By Madi Goff
When giving notes, one of my favorite questions to ask my students is this: “What was your brain thinking just now?” My goal with this question is to get behind the improviser’s thinking to give a more precise note. And I simply enjoy that dive into the human brain. I delight in discovering what is going on in the improviser’s mind.
For example, let’s say an improviser enters a scene in the middle of a beat. Their entrance disrupts the good energy that was cookin’ on stage and, as a result, the stakes drop. The general note from a director would be, “Don’t enter there. They had a good thing going. Wait to enter when the beat is over.” (Now, it’s important to acknowledge that not all mid-beat entrances are unhelpful. Let’s just say this one was.) The note, “Don’t enter there, etc.”, doesn’t have much specificity. However, if I can find out what caused the entrance, if I can ask the student “What was happening in your brain right before you walked in?” (Or in the case of Zoom: “What was happening in your brain right before you turned your camera on?”), …
By Lisa Fredrickson
Teaching the Intro to Narrative classes has been a blast! I am consistently surprised at the commitment and level of talent that is showing up on Zoom. Since the beginning of this pandemic, I have taught about 6 or 7 eight week segments of this class and my experience has been completely positive. Joy abounds!
We are about to start Week 4 of the latest series and there are so many great actors! At least two students say they have no experience and have never done anything like this, yet every week they hear compliments from more experienced people about their ‘grace’ or their ‘ability to really listen’. It is such a safe space for all levels! …
From Paul Rogan
On Sunday morning I wake up bright and early, looking forward to my 10:30am Character CORE class. By the way, why is it called CORE? It’s an acronym, actually — Character, Objective, Relationship, Environment, four of the pillars of our work. It actually used to be called CROW, the W standing for Where, but when I arrived at Impro I was totally confused and thought that when people were talking about CROWing, they were boasting. So it got changed to CORE.
Pre-Covid, I and a group of LA residents would be driving to Los Feliz to take a live class. Stopping off at Starbucks, struggling to find parking, and catching up on the balcony outside room 208 or 209. When lockdown happened, Kirsten, Nick and the School launched an incredible effort to urgently make the classes happen online. The unsung hours of heroic work they and others like Madi did may never be fully told, but it happened. …