Good, fun 'habits'

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Good, fun 'habits'

Postby B. Tribe » March 1st, 2011, 12:30 pm

We talk a lot about 'bad' habits we have onstage. Do you have any good or fun 'habits' that you've noticed?

I find myself laughing as a scene I'm in is edited or I'm there for the button. When I'm in the scene I'm doing my thing, not worrying about being funny. The edit comes along. I realize that something funny just happened and I laugh as I go offstage.
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Postby kbadr » March 1st, 2011, 1:24 pm

I habitually do detailed space work primarily for my own benefit, to lock myself in character and in the environment. My fellow players don't usually notice, and the audience rarely does, but it keeps me in the moment and I often find little gems of inspiration doing that. I am not avoiding connecting with other players when I do it, though, but I do still think it's one of the more selfish, yet harmless, habits I have on stage. Space work delights me and I do it to entertain myself. I really have no problem doing detailed spacework without calling attention to it or demanding feedback.

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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » March 1st, 2011, 1:49 pm

overall, i have a habit of defaulting to a very theatrical/presentational style performance...which can be effective, and affords me the wonderful challenge of being real and grounded as well. i also find, if the tone of the show allows for it, i will sometimes call out "factual" inaccuracies pointed out by others. if it's going to compromise the story or reality in some way, i avoid it. but if things are already playful or "wacky," then i feel a certain amount of permission to make a joke out of the inaccuracy, misunderstanding, etc. (for example: during the most recent ¡ZARZAMORA! show, we were playing Vikings who found a crown. Lampe made the joke "perhaps we should add horns to it!", which got a good laugh. knowing that Vikings didn't actually have horns on their helmets, i interjected "I don't think that'd look right. Let's just TELL everyone we put horns on it and confuse them!", which got an even bigger laugh. :p)

i have also developed the habit during 710 Split shows of not worrying about the audience and ONLY trying to make Jeff laugh. which seems like kind of a dick move, but has led to us having amazing shows so i've stuck with it. ;)

oh, i've also recently noticed i enjoy playing characters in a very dumb fashion and then revealing they're highly intelligent. it's a fun status reversal game. 8)
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Postby B. Tribe » March 4th, 2011, 10:49 am

I find myself doing subtle side support. Quiet sounds that add to a scene but don't take it over. In a recent Bad Boys show I made quiet cat scratching noises. Later, during a scene on a boat, I added ocean sounds; waves, seagulls, and the spray of the ocean water onto the boats pilot/driver/wheel guy. I'll add music when necessary, PA announcements, context clues, heightening opportunities, but I do them sparingly so the action on stage keeps primary focus. It's also a fun way to add a small game to a scene or a show.
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Postby Timmy R » March 5th, 2011, 9:59 am

kbadr wrote:I habitually do detailed space work primarily for my own benefit, to lock myself in character and in the environment. My fellow players don't usually notice, and the audience rarely does, but it keeps me in the moment and I often find little gems of inspiration doing that.


What is space work? Downstage left whiskey cabinet mimey type thingy? Stalking stage grids? Curious. I've not heard the term, but would think the audience would notice every physical motion in great detail.
Can you explain so I can thieve it for w'shop use...

T
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Postby kbadr » March 5th, 2011, 10:12 am

Timmy R wrote:What is space work? Downstage left whiskey cabinet mimey type thingy? Stalking stage grids? Curious. I've not heard the term, but would think the audience would notice every physical motion in great detail.
Can you explain so I can thieve it for w'shop use...

T


Yep, just the silly term I was taught for basic mime, from large (opening doors, pushing boulders) to small (toothpick, rings, etc)

Seems to be the phrase of choice in Austin. Every other city in the states calls it "object work" and the term cuts through me like a knife every time I hear it, for no good or logical reason. I guess to me, "object" implies something I can hold in my hand, so it seems too restrictive a term...but it's all semantics.

Yep, good ol' mimin'.

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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » March 7th, 2011, 10:20 am

i always heard space work in L.A. as well. that might've been my infecting influence as well, though...by the time i left, i think i had half the improvisors in that town saying "y'all." ;)
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Postby Sully » March 7th, 2011, 12:08 pm

I've heard both terms used meaning different things.
Spacework to inform your environment/your surroundings. Interacting with a buffet/ a drill press / an oven.
Object work informs the character. Holding an object that your character would hold. Biting a toothpick wiping hands on an oily rag, applying mascara.
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Postby dancrumb » March 7th, 2011, 3:51 pm

I wonder if people are just too embarrassed to say 'Mime'.

Let's not forget our Theatrical Heirachy:

Shakespeare > Modern Theatre > Musical Theatre > Mime
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Postby kbadr » March 7th, 2011, 3:54 pm

And last but not least, improv, where we half-ass all of the ones that precede it in the hierarchy!

(and probably have a higher rate of success at entertaining the audience)

dancrumb wrote:I wonder if people are just too embarrassed to say 'Mime'.

Let's not forget our Theatrical Heirachy:

Shakespeare > Modern Theatre > Musical Theatre > Mime

You work your life away and what do they give?
You're only killing yourself to live

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