two improv diagrams

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two improv diagrams

Postby beardedlamb » July 20th, 2011, 10:49 pm

teaching workshops the past couple days has reawakened this beast in me. here are a couple diagrams that we used in class and sent to students tonight. questions should be directed to keith johnstone.

Image

Image
.............
O O B
.............
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Postby Spots » July 21st, 2011, 12:55 am

Related / Awesome:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oP3c1h8v2ZQ[/youtube]
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Postby mpbrockman » July 21st, 2011, 3:09 am

Could we possibly put Justin Bieber on the spaceship and fly him off the diagram as well as this out of this dimension?

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Postby Brad Hawkins » July 21st, 2011, 8:09 am

I prefer to think of the circle of expectations as a donut. As you get nearer the center, you get things that are more likely to happen in a story, but in the VERY center are things that are almost certain to happen, and thus not really expected in a story.

Let's say you have a story about a cab ride. Near the middle of the circle is a conversation where the cabbie reveals something about the passenger that he never knew before. At the outer edge is the cabbie and the passenger fighting aliens.

But IN the center... in the missing part of the donut -- is: the passenger gets in, he tells the cabbie where he wants to go, they ride in silence for about ten minutes, the cab arrives at its destination, the passenger pays the cabbie and disembarks. I.E. pretty much every cab ride that occurs in the real world. And one that is very unlikely to occur in a story about a cab ride. As you go towards the center of the circle, you get a story that matches expectations more and more, until finally you pass through the expected into the quotidian.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » July 21st, 2011, 8:58 am

Brad Hawkins wrote:I prefer to think of the circle of expectations as a donut. As you get nearer the center, you get things that are more likely to happen in a story, but in the VERY center are things that are almost certain to happen, and thus not really expected in a story.

Let's say you have a story about a cab ride. Near the middle of the circle is a conversation where the cabbie reveals something about the passenger that he never knew before. At the outer edge is the cabbie and the passenger fighting aliens.

But IN the center... in the missing part of the donut -- is: the passenger gets in, he tells the cabbie where he wants to go, they ride in silence for about ten minutes, the cab arrives at its destination, the passenger pays the cabbie and disembarks. I.E. pretty much every cab ride that occurs in the real world. And one that is very unlikely to occur in a story about a cab ride. As you go towards the center of the circle, you get a story that matches expectations more and more, until finally you pass through the expected into the quotidian.


or possibly jelly...
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Postby jillybee72 » July 23rd, 2011, 11:27 am

I can't do narrative anymore, that arc looks too much like a shark.
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Postby jillybee72 » July 23rd, 2011, 11:28 am

Oh, and thank you for these wonderfully useful graphics!!
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » July 23rd, 2011, 3:47 pm

jillybee72 wrote:I can't do narrative anymore, that arc looks too much like a shark.


just when you thought it was safe to get back in the collective unconscious...
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Postby MitchellD » July 29th, 2011, 1:52 am

Hey, Jordan, where does Batman fall under the Shakespeare circle of expectations?
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Postby arthursimone » July 29th, 2011, 10:38 am

Image


Vonnegut would find some good stories in there ;)
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » July 29th, 2011, 11:42 am

MitchellD wrote:Hey, Jordan, where does Batman fall under the Shakespeare circle of expectations?


he's the goddamn Batman. he goes where he damn well pleases in the circle of expectations.

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Postby ratliff » July 30th, 2011, 2:15 am

Brad Hawkins wrote:I prefer to think of the circle of expectations as a donut. As you get nearer the center, you get things that are more likely to happen in a story, but in the VERY center are things that are almost certain to happen, and thus not really expected in a story.

Let's say you have a story about a cab ride. Near the middle of the circle is a conversation where the cabbie reveals something about the passenger that he never knew before. At the outer edge is the cabbie and the passenger fighting aliens.

But IN the center... in the missing part of the donut -- is: the passenger gets in, he tells the cabbie where he wants to go, they ride in silence for about ten minutes, the cab arrives at its destination, the passenger pays the cabbie and disembarks. I.E. pretty much every cab ride that occurs in the real world. And one that is very unlikely to occur in a story about a cab ride. As you go towards the center of the circle, you get a story that matches expectations more and more, until finally you pass through the expected into the quotidian.


... except that those completely unremarkable moments could be just as important as any other, depending on how they affect other people. They could be the engine of the whole story.

To use the cab example, if two improvisers are playing a scene as a cabbie and fare, they are (we hope) looking for a connection between the characters. The fastest way to do that would be for the cabbie to hear the destination -- the first thing out of the fare's mouth -- and have it affect her personally. At which point it's not an everyday occurence at all. But you wouldn't have gotten that if you'd blown it off.

Or maybe I misunderstood you: Are you saying that typically the "boring" details get passed over, or are you saying they should be passed over?
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Postby Spots » July 30th, 2011, 3:44 am

About the donut.

As long as the players reinvest into the game periodically, all the transaction elements of a cab ride will easily add credibility and charm to the scene. [see Ratliff]

In fact those items "in the donut hole" now serve a very crucial role. They become setup for the punchline. These mundane parts will be teeming with comedic tension I'd expect. Most importantly: I feel that all donut and no donut hole will set up the audience to see what's coming. Which leads me to think the trick is in the balance.


(thanks for that fun analogy, I loved referring to the donut hole)
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Postby valetoile » July 30th, 2011, 2:23 pm

When you go to Mrs. Johnson's donuts, and order a half-dozen donut holes, they'll give you about ten. And no matter what you order, they give you a free fresh glazed donut still hot from the fryer. Be Mrs. Johnson's. Give the audience more than they expect.
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Postby Spots » July 30th, 2011, 2:32 pm

That was some tasty product placement. I am literally salivating. :)
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