Merlin Works Newsletter is Now Online

Discussion of the art and craft of improvisation.

Moderators: arclight, happywaffle, bradisntclever

User avatar
smerlin
Posts: 2361
Joined: October 7th, 2005, 3:23 pm
Location: Austin
Contact:

Merlin Works Newsletter is Now Online

Post by smerlin »

What's the what, y'all?

I just finished the latest Merlin Works Newsletter. August issue has a Feature Article about Choking Under Pressure as well as updates about upcoming shows, links to my personal OOB recommendations, classes, books, and more.

Read it up!

http://merlin-works.com/public/newsletter_16.html


And if you wanna sign up for my fancy newsletter and get it hand delivered to your inbox, sign up at my website or http://listserv.merlin-works.com/mail.c ... erlinWorks
Last edited by smerlin on March 18th, 2011, 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Shana Merlin
http://www.merlin-works.com
You improvise every day.
Why not get good at it?
User avatar
Deano
Posts: 127
Joined: July 10th, 2010, 8:25 pm

Post by Deano »

I love the new newsletter. I can get soooo ahead of myself. I gotta say, it's a little comforting to know that it still happens to the pros.
User avatar
Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell
Posts: 4215
Joined: March 17th, 2006, 6:50 pm
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Post by Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell »

great and insightful piece, Shana. i've struggled with this off and on throughout the years as i have a HUGE tendency to get stuck in my head. in Buddhism, it's said that desire for an object separates you from that object. to obtain the object, remove the desire. which is to say, want without wanting. sometimes i remember what that means and it helps. ;)

then again, i haven't had a callback in two years, so it's kind of a moot point. lol!
Sweetness Prevails.

-the Reverend
jillybee72
Posts: 649
Joined: November 16th, 2009, 2:20 pm

Post by jillybee72 »

I've felt really liberated since our workshop with Keith Johnstone, where he said in moments like these you should just "be efficient." I don't know why, but it really helps not to try to be the best, just to be efficient.
User avatar
smerlin
Posts: 2361
Joined: October 7th, 2005, 3:23 pm
Location: Austin
Contact:

Post by smerlin »

Shana Merlin
http://www.merlin-works.com
You improvise every day.
Why not get good at it?
User avatar
mpbrockman
Posts: 2734
Joined: April 12th, 2007, 6:26 pm
Location: ATX
Contact:

Post by mpbrockman »

jillybee72 wrote:I don't know why, but it really helps not to try to be the best, just to be efficient.
Firstly, great piece, Shana. Personally, most of my family drives me insane - but spending time with my SO and just with myself is always a recharging experience for me. But then I'm an introvert with a capital I. Saying "no" sometimes is a necessary part of taking care of myself.

Secondly and thirdly, Jill:

A) Trying not to be the best takes a lot of pressure off. That's conducive to good performance.

B) I think you have to remember sometimes that a 75% (in your case maybe 50%) is better than 99% of the population is capable of. Being too hypercritical of myself is one of my bugaboos and I have to remind myself that most people couldn't hop behind a keyboard and play an improvised musical performance. My getting it done "efficiently" if I'm not particularly inspired is perfectly acceptable (and just plain necessary) sometimes.
"He who is not a misanthrope at age forty can never have loved mankind" -Nicolas de Chamfort
www.perfectlyreasonabledreams.com
http://www.facebook.com/mpbrockman
User avatar
smerlin
Posts: 2361
Joined: October 7th, 2005, 3:23 pm
Location: Austin
Contact:

Post by smerlin »

March newsletter online at http://merlin-works.com/public/newsletter_18.html

This month's article: scenes of deception and why they so often don't work in improv... Mighty topical with all this Noir and Western stuff going around...
Shana Merlin
http://www.merlin-works.com
You improvise every day.
Why not get good at it?
User avatar
SarahMarie
Posts: 1152
Joined: February 24th, 2009, 12:02 pm
Location: Austin, Tx

Post by SarahMarie »

LOVE IT.

I always do.

Yay for learning!
Instructor - Improvisor - Pixie - General Manager
http://www.theinstitutiontheater.com/ --- http://sarahmariecurry.com/
User avatar
Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell
Posts: 4215
Joined: March 17th, 2006, 6:50 pm
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Post by Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell »

excellent, as usual. i love improv incorporating dramatic irony and soliloquies and big revelations, which is something i want to try working on in the ramp up to Showdown. it's why the Hidden Secrets are probably my favorite section of Austin Secrets. ;)

i wonder what Othello would look like if you took out all of Iago's asides and soliloquies...
Sweetness Prevails.

-the Reverend
User avatar
Brad Hawkins
Posts: 1168
Joined: August 2nd, 2010, 10:43 am
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Post by Brad Hawkins »

Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:i wonder what Othello would look like if you took out all of Iago's asides and soliloquies...
He'd still be black, and shame on you for wanting to change that.
User avatar
Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell
Posts: 4215
Joined: March 17th, 2006, 6:50 pm
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Post by Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell »

Brad Hawkins wrote:
Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:i wonder what Othello would look like if you took out all of Iago's asides and soliloquies...
He'd still be black, and shame on you for wanting to change that.
why would Iago be black? oh, because he's an evil schemer, he must be black? geez, Brad...i thought i KNEW you man...
Sweetness Prevails.

-the Reverend
trabka
Posts: 248
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:49 pm

Post by trabka »

Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:
Brad Hawkins wrote:
Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:i wonder what Othello would look like if you took out all of Iago's asides and soliloquies...
He'd still be black, and shame on you for wanting to change that.
why would Iago be black? oh, because he's an evil schemer, he must be black? geez, Brad...i thought i KNEW you man...
I think he meant that even without Iago's asides, Othello (the character) would still be a Moor.
User avatar
Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell
Posts: 4215
Joined: March 17th, 2006, 6:50 pm
Location: Austin, TX
Contact:

Post by Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell »

trabka wrote:
Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:
Brad Hawkins wrote: He'd still be black, and shame on you for wanting to change that.
why would Iago be black? oh, because he's an evil schemer, he must be black? geez, Brad...i thought i KNEW you man...
I think he meant that even without Iago's asides, Othello (the character) would still be a Moor.
...sigh.

irony is lost on the internets.
Sweetness Prevails.

-the Reverend
User avatar
hujhax
Posts: 1068
Joined: August 11th, 2005, 4:07 pm
Location: Bat Country, TX
Contact:

Post by hujhax »

Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote:
trabka wrote:
Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell wrote: why would Iago be black? oh, because he's an evil schemer, he must be black? geez, Brad...i thought i KNEW you man...
I think he meant that even without Iago's asides, Othello (the character) would still be a Moor.
...sigh.

irony is lost on the internets.
But not puns!

♪ When-a tha moon hits-a your eye like-a big pizza pie... ♫

:mrgreen:

--
peter rogers @ home | http://hujhax.livejournal.com

I play the accordion.  In terms of thinking of it as a musical career, I think it's sort of like calling yourself an astronaut because you have a shiny suit.
      -- Daniel Handler
User avatar
smerlin
Posts: 2361
Joined: October 7th, 2005, 3:23 pm
Location: Austin
Contact:

Post by smerlin »

The July 2011 Newsletter is out, featuring an article about the Life cycle of the Improviser. Does the story of my improv journey match up with yours? What Phase are you in?

http://merlin-works.com/public/newsletter_19.html
Shana Merlin
http://www.merlin-works.com
You improvise every day.
Why not get good at it?
Post Reply