Downstairs Maestro and intermission

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Re: Downstairs Maestro and intermission

Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » February 19th, 2013, 4:31 pm

Jon Bolden wrote:
Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:i'm not forcing it. i'm just doing it. the audience is free to join in. ;)


Fair enough! To each his own.


well, good, i'm glad we could come to some kind of accord and peacefully resolve our...

Jon Bolden wrote:Oh hey, highlight this text below for a secret message!

JORDAN IS WRONG!!!!


::shakes fist in the air::

...BOLDEN!!!!!
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Re: Downstairs Maestro and intermission

Postby KathyRose » February 20th, 2013, 6:39 pm

Jon Bolden wrote:
Oh hey, highlight this text below for a secret message!

LOL
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Re: Downstairs Maestro and intermission

Postby Justin D. » March 1st, 2013, 12:22 pm

Jon Bolden wrote:But Rich Ross would never want you to feel like you have to talk to the audience. It's simply an option. People's complaints against it are also sounding like they care too much about winning (not referring to you, Gene). That's the crux of the problem, right here.


Some people's complaints against talking to the audience during the intermission is very much of the idea that doing so looks exactly like you care too much about winning though. The campaigning is antithetical to the whole "it's not really a competition" motto of Maestro.

Also, I'm of the camp that likes to keep actors and audience separate during the performance of the show. If you went to see The Book of Mormon on Broadway, you wouldn't see the lead actor hanging out at the theater's entrance smoking a cigarette before the show or standing in line next to you to get a drink during intermission. I even think that when the intermission does happen, the house manager can go backstage to see if the performers need anything so they don't have to come out unless it's to use the restroom, and they can use the one upstairs for that. A simple blinking of the lights outside of the theater will let people know the show is kicking back on.
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Re: Downstairs Maestro and intermission

Postby poltergasm » March 1st, 2013, 12:43 pm

I'm curious about other people's thoughts on this:

Why shouldn't Maestro be about winning? Why shouldn't we heighten the competitive elements?

Just curious.
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Re: Downstairs Maestro and intermission

Postby happywaffle » March 1st, 2013, 1:06 pm

poltergasm wrote:I'm curious about other people's thoughts on this:

Why shouldn't Maestro be about winning? Why shouldn't we heighten the competitive elements?

Just curious.


We *do* want to *depict* a competitive show. We *don't* want to actually *be* competitive, because that would lead to you rooting for a scene to go badly. If I'm watching another player's scene, and I know that I'll be eliminated if it does well, I'm still going to think of any possible way to help it be funny via side support. Plus you don't want the audience to feel awkward about eliminating somebody, which they might if you display visible sadness.

All that being said, there are ways that we could portray competitiveness, almost like a parody of a competition. I've heard the suggestion before that you should pick somebody else in the cast to be your nemesis. It might even play well for one or more players to adopt WWE-style personas. I've definitely done a little schmoozing with the audience before, depending on the situation, kind of sweet-talking them for a high score. It's fun for me, and it's fun for the audience whether they vote me high or low for my efforts.
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Re: Downstairs Maestro and intermission

Postby Roy Janik » March 1st, 2013, 1:26 pm

There are no hard and fast rules on this stuff. If you're inspired to go talk to the audience and play up the fact that you want them to vote for you, have at it! If it's coming from a place of mischief and fun, the audience will read that and enjoy it. If you're doing it because someone said to once, or because (God forbid) you actually want to win, it'll be weird and strange. Similarly with picking a nemesis, disobeying the directors, tanking your scene, etc, etc, etc... Inspire and be inspired. If you're inspired to just focus on the scenework and games and not the other stuff, then THAT IS AWESOME.

I'm definitely not of the school of hiding the performers from the audience as a rule, personally. They're as much as part of the show as we are. But if you're not into that, then fine.
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Re: Downstairs Maestro and intermission

Postby Jon Bolden » March 1st, 2013, 1:31 pm

Roy Janik wrote:I'm definitely not of the school of hiding the performers from the audience as a rule, personally. They're as much as part of the show as we are. But if you're not into that, then fine.


Especially in Maestro where we are playing ourselves between scenes (maybe a slightly heightened version of ourselves). I think seeing into the lives of the performers/directors and their mischief is what separates this show from a regular short-form show.
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Re: Downstairs Maestro and intermission

Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » March 1st, 2013, 4:11 pm

yeah, the second i stopped regarding Maestro as an ACTUAL competition and saw that as just the framework/gimmick of the show, i started both enjoying myself more and WINNING more often. i'm sure there's some kind of Zen Tao of the Buddha (and that would be an interesting tour of Asia right there) stuff about letting go of desire to achieve desire, but really in the end it still doesn't matter. the thing i always tell people is i either want to go out in the first round to get the free beer or make it to the last. winning don't mean shit. i just like playing.

as for audience interaction...first time i played Maestro since we moved downstairs, i went out during the intermission and just sat onstage because i thought it would be interesting and to see what would happen. a song started playing. i felt moved to dance. i can't dance for shit. two other improvisors came out and joined me. i have no idea what kind of effect it had on the audience's enjoyment, but I had a hell of a lot of fun doing it. so like Roy said, just rock your own styles, do what inspires you and what you're inspired to do. ;)
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Re: Downstairs Maestro and intermission

Postby happywaffle » March 1st, 2013, 4:58 pm

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Re: Downstairs Maestro and intermission

Postby Spots » March 2nd, 2013, 7:18 pm

poltergasm wrote:I'm curious about other people's thoughts on this:

Why shouldn't Maestro be about winning? Why shouldn't we heighten the competitive elements?

Just curious.




No comment on any specific show but competition in improv is self-serving. That's the nature of being competitive. So if you focus on self you then fail to see the dynamic of the scene (take stock your partner's role in the scene) which thereby stabs not only THEM in the back, you stab yoursef in the back. The scene lacks a sort of wholeness.

Instead competition should be focused on being the one who makes your scene partner have the most fun. Give them the most inspiring choices. And you win. The scene dynamic (wholeness) wins. Everyone wins.
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Re: Downstairs Maestro and intermission

Postby Brad Hawkins » March 4th, 2013, 1:12 pm

Spots wrote:
poltergasm wrote:I'm curious about other people's thoughts on this:

Why shouldn't Maestro be about winning? Why shouldn't we heighten the competitive elements?

Just curious.




No comment on any specific show but competition in improv is self-serving. That's the nature of being competitive. So if you focus on self you then fail to see the dynamic of the scene (take stock your partner's role in the scene) which thereby stabs not only THEM in the back, you stab yoursef in the back. The scene lacks a sort of wholeness.

Instead competition should be focused on being the one who makes your scene partner have the most fun. Give them the most inspiring choices. And you win. The scene dynamic (wholeness) wins. Everyone wins.


Competitive improv is like professional wrestling. There is no actual competition; striving to win is not what the players are doing; in the case of wrestling, that's because the winner is predetermined, in the cast of improv, it's because the winner is irrelevant. The competition is show. There should never be actually competitive improv. The idea itself is just ludicrous.
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Re: Downstairs Maestro and intermission

Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » March 4th, 2013, 2:10 pm

Brad Hawkins wrote:
Spots wrote:
poltergasm wrote:I'm curious about other people's thoughts on this:

Why shouldn't Maestro be about winning? Why shouldn't we heighten the competitive elements?

Just curious.




No comment on any specific show but competition in improv is self-serving. That's the nature of being competitive. So if you focus on self you then fail to see the dynamic of the scene (take stock your partner's role in the scene) which thereby stabs not only THEM in the back, you stab yoursef in the back. The scene lacks a sort of wholeness.

Instead competition should be focused on being the one who makes your scene partner have the most fun. Give them the most inspiring choices. And you win. The scene dynamic (wholeness) wins. Everyone wins.


Competitive improv is like professional wrestling. There is no actual competition; striving to win is not what the players are doing; in the case of wrestling, that's because the winner is predetermined, in the cast of improv, it's because the winner is irrelevant. The competition is show. There should never be actually competitive improv. The idea itself is just ludicrous.


actually, we did a format at Ultimate Improv called the X-ecution in Los Angeles that was pretty successful. actual competition with actual prizes (a cash prize, plus meetings with agents and network reps) at the end of a multi week run. it was pretty successful and wound up expanding to IO as well. the safeguard there was that there was a panel of judges in addition to audience voting...so if you were being selfish or non-supportive or anything like that in scenes, you were just as likely to be eliminated because the judges would see you were being a dickish improvisor.

so, y'know, exceptions and rules and what not. ;)
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Re: Downstairs Maestro and intermission

Postby Spots » March 4th, 2013, 7:37 pm

Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:actually, we did a format at Ultimate Improv called the X-ecution in Los Angeles that was pretty successful. actual competition with actual prizes


Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:there was a panel of judges in addition to audience voting...so if you were being selfish or non-supportive or anything like that in scenes, you were just as likely to be eliminated because the judges would see you were being a dickish improvisor.



Seasoned improvisers and first time audience members do see completely different shows for this reason. So it's awesome to hear about this X-ecution show. The grand prize of every Main Event is decided by improvisers, but it can be a challenge to find imps who are excited to judge. I think I was talking to Patrick about how it feels feel kinda dirty and backwards so we're not exactly leaping out of our seats to volunteer for that. But every once and a while it can be fun.
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