come to believe that the harold is more about learning a style of play than it is about learning an order of which scene should happen when; a style of play that encompasses wonderful things like unconditional and immediate support, building off what is already there rather than inventing, practicing intense listening skills, sharing the responsibility for every scene with everyone in the cast...and more...

It is my belief that when people are learning the harold they are not learning to "do a harold" (noun), but they are learning to play in the style of the harold or "to improvise haroldly" (adverb).

Once improvisers free themselves from the constraints of the structure I feel that they begin creating harolds that each have their own unique and wonderful focuses. I also believe that these skills work to make improvisers better at other forms outside of the harold in that it helps players understand how to make the show they are doing more of what it already is...


Here is one of my favorite quotes from Del Close about the harold:

“It’s the order that is imposed on it — nay, not imposed, discovered within it. There is no art without order. There is no art without structure. Art is not the moment of free expression — anybody can do that. That’s just masturbation and free association and therapeutic purging. There’s no art in that. Where the art comes in is in the control, in taking this material that could spew off in any direction and imposing on it, or discovering within it or revealing, the inner order of this seemingly random, disordered, or unordered behavior. I remember trying to get people to improvise something in a checkerboard pattern, and they’re like ‘What the fuck do you mean?’ It was clear to me. I think I could have done a light scene and then a dark scene and then an oblique scene that was neither light nor dark, but they were still hung up on some other level.”

Del Close in The Art of Madness (Langer, Adam), University of Chicago Press, p. 197


I think this is a good video example of 3033 from Chicago playing in this style.

http://vimeo.com/channels/3033improv/6580209

I'm excited to host a workshop towards creating harolds like this...in such a way that the improvisers discover and adopt a unique "form" for each show they perform.

This class will be supplemented by emails every week containing further notes and some video examples.


About Me: The Harold is by far my favorite level to teach at ColdTowne where I am currently lucky enough to be the Artistic Director as well as the Dean of the Conservatory.

I was also lucky enough to have studied the harold in its birthplace at IO Chicago. In addition to completing full programs at ColdTowne and IO chicago I have studied with instructors from the Second City, The Annoyance, UCB, The New Movement, The Hideout, and others...

If you have any questions about the workshop, please don't hesitate to email me at Cody@coldtownetheater.com.

Also, if you are interested in having me come coach your entire group on this subject rather than signing up for the workshop please just email me and let me know and we can work towards setting something up.

If you would like to sign up, please follow this link to pay to make a reservation: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?c ... B5KXVC935N

If money is an issue, or you can't swing it all at once, please just let me know and I can work something out with you.

Thank you
Last edited by TexasImprovMassacre on January 12th, 2013, 5:36 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: 6 Week Harold Intensive for $60 w/ Cody Dearing

Postby bradisntclever » January 9th, 2013, 10:49 am

I highly recommend giving this a spin if you're curious about the Harold. Cody is a great improviser and just as thoughtful offstage about theory and form. I agree that the biggest joys in the Harold come from the mentality/style of play rather than the form itself. You can really hone in on a sense of group ownership and unconditional support that allows you to reach those daring heights only the more experienced improv groups tend to get to.
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Re: 6 Week Harold Intensive for $60 w/ Cody Dearing

Postby TexasImprovMassacre » January 9th, 2013, 11:01 am

Thank you, Brad!
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Re: 6 Week Harold Intensive for $60 w/ Cody Dearing

Postby trabka » January 9th, 2013, 11:18 am

I had the privilege of TAing the Harold level at ColdTowne with Cody and I have to say his approach really got me on board with thinking about The Harold as a play mentality rather than a scaffold to put some scenes on.
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Re: 6 Week Harold Intensive for $60 w/ Cody Dearing

Postby PyroDan » January 9th, 2013, 2:59 pm

I too recommend learning the Harold, and learning it from Cody. A six week intensive for $60 is a bargain as well.

The reason the Harold is held in such high regard is because it has created something more than form. The traditional form of the Harold, or the first, or whatever you want to call it was just for the purpose of doing something more with improv, to make it a theatrical experience, to have fun and farce and even to be real, vulnerable, emotionally honest.

Taking a Harold class for the purpose of being intuitive in a happen chance conversation at in improv festival is like carrying cigarettes to meet women (I used to do that) and I totally will endorse that choice. However taking the class to improve your play and study, what essentially is to use a poor analogy, like studying the Elizabethan period of improv (I am counting Commedia Del Arte as Greek theatre is this analogy) is admirable.
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Re: 6 Week Harold Intensive for $60 w/ Cody Dearing

Postby TexasImprovMassacre » January 10th, 2013, 10:18 am

Thank you very much, Adam and Dan!


There are currently 3 spots remaining!
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Re: 6 Week Harold Intensive for $60 w/ Cody Dearing

Postby contentlove » January 11th, 2013, 10:03 am

Excellent, I've been wondering if I'd ever get to do the Harold. I'm in.
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Re: 6 Week Harold Intensive for $60 w/ Cody Dearing

Postby TexasImprovMassacre » January 11th, 2013, 10:51 am

Content!!!


There are only 2 spots left, y'all!
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Re: 6 Week Harold Intensive for $60 w/ Cody Dearing

Postby TexasImprovMassacre » January 14th, 2013, 10:23 am

Only 1 spot left!
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Re: 6 Week Harold Intensive for $60 w/ Cody Dearing

Postby TexasImprovMassacre » January 15th, 2013, 12:43 pm

The workshop is all sold out!

Thank you very much to those who registered. I'm looking forward to our time together.
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Re: 6 Week Harold Intensive for $60 w/ Cody Dearing

Postby thedward » January 16th, 2013, 4:54 pm

For what it's worth, I would definitely like to sign up next time you do this.
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