Today, I'm going to talk about Improv Club.
In the first month or so of college, I made a good friend who's not only in the music department, but also the drama department. She's a double major, like me. She's definitely the perfect kind of person to keep me open-minded and wild in a good way!
I haven't been a drama person since elementary school, when I was given a non-speaking role in a student-produced play. It upset me, and I realized then that I wasn't really that good of an actor. As a writer, I have to be able to step into someone else's shoes and take that perspective into the book, but I don't write with an audience right there staring at me. It's different. Plus, you can edit books to fix up what doesn't work. You can't exactly go back and edit a performance.
But my friend was convinced that I should come to this thing called Improv Club. It was at five on Mondays and Wednesdays, it had something to do with fast acting, and some of my other music friends were in it. That was enough to get me there one Wednesday evening, and pretty much, the rest was history.
I actually really liked it.
I'm still not into going up and doing it myself, although I have done so, but it is the best thing ever to watch. It's such a great creative environment. To see these people just walk up and make up things off the top of their heads--it's fantastic. Genius storytelling in seconds.
In Improve Club, there are a bunch of games that we play to help us make up scenes on the spot. My favorites to watch are those that involve complete leeway, like "Freeze." That's where you see the real power of creativity and humor at work. I'm terrible at doing them, though. Other games fit me better, like "Twisted Fairytale." In that, you do a scene from a fairytale with each character having a strong trait of some kind. Then there's "Late to Work," where two 'co-workers' act out a scene with main character's reason for being late to work. The main character must guess the correct reason in order to be let off by the boss. I also love "Pick-A-Play", where three people use actual play texts, have the audience point out a line to start on, and then use only lines from that play to create a scene. I like it because it's fun and crazy, but it's something I could actually do because, hello, there's an actual text in front of your face.
What else... "Forward Reverse" is a good one where you do a scene, and at any point someone can say "Reverse" and you have to do the scene backwards. There are shorter exercises too, like "Park Bench", where you do anything you can to get the other person off the "bench". Or there's "Spelling Bee", where you spell nonsense words, or "Madrigal", where you sing a phrase provided by the audience and then mix it up to your heart's delight.
Truly, the possibilities are endless.
My favorite I've seen so far that I like to participate in would have to be "Shakespeare", where you invent a short, three-act play pretending it was written by Shakespeare. Shakespearean language, poetry, plot devices, etc. I love it because I'm a book nerd and also because it's really funny to watch people try to talk ye old English.
I have no idea how much you actually got out of that, but the point is that, if you're in need of some laughs or a really good creative atmosphere, you might want to try an improv club.
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