by Rebecca MacMillanFirst
: It’s Father’s Day
this Sunday. You forgot? Don’t panic! Get your Dad a gift and help the Maydays by pledging on our Edinburgh Kickstarter project
(we have 7 days to raise just less than a grand). Three ideas out of our many offers to pledgers:
1) Tickets to a Maydays show, drinks with the cast afterwards (£25 or more)
2) A bespoke song written and recorded for your Dad (£35 or more)
3) A confession about your Dad printed in a special edition of our Confessions book (£100 or more) Thanks to all who have already pledged
. Plug over.
Second: Sometimes improv can hurt. I have really horribly bruised knees right now. I keep catching my breath when I notice them in the mirror. They look like one of those shock photos that the police show on TV to encourage people to come forward with information when someone has been beaten up and the attacker remains at large. In this case it’s all Jules Munn’s fault because he fired an improv gun at my head and you know that you can get thrown quite far when you are hit by a gun – think Django bidding farewell to Miss Laura (spoilers) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4Tk5Qyn6zk The problem is that sometimes when I am improvising I get so into it that I forget I am actually me, not the character I am creating. The result this time is that I am struggling to walk comfortably, it’s been worse though, I have cracked at least one rib, and I once body dived from the wings onto the stage and did a series of commando rolls to the other side, only after the show remembering I was quite heavily pregnant. My now 16 month old seems fine though admittedly he does think dogs, pigs and ducks all make the same noise (like ‘ch’ in ‘Och aye!’).
Other people have noticed this. In one of those general discussions you have about how things would pan out if your improv troupe were under attack, Katy Schutte said in a battlefield situation she suspects I might be a beserker, I hope should that ever happen it would be like in Serenity when River Tam clicks into her training and kills a pack of Reavers (more spoilers) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAIFJH48Gxo but I suspect I would be much much less cool than that.
The intense engulfing and vaguely euphoric depth of involvement which leads to this situation is a very interesting and usually incredibly positive mindstate to experience – it happens to me most often when I have taken on a physically based character (one that has come out of a facial expression or a body stance). I feel like I don’t need to actually think at all anymore because the dialogue is coming from somewhere else through me, as though I am channelling something. Apparently it is called ‘creative dissociation’ and athletes, surgeons, dancers and writers get it too. Jazz musicians call it being in the flow. It apparently makes changes to your brain, which are visible on scans. According to some it’s the ultimate state of creative expression – even regarded as the pinnacle of human experience. Fantastic....but it must be said, my knees are really, really sore.
By Rebecca MacMillan
I decided to write this blog after I thought I had lost my usual ‘performance shoes’ on the train following a boozy session to celebrate our first gig at Leicester Square Theatre. I was quite put out. They are just a pair of black flat ballet pumps, and most of the negative feeling about not having them was simply due to the fact that they are the most practical shoes I have to perform in. But I must admit there was something more to it than that...
I have always been fascinated by rituals, traditions and superstitions and where they come from. Humans tend to build up different types of ritual behaviours around things like: (A) social and family interactions (tea ceremonies, first-footing, some games); (B) moments marking life change (births, weddings, burials); (C) chance events we wish to control (harvests, solar eclipses, horse races); and (D) in order for us to enter a certain mind-state, often as a group, that allows us to undergo extra-ordinary experiences with confidence and bypass what our nervous systems are telling us to do (battles, team sports, walking over hot coals…and improvisation). I'll be referring again to these different types of ritual by their letter, by the way.
“I've got myself into a habit of eating at Gourmet Burger Kitchen next to Komedia before shows there but I guess ritualistically just making sure I eat something before call time to avoid drowsiness is a must.”
“I always wear blue jeans and trainers for the show. Shirt has to be ironed and sleeves rolled up one notch. Makes me feel comfortable and rolled my sleeves up one day and just carried on doing it. I like to arrive at the venue annoyed or get annoyed in the warm-up about something as this is a direct opposite of the joy we experience on stage.”
“I always go to a private mirror and give myself some fighting talk before the show.”
Certain individuals are more prone to developing personal ritual behaviours of the (C) type than others. During my A-levels I felt that I had to listen to certain tracks from Abba’s Gold album in the car on the way to the exam, in a certain order, wearing certain underwear, and after the exam I would always have to eat macaroni cheese with grilled tomatoes. Heather won’t get on a plane without drinking a gin and tonic first and having her friend’s, grandmother’s lucky earring in a certain pocket of her make-up bag. As an improv show is an experience that can vary considerably, and one which we can’t prepare for in the same way as a scripted show, it’s not surprising that those with a tendency towards these behaviours tend to build up rituals around it. I did a very non-scientific survey and it turns out that at least a third of the Maydays have some (C) type show rituals of various levels of complexity. The quotes throughout this blog are real quotes each from a different Mayday. Some of the behaviours are clearly ritualised, others are more practical, but through repetition could have gained a subconscious element of ritual.
This ‘outcome influencing’ (C) type ritual is common in the animal world as well as the human one. For instance pigeons fed pellets from a timer device will copy what they were doing last time the food came out, thinking that this will have an influence on them getting another feed. This video shows a demonstration of how this happens.
I am not sure what it says about me that I have a tendency towards this behaviour. Of course I realise that the rituals do not actually make a difference to the outcome of the show, excepting that when I’m not able to do them I can then be distracted and on some level in a stress state. The consequences of the belief that the show will then ‘go wrong’ is what will actually make it go wrong. But I hope that this tendency of mine, which generally I have under control these days, maybe has positive aspects too, because it also means I am pretty enthusiastic about ritual types (A), (B) & (D), and these can I think be very positive for improv troupes.
“I never have sex in the afternoon before a show, makes me too vague and content. Before and after a show I take five minutes space to myself. Doing a show is a very emotional and exposing experience, and a moment to check in and see how I am feeling is essential.”
“I always think it's good to be in a good mood. Then again, I've done shows in an ace mood and had a shit time, so really, I feel like it's in the hands of the (fictional) gods. Having said that, if I don't get on stage or do what I think is a 'good' offer/scene or clear/cool premise within the first 5 minutes of a show, I feel I am on the back foot a little. This is an unhelpful way of thinking that I'd like to get rid of really.”
Ritual type (A) can provide social glue. Your troupe might have a tradition of hanging out in a bar and drinking a certain type of drink after the show. You might have a ‘check in’ every time you meet where you go round and tell each other what’s going on in your lives. Amongst other things, The Maydays gather once a year for a Xmas do that happens in January. We always play a game where we ‘name that tune’ to reggae cover songs, the fastest to do so each time winning one of John’s collection of unwanted second-hand books. I can’t even remember how on earth it started but each year the game gets more and more complicated as the tradition develops and evolves. We all love it and the annual event is hugely bonding, if outlandishly eccentric.
Type (B) traditions are seen in troupes who like to mark the joining of a new member and celebrate what someone who is leaving gave to the troupe during their time with them. These also help with group cohesion and add value to what it means to be a member.
“I always have to wear a pair of lucky socks, I have a few pairs which are deemed as lucky but won't go onstage without. I can be a little funny about my show clothes too, while I don't have a set outfit, once I have had a 'bad show' wearing a particular item, I can never wear that onstage again.”
“I like wearing converse shoes for the show if I can. I try not to think it matters but I do feel more comfortable if we've done a successful '1-20' before the show.”
I think that Type (D) rituals are also very useful when this takes the form of some kind of group mind-matching activity before the performance. After the warm-up exercises The Maydays will always circle up right before the show to do a listening exercise called 1-20, followed by a kind of energy raiser called eee-sah which comes from Katy’s days at Hull Drama Department, then everyone looks each other in the eyes for a few moments. On the most basic level this is just a moment where we forget about how many tickets we’ve sold and ready ourselves for performance. It’s a point of focussing, listening and connecting with each other, but there’s also an element of the group entering into a mind-state together too. In that sense these rituals are a short version of something like the famous war Haka and I feel that they enable better group-mind and energy. I can’t imagine going on stage with a bunch of people without doing something together like this first – even if we look like idiots when we are doing it.
“I like to listen to certain songs on my way to the venue. At present it’s the theme tune to ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’, ‘Funny Little Frog’ by Belle & Sebastien, then ‘Midnight Voyage’ by the Mamas and Papas. I like to bring white tea in a flask to sip as we warm up. I have a particular top I like to wear under my Mayday shirt. We once had a pair of baby foxes that used to play in our garden – before the performance I like to meditate on their fearless joyful frolicking and internalise it in a not-entirely-ironic ‘power-animal’ kind of way. If I am feeling super nervous I shout 'POWER OF THE BABY FOX!' in my head. But that's more to make myself laugh and get out of nervous-brain because it's so ridiculous."
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So in conclusion, whilst one should be mindful of the less helpful aspects of creating personal elaborate rituals, which can hinder if they ‘go wrong’, on the other hand positive group traditions which bond your troupe, and pre-show rituals that get you all on the same page and in the right mindset can be very useful. A word of warning though…if you end up doing this you can probably safely say you’ve gone too far:
by Jenny Rowe
THIS IS A BLOG ABOUT FAILURE…
…ironically, I failed to write it the first time, but I re-committed and added a ton of enthusiasm so now it’s here.
So I suppose that’s an improv lesson right there.
This is a slightly embarrassing foray into my improv journey, focusing on something I bring up with new improvisers whenever I meet one who has the fear and feels like they’re failing. Because they’re not. At least, only if they let themselves.
I was lucky enough to meet Susan Messing from Annoyance Theatre in July and she summed up an improvisers journey like this:
I’ve just fallen down the rabbit hole of joy!
I’ve done 3 years of training and I’m worse than when I started
Thank god I’m getting better, thank god I’m getting better, thank god I’m getting better…..
Why am I the SAME?
Well for one whole year, I thought I was right there at the bottom – I thought I sucked - and because of that I probably DID suck. I clung to the sides, I never started a scene, I played dogs and sheep and furniture and scene-painted (all of which I still LOVE to do now) and I pretended I was just the one who did the funny side characters and that was acceptable. But what I was actually doing was NEVER REALLY COMMITTING to a scene because I never put myself in a position where I really didn’t know what was going to happen next, or, if I did, I lazily let my scene partners guide me. I’d lost the fun of it all, I was thinking too hard and I was trying to project what might happen in a scene before it happened. I was worried about missing the game-of-the-scene and ruining things for my scene partners and I could never think of a premise so, really, what use was I on stage? All this happened because I thought I was a failure; I thought I was a terrible improviser, so I was afraid of getting it wrong and mucking it up for everyone else.
For nearly a year I struggled and pretended and sunk into the gunky pool of improv-self-loathing and the quagmire of angst, waiting for someone to tell me to leave. Luckily at some point, and I can’t remember exactly when, I realised that I wasn’t having fun and I wasn’t contributing anything fun to the group. Susan Messing might have had this to say about the situation:
"If I’m not having fun then, I’M THE ASSHOLE."
Example of a joyless 'asshole' (UK:Arsehole)
Well, with that in mind, I was definitely the arsehole, and who wants THAT role? Not me. It was make or break and I knew I couldn’t live without improv, then or now.
From that point on I started to read more about improvisation. I took more interest in what other people were doing; I’d been so wrapped up in my own worries that I hadn’t been noticing other improvisers too much. Gradually, I started taking more risks, gradually I got better at premise and games, and realised that many of the improvisers that I admired and whom I had thought walked into scenes with amazing ideas were actually going in with nothing at all, they were ‘pretending’ to be confident, they, too, had improv angst!! (Perhaps not to the scale that I had experienced, but the mere fact I wasn’t alone was enough to put me back on track).
Not only this, but I realised that I had skills that other people envied too. I may not be so good at rolodexing or rhyming, but I AM good at character and emotion and knowing when to stop adding ideas into the pot.
I still struggle with my improv confidence, I often find myself clinging to the sides instead of stepping in, but the more I learn (and do it) the more I realise that EVERYONE feels like that sometimes, and the job is to keep playing, keep having fun and never stop learning.
"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
― Winston Churchill
At the Annoyance intensive this year, the teachers taught me - more than anything - that failing in improv, doesn’t have to be failing. If you accidentally do something odd, out of character or out of place it may feel like a fail, but if you commit to that ‘failure’ - or justify it - it stops being a fail and starts being a pattern or a game or just bloody funny.
What I had lost in that horrible year was that we do improv to find JOY and if you’re not having fun then quite frankly you’re doing something wrong. Because it’s all fun, sometimes it’s scary fun but mostly it’s just fun (even if it's dark, sad or evil) because we are playing.
I’ll leave you with one more thing from Annoyance, I forget who said it, but it resonated with me:
"Fail because of choices you make, not choices you don’t make."
If you’re reading this and recognize yourself in any of this, don’t give up, because you WILL get there. Oh, and remember - don’t be the asshole.
Not an 'asshole' (JOY!)
This is my first appearance on the Maydays blog roll. I arrive as a man who was once known as the Hip-hop Encyclopedia. My occasionally impressive trivia knowledge, sat at the back of my brain, sometimes bursts forth to take the form of externalised rap verbiage, straight outta my face. I think the Maydays accepted me among their cohort because of this skill, and I’ve duly repaid them by never employing it.
Until, that is, the recent residential weekend at Osho Leela, where I ran two workshops in how to freestyle, otherwise known as rapping off the top of the head (or dome). For improvisers, it’s a performance art which they may well find themselves being called on to demonstrate having never listened to the music before, and almost certainly having never written a rap before. So naturally making it up on the spot can be a bit of a challenge. A lot of professional MCs can't do that.
The apparent insurmountability of this challenge tends to give rise to two common pests: 1. The improv rap pastiche – which basically involves grimacing and moving your hands around as if you’re trying to shake a lizard off your finger, while adopting an ironic ‘street’ accent. And 2. Fear. A lot of improvisers tell me that rapping is the one thing they're most scared of on stage.
So can you learn how to freestyle? Yes. Of course, the talent generally comes from listening to the music for years and practising loads, not least because it's part of a culture that has its own history and ways. Even then it’s hard. But improvisation is improvisation, and a lot of the same blocks that may be coming between you and having a good old rap on stage are largely the same as the ones messing with your scene work. And having run a couple of sessions and clocked the feedback it’s clear people do get a hell of a lot out of doing something they thought they’d never do, while opening up their brains to the practice of rhythm, stream of consciousness and trusting the process. And it soon becomes a laugh, not something to crap it over.
One of the exercises we ran was just to talk in a stream of consciousness flow to a partner, free-associating from the last word you said. The idea is to get a sense of the rhythm and sound of the words, the feeling of them coming out in a way that feels good, without stopping to criticise what you're saying. Continuity is key, rhythm is key, the flow is key. Don't stop. What you're saying will take care of itself. The minute you start to falter, your partner picks it up off your last word and does the same. After a few minutes of swapping the focus, the beat comes on, and you can let yourself be affected by the drums. Drums are everything in rapping. It's just feeling the drums in your gut and opening your gob and letting go.
After the session, many people who really didn’t listen to much rap music at all expressed a delight at having conquered something. They may not be the next Rakim (look him up) but the block had gone and they were on the path to a rhyme renaissance. Which is ace, as I genuinely had no idea whether teaching this was going to work. But I should have known: teaching is just feeling the drums in your gut and opening your gob and letting go. In fact, now I think about it, a lot of life is doing just that. Maybe freestyling is the key that unlocks the secret to everything. Do it. In the shower. Dave’s exclusive shower tip will come in his next blog. Anyone interested in checking out improv-influenced freestyling with a live band should head to Excursions at Tamesis Dock in Vauxhall on 23 October, the live rap jam that Dave runs with Rob Grundel. It's on a boat. www.excurs.io
For the Fringe show I wanted to work on a few things.
First of all the idea of 'Soup and Sermon' which we got from our time working with Jason Chin. So the idea that the preacher gets the non believers into the Church with the Soup and then they stay for the Sermon. With the Fringe, we wanted to make the the first half do the same, basically a massive pimp-fest where the audience are in on the joke of knowing that you have to do magic/stand-up/acrobatics or whatever comes out of the hat. Then in the second half we can go much deeper and more relationship based.
While the first half was a decision on my part to be as literal as possible, I also think that in choosing to do this show we made a promise to our audience. Every time in five nights a 'difficult' show was read out there was a huge laugh of anticipation from those watching - because they knew they were going to enjoy watching us struggle. I felt that considering the nature of our publicity for the show and our audience at Komedia that I wanted to honour that promise.
In rehearsals, we worked on techniques for improvising each 'section.' So what would it be like to do a straight reading from an imaginary book if literature came up? We worked with tableaus for visual art, physical listening for Dance pieces and what is it like to stand there and do a stand up comedy routine when the material is improvised? Also to do all of these things as seriously as possible. It was likely they would become parodies, with improvisers doing the thing badly but we wanted to be true and not start off making a joke out of it.
It had been a very long time since we worked this way as a company, as we have for so long worked on UCB style game based work and in the last 6 months or so since Jason's visit have worked very hard on grounded, relationship and emotionally driven scenes. In particular trying to weave that relationship based work into our premise based shows. One thing that really came out of the Fringe show was that our scenes suddenly became alot more physical, bold and animated in a way they hadn't been for a while. It's inevitable that when you work on one area, that the others suffer so it was great to get away from the kind of talking heads scenes that happen sometimes when you're focussing on feelings. I hope this sense of colour is something we'll take back with us into Confessions and our new shows.
For the second half, the Sermon, I just wanted to develop the direction we have been going in for a little while to have a loose longform with some tangential narrative elements. We worked from one show from the Brochure, starting with a twist on an invocation in which we described what we saw the show as being and then escalated it to explore the themes of that show. I see...You are...Thou art...I am...THE FRINGE SHOW!
The Structure we had was;
- Scene 1 - The show/tour/music/whatever we picked re-enacted
- Scene 2 - The world of the show. So in one example where we picked a one man show in a bath tub, our scene 2 was someone moving into their boyfriend's for one month because there was a Fringe show happening in their house.
- Scene 3 - A scene exploring the overall theme of the second half, generated by the invocation, but not connected to the pull from the Brochure. Another example was a Victoriana play we pulled; our scene 3 was exploring the rich/poor divide and the relationship between the two.
From this point there was no plan other than to explore some second beats, relationships between the scenes themselves and work within whatever theme had been set.
In summary then, the Fringe Show was a definite decision to do something different with the material and overall I felt it was a success and really enjoyable. Generally though I think it was a good reminder to keep pushing the boundaries and comfort zones and not get stuck in a improv rut because you can always go back to what you are already good at.
The Maydays have been recruiting. Last night we held our most recent audition and with some success I might add. The strongest collective of auditionees I've certainly seen in my 2 and a half year stint as a Mayday and hopefully someone new will don the coveted grey shirt of destiny in the coming months.
There are a couple of inspirations for this post, the first being my recent theatre tour to the far east and the other, perhaps more importantly, was a comment made by one of the select band showing their stuff last night. allow me to paraphrase;
"I like scripted stuff. I didn't think I'd enjoy improvisation because I like having a script but I do and it's amazing"
Now, I'm not going to try and discern whether throwing yourself into the unkown is better than the bard but it does raise some interesting questions
are they that different?
Shakespeare himelf is alleged to have allowed a lot of improvisation in his works, Some of his more prosey pieces may even have been less scripts, more transcripts. Mike Leigh, acclaimed british director, sets a framework for a scene and allows his actors to go from points A to B in whatever way they choose, working and reworking the lines until they both are natural and further the plot.
So why is it, then that there is a perceived difference? Is it not true that good theatre or film, the scripted, written stuff, is only trying to recreate, as truly as possible, the improvisation we all do in our every day lives? When was the last time you prewrote a conversation with a loved one, or sent the pages for your next work meeting to your bosses?
Must they be seperate?
As an improviser I have recently found my other work, "Acting", increasingly restrictive and liberating at the same time. While I often long to break away from the writers words to enhance a scene, it is also reassuring that they've given me my scene in the first place and the pressure is off to come up with something for it. I feel that each discipline feeds the other. Improv skills can give an actor the tools to keep scenes fresh and even find nuances that the writer or director themselves may not have seen. and the skills picked up as an actor can give your improvisational performances truth, depth and sometime more strikingly the ability to be seen and heard in the first place.
Me? I like the improv best but don't let that put you off, Mr Spielberg.
Posted by Jason Blackwater
I was teaching the Maydays Drop in class recently and two of the students who are recent converts to improv and now completely obsessed with the form (you know who you are you two!) cornered me afterwards and asked me,
“How do we get to be good?!”
I gave them my best answer but came away thinking about it; How does one get good at improv? (barr experience and time) and here’s what I came up with.
Heather’s top 10 tips for how to be a better improviser
1. Do a lot – There can be no denying that experience is everything. I’m not saying new improvisers can’t be good but everyone experiences those wobble moments on stage and the more you do, the more you learn how to navigate your way out of them. Consistently the best show I’ve ever seen is the Armando in Chicago. Almost every player is 40 plus and the weight of experience is palpable. The audience knows they’re going to have a great time because they know they’re in safe hands. I think improvising is a bit like muscle memory in dance training so I’m sure the act of practising as much as you can helps you improve faster.
2. See a lot – Go and see as many shows as you can. Good and Bad. When you’re doing bad improv, you don’t necessarily know it. When you’re watching it, you do. Seeing those sticky moments from the outside is massively helpful in identifying how you can improve your own practice. Watching good improv is equally helpful, thrilling and inspiring. Like Katy and Rach say – like watching people fly.
3. Get a director – I absolutely believe that no matter how much improv you do, you’ll never get significantly better without someone kicking your arse. Without feedback you’re likely to keep the same bad habits all your improv life. A good director should identify your strengths and develop your weaknesses, like being a human top trump. Maybe your speed (let’s call that object work in this scenario) is 100 but your stamina (character work) is only 40. Your director should be working to get everything to 100.
4. Improvise with the same people a lot – Group mind is invaluable in improv. When there is trust on stage you can do magical things. A crude example of this is being physical. Us English lot aren’t very good at getting in each other’s personal space so when you’re working with a group you know really well it’s easier to do things like make people fly, become one being, play an intimate love or sex scene. It shouldn’t matter if you’re with strangers but it really helps when there’s an unspoken level of communication between your whole troupe.
5. Improvise with different people a lot – Equally, it’s great to get out of your comfort zone and improvise with people whose behaviour patterns you don’t know. Maybe you’re the dominant player in your troupe – go to an open workshop and maybe you’ll be forced into the role of supporter or any other role you don’t normally fall into.
6. Be authentic – Whole heartedly bring your life into your improv. There are two ways of doing this practically. One is to see the world as a scene, if someone calls out “Butcher” – don’t be generic, be your local Butcher Stan or a guy you were standing next to at the bus stop that day. Notice everything, use the real language of whichever profession you’re portraying in that show, do some research. “5 things a _____ would say” is a great game for this and you can play it on your own. Alternatively – experiment with putting yourself into the scene, if you’re feeling scared bring it into your character. If you’re feeling randy – hump everyone! It’s great to be imaginative but if you can start from a place of being real it can add a whole new level to your performance.
7. Learn stagecraft – I know some amazing amazing improvisers who are not so hot when it comes to performing. Get an outside eye or take an acting class if you need to. If people can’t hear you, people can’t hear you or your stage pictures look dull and sloppy, it doesn’t matter how good your scene idea was or how naturally hilarious you are.
8. Serve the scene and not yourself – Speaks for itself. Don’t plough into scenes or bulldoze other people. Make it your mission to make everyone else look good and you’ll look good. As Charna Halpern says “ Treat others as if they are geniuses, artists and poets and they will be.”
9. Read some improv books or blogs and talk about it exhaustively and obsessively – Well it can’t hurt.
10.Have a secret – This is my favourite thing to do. Pick something just for you to take into a scene, that no-one needs to know about. Have happy hands, be a lizard if a lizard was a human, decide to always stay 2 feet away from whoever you’re onstage with. Whatever you do, bring something to the table. It might never come out, it might get toned down and you should always be prepared to drop it if there’s a cross initiation but aswell as adding some depth – it’s fun!
One thing that I hope improv has brought to my life in the wider sense is the abilty to be open to anything so when John suggested that the Maydays spend the day with a spiritual Guru called Prasadam who he described as a cross between the Dalai Lama and Spike Milligan I knew I couldn't pass it up.
The day began with Prasadam informing us that we were going to create a play, with John playing the "beautiful princess." We then spent an hour and a half with Joe's music accompanying us creating a totally surreal adventure through forest and castles, with Zen masters and African dance healers. In short, it was mental.
I would be seriously surprised if we what we came up with was of any kind of performance standard, however it did make me notice something: In our normal Maydays rehearsals, (despite what we always say to our students about not being able to do it wrong!) we ourselves are constantly striving to get things right. While it's important to work on different skills within the practice of improvisation; when we're not on stage I wonder how much time as a troupe we actually spend just "playing" and not analysing what we are doing. Creating a free running structure with no emphasis on what we were creating had a totally different joyful quality and it doesn't seem like a coincidence that our show on the following night had the same feeling (see Joe's previous blog.)
I won't here go into what the rest of the Prasadam adventure entailed but I will say that for me personally it gave me the chance to remember the simplest rule of improv, to embrace it's mindfulness and bally well have fun!
Happy Xmas everyone (yes i know it's a bit late but us Maydays always celebrate with a trip to Poynings in the new year). Today we've been treated to an amazing meal by Tom and John, penguin impressions from Isaac, a lovely walk round Devil's Dyke, and the company of ALL THE MAYDAYS and their lovely partners and children.
Yes it was muddy, but it was a glorious day for walking and as usual we pitted our wits against each other at the annual John Cremer book giveaway (prizes for guessing the name of original songs that have been turned into reggae numbers). We rounded off the day by sharing our highlights and lowlights from 2010 and listened to some classic Ivor Cutler.
It's all steam ahead now until May, with regular Saturdays at the Komedia, regular Tuesdays with Hoopla at the Miller, Poynings Village fair show and a spot for us girlies at the Komedia Funny Women show in Feb.
Happy New Year everyone!