Sunday, November 23, 2008


The complete lack of any desire to write is probably a result of how little I've improvised lately. And the fact that I'm just getting over a cold. And this stupid, dark, grey, cold weather. 

With the Tantrum library series over, we haven't been rehearsing. And I was out of town last Tuesday, so I handed the Exit 16 kids off to Andrew, the alum who directed them in Thunderdome.  

Gah. I miss it. I want to play more. 

Fortunately, Tantrum has a show with Corey and Mo this Friday. We'll rehearse with Tom Farnan, our monologist, for a bit on Wednesday night—just running the format. (Which is fine—it'll be fun—because it's always nice to get a sense of how someone new will tell stories. It's just not the kind of rehearsal I find the most helpful. To grow, I need to work on technique—like the Viewpoints stuff, or relationship work, or editing, or movement, or SOMETHING besides just doing scenes.)

Tantrum meets tomorrow night to figure out what's up for next year. We've got some preliminary dates penciled in, but our players are starting to commit to other projects, so we need to nail down some dates to plan around. After that, Nikki and Megan and I can put a little more focus on figuring out what's up with Spite. 

So that's two troupes, which you'd think would be plenty. But it's two troupes full of busy, busy people who perform with other groups, so the likelihood we'll play and rehearse enough for me to feel like I'm staying on my game is...slim. 

I've talked with a few other folks about short-term projects—once Tantrum's schedule is locked down, I can start taking that more seriously. My goal: At least one rehearsal a week, and at least two shows a month. I've been wanting to take one of John's classes out at Roving Imp, so I'll do that after the first of the year. Belly dancing classes are closed until January...I should probably look into getting a DVD to make sure I don't lose the little bit I learned in the three classes I took.

So yeah.


  1. You know, it is possible to be over-rehearsed.

  2. I don't disagree. But I do make a distinction between rehearsing (as in running a format) and working on technique.

    Athletes don't stop practicing once they win a game. Dancers continue to work out when they're not doing shows. Actors, singers, ice skaters—I dare you to name a type of entertainer that doesn't work out when they're not preparing for a show or event or game.

    Part of the reason improvisers stop growing, get stagnant, or—as Josh rants about—put on mediocre shows is that many of us don't work on craft like other professional entertainers do. There's always plenty to improve.

  3. What about something more organized than fight club?

  4. You mean something like this (from a long time ago on Cty 3):

  5. Why not use rehearsals to work on technique? I only mention this because I get next to nothing out of doing "drills". They clutter up my brain, and I improvise better with an uncluttered brain.

    The amount that people "work out" (I don't care for that term in an improv context) depends greatly on their lot in life and their goals. I know plenty of non-full-time entertainers (mostly musicians) who don't do jack until it's time to prep for a show. A few of them should work harder, but for most of them it's like riding a bike. So again, it depends on the level of ambition: is your band trying to get signed, or are you happy putting on solid, well-attended shows at recordBar and the Brick a couple times a month?

    (A few years ago, my answer to this rhetorical question would have been different!)

  6. I love to use rehearsals to work on technique.

    OK. I think we're defning terms differently. To you, what is the difference between a "drill" and working on (playing with?) technique? (I'm not being facetious.)


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