Drop-in class – 18 Feb 2015

ippWe had a great drop-in class with Tandi this week where we worked on ‘status’ – establishing a character with higher status by elevating oneself and putting others down or being a character of lower status by bringing yourself down and elevating the other character. This is a great tool for creating comedy in scenes by creating tension between two characters or causing a tilt when the characters inevitably swap status. A tilt is the moment in the scene where the status quo shifts, which is very satisfying for the audience. Here’s what we did:

Warm-up

  • Claps and stomps: a rhythm game that improves focus; and
  • Seven: a pattern game that also improves focus.

Exercises

  • Animal status: taking on the mantle of various high and low status animals from lions to lizards and getting used to how they move in terms of status; and
  • Profession status: taking on the status of various professions from judges to ball boys to learn how they exhibit status as well.

Scenes

  • PTA meeting: a group PTA meeting for four players taking on the roles of parents where half the group has certain body language characteristics of higher status people and the other take on the trappings of low status;
  • Status replay: where two players act out a scene and then replay it with each player being assigned a different status each time by the MC; and
  • 1, 2, 3: a game for any number of players where each players is either (1) highest status, (2) middle status, or (3) lowest status – and hilarity ensures.

Tandi got many of her exercises from ‘Improv for Everyone’ by Greg Tavares.

I personally had fun playing a low-status character for a change.

There’s no drop in class next week, but please email tandibuchan@gmail.com to join us the week after!

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