Heat in Maestro

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Postby Wesley » July 8th, 2008, 6:28 pm

Phrase it as PC as makes you comfortable with it, but I stand by the sentiment. On or with, the response can and should be predicted if you want to achieve maximum theatrical and artistic effect.

Third Law of Emotional Physics: Negative action begets negative reaction.

I'm with Roy. Taking care of the audience is priority one for a good, successful Maestro show. Make them feel safe and you'll get them to participate, engage, and interact in a positive way. Take the safety away and they may still do the same things, but you risk the engagement becoming one of heckling and disrespect.

Regardless, it is the directors' call for each show and this one sounds like a learning experience.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » July 9th, 2008, 3:53 am

LuBu McJohnson wrote:I think this didn't work as well last week because yes, we eliminated Jordan early. This kind of ultra-early elimination would only work if it is really sad, which would probably make the audience madder than they should be. Since Jordan reacted so negatively to being eliminated, I think that it might have given the audience a more negative bent towards the cast in general, and so they felt more comfortable with heckling. There is no way we could have known this beforehand, of course. We were merely running the concept up the flagpole.

But from what Jordan said, the audience seemed to like it, so I feel ok.


yeah, i thought i'd have at least a little more time to set myself up as the heel. because i genuinely wanted my ejection to make everyone else look good, like i was some prickish prima donna who got what he deserved. which i think kind of got across to a lot of the audience, but to others it may have seemed that i was legitimately upset with a rather unsatisfying shortform game (because my loathing of String of Pearls didn't require much acting. ;) ) and thus unjustly ejected.

maybe having such moments occur later in the round and allowing the "straw man" performer to step out into whatever scene/game they're called into from the bucket might help it feel less like a plant and blur the realities a little more satisfyingly. just a notion.

Wesley wrote:To be clear, I don't mean some Nazi-esque, hold-their-eyes-open-and-play-Symphony-No-9, mind-control experiment. I just mean that with any good movie, book, song, sculpture, painting, or play, the experience for the reader/watcher/listener is usually thought out and purposeful. Shakespeare wants you to feel a certain way as Hamlet holds up poor Yorrick's skull and as he murders Claudius. Thus, he wrote the scenes, chose the words, chose the settings so as to push the right buttons to make you feel those ways.

From Oedipus to the Vagina Monologues, from Away in a Manger to NIN's Closer, from The Miller's Tale to The Stand, these things were intended to provoke (usually specific) emotional and psychological responses.

Art manipulates the emotions. That's what art does. That's what art is.

The difference is, with our art, that such emotional reactions occur instantly. We don't get to rewrite, reedit, reshoot, or rerecord when people don't "get" what we were trying to get across. Thus, to truly transcend the limits of the craft we should be hyperaware of what emotional, psychological, spiritual, and intellectual buttons our choices are pushing in real time and determining if those are the responses we truly want to be generating at that point in the show/plot arc.

Maybe manipulate seems like a hard word, but look at it this way...if you don't want a sad house, don't do a scene about beating a puppy to death. Emotions layer, build, and reverberate for the rest of the show, so you have to know at all times the effects you are leaving and the effects you want to leave.


damn it Wesley, now you're making me have to switch sides and agree with you. because i think it is in some part our job to manipulate emotions. even just on the pure comedy level of, to borrow from the song, "make 'em laugh," that's an emotional manipulation. i think our intent should be specific, but we should be open to surprising results.

but then again, i'm only hear for a week or two every few months while the rest of y'all have to run the show week to week, so my opinions on what's worth doing with Maestro probably shouldn't carry much weight. i just don't think we should be gun shy of experimenting with the format or berate ourselves too much if certain people disapprove of the experiment (regardless of its results).

and like Bryan said, there are both kinds of improvisers just as i think there are both kinds of audiences (those who just want to come, sit down, shut their brains off and laugh and those who want some surprises and a more complicated emotional experience). neither answer or approach is inherently right or wrong and it's the GIFT of Maestro and a weekly show that you can try out all points on the spectrum.
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Postby HerrHerr » July 9th, 2008, 9:22 am

I used some heat on the director once. Get this:

For Wafflefest one year, Andy was the lone director and decided to cut after the first round. So the people cut were the three people who had scored a two for their scene. I was one of those cut and I was severely disappointed because I had done some fun support for a couple other scenes and really felt like my mojo was kicking into place. I wasn't expecting to be cut that early.

I left the stage graciously and went out into the coffee house. Standing around griping with Ted Rutherford, I got an idea. I grabbed the Hershey's syrup for the waffles and painted a moustache and colored my light blonde eyebrows. During a blackout for a scene, I crept back stage and waited. When Andy called for three players for the next scene I shifted on stage from back stage and stood next to the other players in my new insane disguise. Andy looked at me confused, "Wha...?" I looked around nervously and then took off running back out into the coffee house.
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Postby Aden » July 9th, 2008, 10:15 am

HerrHerr wrote:I used some heat on the director once. Get this:

For Wafflefest one year, Andy was the lone director and decided to cut after the first round. So the people cut were the three people who had scored a two for their scene. I was one of those cut and I was severely disappointed because I had done some fun support for a couple other scenes and really felt like my mojo was kicking into place. I wasn't expecting to be cut that early.

I left the stage graciously and went out into the coffee house. Standing around griping with Ted Rutherford, I got an idea. I grabbed the Hershey's syrup for the waffles and painted a moustache and colored my light blonde eyebrows. During a blackout for a scene, I crept back stage and waited. When Andy called for three players for the next scene I shifted on stage from back stage and stood next to the other players in my new insane disguise. Andy looked at me confused, "Wha...?" I looked around nervously and then took off running back out into the coffee house.

I just giggle out loud picturing this event. Thanks Ceej for the visual :)
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » July 9th, 2008, 3:01 pm

HerrHerr wrote:I used some heat on the director once. Get this:

For Wafflefest one year, Andy was the lone director and decided to cut after the first round. So the people cut were the three people who had scored a two for their scene. I was one of those cut and I was severely disappointed because I had done some fun support for a couple other scenes and really felt like my mojo was kicking into place. I wasn't expecting to be cut that early.

I left the stage graciously and went out into the coffee house. Standing around griping with Ted Rutherford, I got an idea. I grabbed the Hershey's syrup for the waffles and painted a moustache and colored my light blonde eyebrows. During a blackout for a scene, I crept back stage and waited. When Andy called for three players for the next scene I shifted on stage from back stage and stood next to the other players in my new insane disguise. Andy looked at me confused, "Wha...?" I looked around nervously and then took off running back out into the coffee house.


this is my favorite story of the week so far. :lol:
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Postby Marc Majcher » July 10th, 2008, 2:48 am

Floyd VanBuskirk wrote:I'm just saying that we should be jerking each other around and getting ourselves into trouble, not trying to elicit any specific reaction in the spectators. Everything creates an effect whether it's "Artful" or not. If I just stand on the stage and scratch my butt it's going to create an effect in the audience. It might even mean something deep to some people. Although to me, it just means my butt itches and I don't care who sees me scratch it. Any manipulation we do is FOR an audience but TO each other. If we are truly improvising collectively then whatever emotional response is evoked in an audience is nothing we can really control or fashion. It is a by product of whatever occurs on stage. We don't have the advantage of crafting what we say or do in those quick moments on stage to get a desired effect. All we can do is be present, available and vulnerable to that moment and take care of each other, even if taking care of the other means throwing them off a cliff. If we are good natured in elimination or after scene failure then we don't have to worry too much about about how the audience is feeling. If we are okay they're probably okay as well. The heat in a game of Maestro is in the game itself. The fact that ALL BUT ONE MUST BE ELIMINATED provides plenty of heat. The pilot light is lit in the introduction and the heat increases as players fall by the wayside, until we get to the final two who, by that time, are well warmed up.


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