Ooh! Do you want to hear what Mark Sutton taught me today? Hee hee! I’m at the Chicago Improv Festival, and he said that anyone could stop into the Annoyance Workshops, so I did. Here’s what I relearned.
So why would you do anything in a scene out of obligation (He said, “Mommy can I have a cookie?” So I have to say “Yes, dear.” Sigh)? Also, why would you lay something like that on your partner? Why would you pile @#$& on your partner? Why would you go along with @#$& piled on you and not call @#$& @#$&? Why would you steal someone else’s @#$& and abandon your own @#$&?
We worked a lot in the workshop on expressing our emotions through the activity we were engaged in. I have a side thought – are there times when the emotions expressed in words and the emotions expressed in action don’t match up? Yes of course. Another side note – what would it mean if the whole environment affected you? We did a scene in a Pez factory, and I felt not only engaged in tearing off the tinfoil strips, but in the buzz and speed of the conveyor belt and the industrial grey/blue of the walls and the feel of wearing safetyh goggles. That’s neat, I want more of that.
But here’s what Mark actually said, and not just what my brain was doing. He said let the action/spacework be ESSENTIAL to the scene, not just some cute add-on, ESSENTIAL, more important than the words. We are so verbal, as improvisors and humans that I don’t think there’s a risk of going too far. We’re never going to say too little and do too much, ever, so there’s no harm in pushing the doing as far as we can. This might fix the big “where” problem I’ve been having. But I hate it when you have just the tip of the iceberg. I have this image of myself standing in front of Joe Bozic and saying, “Um..okay, Mark Sutton said? That the thing that you’re doing? And? How you’re feeling? Are, like, important?” Har.