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Keith Johnstone's Maestro One Sheet

PostPosted: August 16th, 2011, 4:13 pm
by troy
Keith Johnstone and Maestro
* This document is culled from 2 Keith Johnstone intensives between 2009 and 2011 where he directed Maestros - prepared by Troy A. Miller. It is a perfect compliment to the Tao of Micetro at http://forum.austinimprov.com/viewtopic.php?t=4320.

THINGS ABOUT THE SHOW:


- When telling the audience about scoring, no superlatives – just “if you like the scene, give it a 5, if you don’t like it, give it a 1” – otherwise, there won’t be any 1s or 5s, which is often the case (at least for 1s) – it’s okay to have multiple 5s in the show, as long as people are voting what they feel.

- When eliminated, stand as a group before leaving the stage – seems less harsh, as it doesn’t single people out. Be good-natured when eliminated – we don’t want to think you’re upset about it.

- Lightning round: scenes are no more than 1 minute, but by all means don’t have to go til 1 minute. They are like comic panels: once there is something interesting or funny, we can end the scene. So, players attack those scenes strongly from the beginning (you can’t expect to have time to get through a complete scene), and directors get out as quick as possible.

- Keith isn’t for whipping the audience into a frenzy before a show, because you can’t guarantee anything. Try this: have the players hang out on stage before the show begins (stretching, getting loose, etc.) – makes things feel more relaxed and loose before the show has begun – keeps the audience’s expectation low. Keith calls this “planned incompetence”.

- Remove the players’ names entirely from the board. It’s a distraction to keep them there (i.e. we’re done with them).

THINGS ABOUT THE PLAYERS: (Direct Keith quotes and their implied meaning)

“If you think you have to do well, you will have fear.” -- Thus, aspire to being average.

“Drama is one person being changed by another.” -- “If you are not altered by what is said to you, then it was hardly worth saying.” -- Be willing to be affected and changed by the other person. This is what the directors are looking for.

“Improvisors like to say ‘come in’ to a knock at the door because they don’t like to move.” – Be physical. Move around the stage. Open doors for people. Take chances.

“To look real on stage, sit awkwardly but comfortably – like you would at home.” -- Be natural. Relax. Play truthfully.

“You don’t have to think about things you know.” -- Be obvious. Pay attention to your partner. No need to invent – everything you need in the scene is right there in front of you.

“Enjoy things even when you’re screwing up.” -- Be good-natured about failing. Fail gloriously. The audience will cheer you if they don’t think you feel bad about it.

“If you have a good idea, open your mouth and say something else.” -- A trick for stopping yourself from planning ahead. Stay in the moment. Jump and justify.

“Things that are truthful stay in the mind.” -- Fight for truth. Move from frivolous to something deeper.

“If you do 10 micetros and you never make it past the 1st elimination, you need to change what you’re doing.” -- Allow yourself to learn from your improv. Pay attention to the audience. Pay attention to notes after the show.

PostPosted: August 16th, 2011, 5:27 pm
by Brad Hawkins
Nice notes. Are we going to start putting some of these format suggestions into effect? Such as removing all the names of eliminees?

Re: Keith Johnstone's Maestro One Sheet

PostPosted: August 16th, 2011, 6:34 pm
by bradisntclever
troy wrote:- Lightning round: scenes are no more than 1 minute, but by all means don’t have to go til 1 minute. They are like comic panels: once there is something interesting or funny, we can end the scene. So, players attack those scenes strongly from the beginning (you can’t expect to have time to get through a complete scene), and directors get out as quick as possible.


This alone would get me to sign up for more Maestros. I loved the lightning rounds of old, and being able to call them even 2 seconds in is fantastic for shape of show and keeping the energy up. Not to mention, squeezing more scenework into a show.

PostPosted: August 16th, 2011, 8:24 pm
by happywaffle
Brad Hawkins wrote:Nice notes. Are we going to start putting some of these format suggestions into effect? Such as removing all the names of eliminees?


Already did. :) I liked the thing about the imps milling about onstage before the show started, it seemed casual but also unexpected.

PostPosted: August 16th, 2011, 9:26 pm
by acrouch
happywaffle wrote:Already did. :) I liked the thing about the imps milling about onstage before the show started, it seemed casual but also unexpected.


Somebody said it made it feel like more of a party. Which is awesome.

Party

PostPosted: August 17th, 2011, 12:15 am
by Ryan Hill
That was me. It very much changed the energy.

PostPosted: August 17th, 2011, 9:42 am
by Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell
yeah, i dug all the new stuff we implemented this last weekend (though i will miss the opening tableaux...sigh...;) ).