Make a choice the moment you enter stage. Choose to feel. Feel something about something – an imagined object, mimed activity, and/or your scene partner. Allow both you and your scene partner to be dynamic.
Here’s the final scene from a class building out that progression and its value:
And here’s the class’ outline with video of me teaching it. Continue reading
One Person Scene. Two Person Scene. Three Person Scene. Four Person Scene. Five Person Scene. Six Person Scene. Five Person Scene. Four Person Scene. Three Person Scene. Two Person Scene. One Person Scene.
One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene.
One Person Scene. Two Person Scene. Two Person Scene. One Person Scene. Two Person Scene. One Person Scene. Two Person Scene. One Person Scene. Two Person Scene. Two Person Scene. One Person Scene.
Space Jump is a crowd pleasing short-form improv game and a great tool for learning memory, focus, pacing and transformation edits.
Performers are: David Adams, Guy Chapman, Patrice Deveaux, Micah Head, Alan Hopkinson, Nick Lawton, Megan Lemay, Jillian MacDougall, Tim Magier, Curtis Nunnally Continue reading
Emotional Character Development: We don’t need it “all figured out” the moment we step on stage. Make one choice and then build other choices on top of that choice.
We can start with emotion and build the details of our character around that. Or, we can start with a detail and build an emotional character from there.
CHARACTER WALK – students walk around the space as themselves. Teacher gives prompts for them to make choices from (see Progression below). Teacher asks additional questions to flesh out the characters. Teacher has students reset, returning to walk around the space as themselves again. And repeat.
• Have players change elements of their personal walk to see how it affects the way they feel
• Change your rate – speed up, slow down
• Change your size – is your walk big or small?
• Walk with a different body part forward
• Change your spine
• Be an animal
• Walk like someone you know
• Ask the class to try on a different:
• Desire (I want…)
• Perspective (I like…, I hate…)
• Ask questions to flesh out the character. Basically “if this, then what”; for example, how do you feel about the action you’re doing, or how does that desire affect your walk?
• Ask students to speak in their character’s voice – calling out students individually to contribute
• Tell students to acknowledge each other’s presence to discover their ‘status’
• Don’t let starting a scene be intimating – all you need to start is one choice
Emotional Decision Making: If you are to “choose one thing” entering a scene, emotion is always a strong choice. It doesn’t matter what the choice was if you commit. And choosing to decide without deference to “sense” can make for fun unique scenes.
EMOTIONAL CHOICE CIRCLE– Player One makes a decision of what emotion they will use to react to Player Two through. Then Player Two says anything. And Player One has the previously decided upon emotional reaction to the anything. (“I have a dog” / “Fucking Christ!”)
• A committed emotion will always trump sense – if you just feel you never have to explain how/why you feel what you do.
• Any emotion works – if we try to “understand your motivation” before making a choice about how to feel, you’ll end up in a scene that’s been done a million times before. But, if you make a choice about how to feel before any context is established, then that scene has the potential to be different than any that’s been seen before (“I’m the first Johnson graduating college” / “Ooooh, my god. I’m so scared”).
EMOTIONAL LAY UP LINES – Player One makes a decision of what emotion they will use to react to Player Two through. Then Player Two enters the stage to engage Player One and Player Two responds through their chosen emotional perspective (“Hi” / “I love you”). Give the scenes a few lines back and forth.
• Repetition is the only justification you need – If emotional offers are not aligned (“It’s so beautiful”/ “I’m so depressed”), don’t waste your time negotiating which feelings are valid; just heighten the juxtaposed feelings (“The colors in this sunset – breath taking” / “So much pollution”; “The deep reds, bright purples…”/ “The black in our lungs”).
BLIND SCENES – Player One starts engaged in the environment (with an action, object, atmosphere, etc.). Player Two, starting with his back to the stage, has the first line of dialogue.
• Commitment is the only justification you need – If players’ initiations don’t align, they don’t have to make sense of why they’re together. They can just accept and heighten what’s happening.
EYE CONTACT SCENES – Players One and Two have to make statements back and forth without breaking eye contact. For the sake of the exercise, these scenes can consist of two players standing center stage as talking-heads.
• Harder to assert when pressured – We tend to want to ask questions or make weak statements when forced up against our scene partners. We have to be (or at least “seem”) confident even in the face of demanding insecurity.
Objective: Reacting emotionally in-the-moment keeps our scenes effectively in the moment. You can’t calculate every change; you have to allow yourself (and your characters) to be vulnerable to the moment. React, and trust wherever it goes. We choose to feel, reacting emotionally without deference to “sense.” But. Our emotional choices can be aided, informed and heightened by situational, behavioral and relationship-based endowments. Continue reading