Discussion of the art and craft of improvisation.

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Postby acrouch » April 10th, 2006, 2:24 pm

Hey, how do you guys work out on your own? What kinds of solo exercises or games do you engage in in the privacy of your own home or car?

Do you make up lyrics to songs on the radio? Do you play low status to the grocery checkout girls? Do you make up stories for your kids?

How are you practicing all by your lonesome?
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Postby sara farr » April 10th, 2006, 2:29 pm

Digital Puppet Theater.
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Postby phlounderphil » April 10th, 2006, 2:33 pm

I am near constantly improvising songs in my head.

and...Everytime something happens to me, I immediately envision the other 50 different ways it could've happened, and play through my favorites in my head, and sometimes while talking out loud! It's FUN!

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Postby chicocarlucci » April 10th, 2006, 2:54 pm

I make it a daily ritual of murdering one homeless person -- for luck mainly. I vary the extraneous methods and tactics but adhere firmly to the basic fundamentals of hobo-baiting, or B.I.T.S. (Baiting, Isolating, Taunting, Slaying).

This has improved my improv well beyond anything I've learned in class. After all, C.R.O.W. can only get you so far.


-eric :)
"What this country needs is a five-dollar plasma weapon."
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Postby Evilpandabear » April 10th, 2006, 3:27 pm

(While my roommate is asleep or gone,) I tend to walk around my living room in a cirlce, going over various scene start ideas. I play out the scene in my head verbaly and physicaly, then I do the same scene over but take a different path and see where that leaves me. All the while, I am concetrating on facial expressions and total body physicality. I do this in the shower too, although not as much, since my roommate harasses me with unecessary comments implicating that I should stop masturbating in the shower. Some how he wouldn't believe me when I said I was doing improv.

I've also learned through out my life that I am a difficult persone to read. I've gotten this from numerous people and it's brought static into several of my relationships. My natural physical reactions to emotional situations doesn't fit the normal mold, so I make faces at myself in the mirror. I try to make a sad face, an angry face, a joyous face, etc, and see how my face should be molded to best suit that emotion. I'm often surprised how odd it is to work backwards in finding the face first, then emotion.

One minor joy in my life is striking up conversations with strangers. I have no idea where the conversation will go, how it will be received, how it will be perceived, what the other person will bring, etc. It's quite fascinating and the conversation is always grounded in reality.
"Anyone can teach improv. It's bullshit." -Andy Crouch on June 4th 11:33pm CST
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Postby HerrHerr » April 10th, 2006, 4:27 pm

I have a large mirror in my bedroom. Often I will do charcters in front of the mirror. Sometimes I just dance in front of it. Or, I'll decide on an emotion, make a face for that emotion away from the mirror and then turn to the mirror to see if I'm doing the emotion justice.

Also, I sing along to songs on the radio...but change the lyrics.

Pick a random word from the dictionary and do a monolog as if I'm an expert in something related to the word.

Put a song on the stereo and do space work to the music. Like "vacuuming" to Tom Waits. Or golfing to Devo.
Sometimes it's a form of love just to talk to somebody that you have nothing in common with and still be fascinated by their presence.
--David Byrne
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Postby DollarBill » April 12th, 2006, 12:30 pm

Also it's good to just watch people in public. Just do a lot of watching people. Helps a lot. There are some extremely sweet characters out there, just walking around. Sometimes you could pick someone on the bus or in a line and do a monologue in your head as that person.

Also, if you wanna improvise songs: Freestyle. A lot. Out loud. Faster and faster. And write a lot of rhymes too. And keep doing it or your rhyme memory banks will start to delete themselves as mine have in recent months. But rhyming isn't everything. Practice singing and saying words in funny ways. If you need help with that consult Craig Kotfas.
They call me Dollar Bill 'cause I always make sense.
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