concerned about cleavage

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concerned about cleavage

Postby sara farr » June 16th, 2011, 11:58 pm

From the Para las Mujeres! thread...

Jastroch wrote: concerned about cleavage.


Wit, humor, slapstick, and ribaldry are all forms of comedy and can be lots of fun.

Ribaldry is a kind of comedy bordering on indelicacy to gross indecency. It is a genre of sexual entertainment, in addition to pornography and erotica. It is also referred to as "bawdiness", "gaminess" or "bawdry".

However, different generations have different standards for "indelicacy". In the 1930s, it was indecent to show your ankles. In the 80's it was considered indecent to wear camisoles as outter wear (Madonna changed this). Today you can go around in next to nothing and people won't comment.

And the standards ARE very different for men and women.

Rarely do you see men on stage with tight Speedos or Hotpants in danger of exposing themselves. The worst is they may wear jeans that are so low they expose part of their rump.

If an imp performs with an outfit that borders on exposing themselves, the audience, and their fellow players, will be distracted. Just as you don't want the audience being concerned for your physical safety, you don't want them concerned that you will inadvertently expose yourself. It can be both sensational and awkward.

The same thing happens when players impose intimate or sexual contact on their fellow players. In a show where you are playing with strangers and don't know the comfort level of the other players, this kind of physical contact can be offensive and become awkward rather than fun.

In the end, improvisers need to feel safe on stage in order to be able to take risks. Typically -- unless the cast works together and learns to trust each other -- shows with nudity (or "NEAR nudity" --wink--) become about being exposed physically on stage rather than about the scene-work. And this CAN be fun. However, rarely will improvisers emotionally expose themselves while in a state of undress. Typically, as the clothes come off, emotional barriers come up in a defense mechanism.

Improvisers taking care of themselves on stage will perform in a way that allows them to feel comfortable and confident in their ability to improvise. Improvisers taking care of their scene partners will perform in a way that makes their partners feel comfortable and confident in their ability to improvise. Both kinds of improvisers are fun to play with. Sometimes taking care of yourself and taking care of your fellow players means being sensitive to both what players and audience WANT to see, and what they DON'T WANT to see.

It's a kindness to ask, but in the end, be yourself.
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Postby Jastroch » June 17th, 2011, 1:08 am

Why does this get it's own thread? :)
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Re: concerned about cleavage

Postby Katherine » June 17th, 2011, 2:53 am

sara farr wrote:Improvisers taking care of themselves on stage will perform in a way that allows them to feel comfortable and confident in their ability to improvise. Improvisers taking care of their scene partners will perform in a way that makes their partners feel comfortable and confident in their ability to improvise. Both kinds of improvisers are fun to play with. Sometimes taking care of yourself and taking care of your fellow players means being sensitive to both what players and audience WANT to see, and what they DON'T WANT to see.

It's a kindness to ask, but in the end, be yourself.


YES!
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Postby PyroDan » June 17th, 2011, 7:35 am

I've been to a couple fests, where some ... um...hum... gifted women became distracting as my attention varied from the content of the scene to the content of their blouse. Mainly because it was obvious these ladies still shopped in the Juniors section and not Women's.

I am also bothered by men's underwear often making an appearance.
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Postby Pdyx » June 17th, 2011, 9:40 am

PyroDan wrote:I am also bothered by men's underwear often making an appearance.


Yeah, I have several shirts that are plain and would be nice for improv, but if I lift my hands up toward the ceiling, my underwear (or at least my belly/back) is exposed. No can do. I want full range of motion with minimal exposure.
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Re: concerned about cleavage

Postby Marc Majcher » June 17th, 2011, 10:02 am

sara farr wrote:Typically, as the clothes come off, emotional barriers come up in a defense mechanism.

Super true. You could probably even extrapolate that to any kind of "shock" move like that, physical, verbal, or whatever. Quick, do something to get a laugh, or they'll see right through you!

This is something that we've been specifically working on in LNI. Not to downplay the physical nudity part, but I have on more than one occasion described the show as almost more about being emotionally naked than just showing skin. (There's also the "behind the scenes" audience interaction bit that plays into the title well, but that's another thing.) If it were simply about taking clothes off and pushing boundaries that way, I probably wouldn't have signed up for it. As it stands, I hope that people coming to see us will be as impressed, if not more, by the emotions and connectedness of the scenework than "omg, I saw that dude's dick!"

(Although you're totally going to see someone's dick. Just saying.)
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Postby Deano » June 17th, 2011, 11:44 am

This should have been called the Beavis and Butthead thread! :) If you can't concentrate on a scene because of some Ladies tits, that's YOUR problem not hers.

Maybe Women should all wear burkas on stage (and no necklaces or shorts for men!)
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Postby Brad Hawkins » June 17th, 2011, 12:19 pm

Deano wrote:This should have been called the Beavis and Butthead thread! :) If you can't concentrate on a scene because of some Ladies tits, that's YOUR problem not hers.

Maybe Women should all wear burkas on stage (and no necklaces or shorts for men!)

I came in to say essentially this... however, would you not say that there is such a thing as appropriate dress for the improv stage?
The silver knives are flashing in the tired old cafe. A ghost climbs on the table in a bridal negligee. She says "My body is the life; my body is the way." I raise my arm against it all and I catch the bride's bouquet.
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Postby Deano » June 17th, 2011, 12:42 pm

Brad Hawkins wrote:
Deano wrote:This should have been called the Beavis and Butthead thread! :) If you can't concentrate on a scene because of some Ladies tits, that's YOUR problem not hers.

Maybe Women should all wear burkas on stage (and no necklaces or shorts for men!)

I came in to say essentially this... however, would you not say that there is such a thing as appropriate dress for the improv stage?


There might be but I haven't seen any first hand. Certainly nothing to support the amount of discussion. ("no skin" rules?) That's BIZARRE. Sounds like Bill O'Reilly highjacked some profiles in here.

(Ah, I read "inappropriate"). I just think some of this sounds really puritanical and weird. KEEP AUSTIN BRAZIER-ED!
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Postby Jastroch » June 17th, 2011, 1:07 pm

Deano wrote:This should have been called the Beavis and Butthead thread! :) If you can't concentrate on a scene because of some Ladies tits, that's YOUR problem not hers.

Maybe Women should all wear burkas on stage (and no necklaces or shorts for men!)


Maybe, but I should point out that I've heard that complaint mostly come from experienced female improvisers. Most of the male improvisers I know would be too uncomfortable to point it out.
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Postby PyroDan » June 17th, 2011, 1:19 pm

Deano wrote:This should have been called the Beavis and Butthead thread! :) If you can't concentrate on a scene because of some Ladies tits, that's YOUR problem not hers.

Maybe Women should all wear burkas on stage (and no necklaces or shorts for men!)


Really? You are being a bit over reactionary to some throw away dialogue here.

Perhaps you made the assumption that I was distracted by tits.

My distraction was really more in line with the technical aspects of how it might take away, or disrupt the show, or even embarrass the young woman. It was more a judgement of practicality and function than appropriateness.
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Postby Marc Majcher » June 17th, 2011, 1:37 pm

PyroDan wrote:Perhaps you made the assumption that I was distracted by tits.

To bring it back around to what I'm going to presumptuously assume is the actual point, I'll go ahead and call out an instance that has nothing to do with primary or secondary sexual characteristics. (Aside from a few Elmer Batters types, I'm sure.)

A few years back, I was watching a show whose cast contained a performer who I admire and respect, but who was wearing a red and black pair of those crazy vibram toe shoes on stage. I'm sure that she was kicking ass up there, but I was close to the front, and the only thing that I could concentrate on was her funky footwear. Not inappropriate at all, mind you, and totally safe and comfortable to perform in, but to this day, the only thing that I can recall about the show were those rubber toes.

That said, costumes or distinctive clothes can be great on stage, depending on the kind of show you're doing. Whatever you're wearing, though, as with many aspects of performing, try to serve the show first, and you'll be fine. And if someone doesn't like it because they can see some skin (or some toes), then tough.
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Postby jillybee72 » June 17th, 2011, 1:56 pm

Most of the people I've met who dress sexually provocatively for improv seem like they are doing it out of an insecurity of some kind. Sexual-attention is the positive reaction they are accustomed to getting from strangers; shifting to funny-attention instead makes them nervous, they default to what they know.

Of course there are healthy and secure people who dress overtly sexually, but I doubt they do it in professional situations, unless their job requires it. An improvisor's job does not require it.
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Postby PyroDan » June 17th, 2011, 2:09 pm

jillybee72 wrote:Most of the people I've met who dress sexually provocatively for improv seem like they are doing it out of an insecurity of some kind. Sexual-attention is the positive reaction they are accustomed to getting from strangers; shifting to funny-attention instead makes them nervous, they default to what they know.

Of course there are healthy and secure people who dress overtly sexually, but I doubt they do it in professional situations, unless their job requires it. An improvisor's job does not require it.


Good point JB
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Postby Spots » June 17th, 2011, 2:31 pm

My biggest concern when an imp wears provocative clothing (ie: a really dainty dress) is that it impairs movement.

After a few scenes I draw the conclusion, "Well I guess these will all be standing scenes." (I forget what Asaf calls them, is it tree scenes?)

Some nights I'll see countless scenes with the same energy and little consideration for stage picture. And only then do I start thinking, "man, why didn't they just wear pants and a t-shirt?"

After watching many similar performances, I would maybe advise her to mix it up for her own benefit.

But I would never advise against a person's sense of style. Even if some folks find it distracting, we want all types of folks representing on stage. We don't want a Harrison Bergeron scenario.


Also, Jill made a solid point. Ditto.
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