Yesterday I did an improv knowledge marathon, I took my AP3 class with Kyle Dolan and then I went to The Crowd Theater and did a 2 hour scenework drop-in with Kevin Knickerbocker.
Things I learned at Kyle Dolan’s class: my first warm up scene was a little strange, I came in with the idea of me being in a locker room at a police station. My scene partner initiated something about being frustrated with the fact that she had gluten free issues. My initiation was more physical, trying to do object work. My object work was not great, but it wasn’t horrible. I do remember my Improv as Theater classes where we work on opening doors and how we can make the opening more realistic if we encounter some trouble when turning knobs, etc. I am not sure I did that. Well, this was a warm up scene so I guess it was a throw away scene. Anyways, when my partner initiated I turned to my partner to listen and to process what she had said. Kyle’s note was that it would have helped me to take a few beats at the top of the scene to better find my character, which I think was a good note.
We did more short scenes, one that sticks out as a good scene is one I did with Jake where we were in a showroom testing some cars. We were in a three person scene. One of the ways to make three person scenes work is to make them two person scenes, by aligning our point of view with another scene partner, and that’s what I did with Jake. We both were kind of bullying Sean, but in a playful way. We were moving around the stage and being physical. Some of the object work was sloppy but we were having fun and being physical so the lack of object work accuracy was not a huge deal.
There was more stuff that happened at Kyle Dolan’s class but I will move on to Kevin Knickerbocker’s scenework drop in. One of the things I remember is that we worked on initiations and I initiated reasonably well. We worked on naming our scene partner or stating our relationship or something about them that established who we were to each other. I did successfully in some of the scenes and in others, because I was coming with a strong character, I got lost in the character and did not call out who that other person was to me or their name. So the takeaway is to keep working on this fundamental, which is naming the other person, if possible sooner rather than later, and if possible establishing their relationship to my character, for example, whether they are a doctor, president, nurse, cop, etc. It helps a ton when we name the other person, it is a great gift to be giving our scene partner and it helps in a show to bring that character back.