Things I've Never Done On-Stage

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Postby LisaJackson » February 28th, 2011, 8:08 pm

While I am definitely inspired to make an improv bucket list now, I'd also like to point out that these lists lift me up because they make me realize that the list of things that I HAVE done is NOT unoriginal. I often struggle with worrying about whether I'm putting something original out and to know that I've done some things on the bucket lists of well-experienced and awesome improvisors makes me feel good. Sort of a schadenfreude but in an appreciative way rather than a "fuck you" way. So here's my bucket list and I hope some of you look at it and say, "Hey! I've done that!"

I've never
-worked on a car in a remotely realistic way, it's just me moving my hands around
-played a serial killer in a show
-drowned
-ridden a unicorn
-been stuffed inside a locker, or stuffed a fellow player inside a locker
-played a transvestite
-played a realistic nazi
-been raped on stage
-used stage combat that wasn't fakey-jokey
-talked in pig latin
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Re: Things I've Never Done On-Stage

Postby ratliff » February 28th, 2011, 11:33 pm

Jon Bolden wrote:I'm pretty sure I've never done any of these things in an improv scene:

- Played a lesbian

What about you?


I played a lesbian at a funeral once in class. My life partner was played by Brian Boyko.
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Postby B. Tribe » March 1st, 2011, 10:42 am

LisaJackson wrote:worked on a car in a remotely realistic way, it's just me moving my hands around


Mime using a ratchet wrench. 90% of engine parts are removed/replaced with a ratchet wrench.

LisaJackson wrote:played a realistic nazi
been raped on stage


Not as a slight to you, but I'd prefer to miss those scenes. Realistic nazis aren't very funny, and even some kind of fumbling, half-hearted rape would still be incredibly uncomfortable to watch.

LisaJackson wrote:-used stage combat that wasn't fakey-jokey


It's almost impossible to improvise realistic violence with any degree of safety. Even people who are well trained in stage combat will slowly practice the combat sections before a show no matter how minor that moment might seem. I'm sure people with training could improvise combat but that's due to skill. Even stupid fakey fights can result in injury (see Drew Wesley's ankle).

I got the opportunity to perform realistic violence when I was in college. It was at the end of Mamet's "American Buffalo". Teach (my character) lays a severe beatdown on Bobby, a low IQ heroin addict. I hit him in the head with a box, kicked him in the ribs about 10 times, then dragged him by his hair to center stage before pulling a gun on him. To add to the realism, Bobby used a blood capsule to simulate possible brain injury. In rehearsal it was a trickle of blood coming out of his ear. In the show, the capsule GUSHED blood EVERYWHERE. It looked like I'd damn near killed him. Awesome.
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Postby Jon Bolden » March 1st, 2011, 10:47 am

We should do a show where we do all these things we've never done. OR we all share things we've never done in life and try to flesh them out for each other (basically lots of orgy scenes).
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Postby ratliff » March 1st, 2011, 10:48 am

B. Tribe wrote:Not as a slight to you, but I'd prefer to miss those scenes. Realistic nazis aren't very funny, and even some kind of fumbling, half-hearted rape would still be incredibly uncomfortable to watch.


Hmm. I'm with you on the rape; I think it's probably possible to do a (horrible) funny rape scene, but I'll be fine if I never have to see or play it.

But at the risk of sounding like a complete idiot, Nazis are people too. The obvious strategy is to play the good Nazi, the one who's starting to question the ideology, but I think the real challenge would be to play the kind of insecurities and need for structure that draw people to fascism in the first place.

Oh, yeah, wait, I forgot it's supposed to be funny ...
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Postby Spots » March 1st, 2011, 10:53 am

Brett wrote:I'd prefer to miss those scenes. Realistic nazis aren't very funny.


ratliff wrote:The obvious strategy is to play the good Nazi ... the real challenge would be to play the kind of insecurities and need for structure that draw people to fascism in the first place.


Guys, there are soooo many successful instances of Nazis in comedy. They play some of the best straight men: "The Great Dictator", "Life Is Beautiful", select moments in "Raiders" & "Last Crusade" just to name a few.

Since the Nazi stereotype is so straight, it allows for great moments of absurdity in contrast. You could even make the argument for "Springtime For Hitler" even though the dynamic is perhaps obscured.

Anyway, if your scene partner enters the scene as a straight Nazi, I argue that you've just been set up with easy laughs.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » March 1st, 2011, 1:15 pm

and i argue that if he enters as a GAY Nazi, you're in for even more! :P

of course, again, one assumes the goal is to be funny. whereas with Nazis and rape, we might aim elsewhere (or Lisa's just looking for new and exciting contexts to make fart noises onstage...though i still think the Farting Raped Nazi scene has great potential for dramatic impact!).
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Postby Spots » March 1st, 2011, 1:34 pm

I meant to end my last post with "wait for it..." :P


@Jordan, Brett, et al: I understand personal resistance to participating, and I don't intend to advocate the trend... but it's the serious nature (and high stakes) that make comedic reversals so easy.

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It's too easy. That's a great reason to avoid doing it.
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Postby Marc Majcher » March 1st, 2011, 1:59 pm

B. Tribe wrote:Realistic nazis aren't very funny

Rule #1 of improv: Be funny.
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Postby Spots » March 1st, 2011, 2:02 pm

Marc Majcher wrote:
B. Tribe wrote:Realistic nazis aren't very funny

Rule #1 of improv: Be funny.


What do you mean? A nazi sitting by himself is HILARIOUS.


Marc: Can we change that to "Act funny"??????
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » March 1st, 2011, 2:08 pm

Marc Majcher wrote:
B. Tribe wrote:Realistic nazis aren't very funny

Rule #1 of improv: Be funny.


really? i always thought it was "Be clever." huh...
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Postby Spots » March 1st, 2011, 2:09 pm

Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:really? i always thought it was "Be clever." huh...



Jordan: Can we change that to "Act clever"?????
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » March 1st, 2011, 2:10 pm

Spots wrote:
Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:really? i always thought it was "Be clever." huh...



Jordan: Can we change that to "Act clever"?????


only if you want a cauliflower ear, sonny Jim!

(see, i'm doing an old timey character there...it's clever. i say "bully" a lot...)
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Postby valetoile » March 1st, 2011, 8:19 pm

Spots wrote:
Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:really? i always thought it was "Be clever." huh...



Jordan: Can we change that to "Act clever"?????


How about "Try to act clever"?
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Postby bradisntclever » March 2nd, 2011, 12:43 am

valetoile wrote:
Spots wrote:
Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:really? i always thought it was "Be clever." huh...



Jordan: Can we change that to "Act clever"?????


How about "Try to act clever"?


Too obtuse. "Think about trying to act clever, preferably from the sidelines" seems to work best.
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