Osho Leela Diaries: Lloydie

Day: Saturday
Time: 11.45am
Class: Make it worse
I always relish the chance to teach with John Cremer as we usually manage to combine messing around with actually teaching something fun. I really love grounded scenes but sometimes I think people mistake grounded for ‘no fun’ or ‘a bit kitchen sink’ – it’s not.  This workshop stressed that if someone, as part of the scene, points out a problem then that problem needs to get worse, not better.  If an improviser says “Don’t do that” then the other improviser needs to do the opposite.  That’s not denial – it’s the ultimate “yes…and”.

John’s got a keen eye for when people make an emotional discovery in a scene and I get off on seeing people explore those discoveries.  We pushed things pretty far and the final scene where someone was only allowed to explain how a camping stove worked in “average length sentences” because “otherwise you won’t be understood” was brilliant.  There was a hilarious premise, discovered in the moment that was then explored and pushed to its limits.

In life our natural instinct is usually to help someone with an issue or a problem.  In improv our job is to poke the bear, antagonize and heighten. If you solve the problem you kill the scene and you destroy the comedy.

This was my second year teaching at the annual residential at Osho Leela and one of the many things I love about it is the levels of commitment and support that people bring to each class.  That feeling that it’s ok to “fail”, that it’s ok to try things out and that it’s we all have each other’s back help create magical moments of comedy.  The challenge we all face is to take those attitudes of support and fearlessness on stage, and bring them to the shows each and everyone of us perform.



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