Thursday, October 15, 2009

Work in progress.

At work, they have these things called WIP meetings. Pronounced "whip." I was a little alarmed when I got invited for the first time.

But it's just a status check—a chance to discuss works in progress with other team members and keep projects moving forward. One of the toughest things about doing business stuff without a team isn't having those regular check ins, and I'm not as good with to-do lists as I am at work.

What would be on that list for tonight and this weekend:
  • Press release written and calendar listings out for The Union/Spite/Loaded Dice show.
  • Press release and calendar listings created for the November Tantrum show.
  • Self- and Tantrum- and Spite-driven promotion for ImpFest.
  • Prep for workshop at the ImpFest next week.
For press releases, when things are on schedule, everything goes by by Nikki. She's got an editor's eye and a writer's brain, and they always end up better when she sees them first. Sometimes it's catching typos or missed words; often, though, she can take half an idea and spin the words to make it sing. It's the closest I get to a WIP meeting, the result is always better.

(If you're wondering why everything isn't run by everybody, um...easy: diminishing returns. Waiting for feedback, getting people to take time out of their schedule to look at stuff, tracking feedback...it all takes time and effort. For this kind of stuff, if you've got one person you can trust to give you solid feedback you can act on, it's usually plenty.)

Idea for upcoming blog: Getting a new audience—can it be done? Thoughts based on a discussion we had after our show the other night.

OK. So about this workshop. I think I gave John a few options back when he first asked. I've been chatting with him about teaching every so often at the Imp, and this was a good chance to jump back in. I love teaching/coaching/directing, but took some time off because for so long I'd convinced myself I preferred it to playing.

Which may or may not be true.

Anyway, it's City 3 Revival Week, so I'd written up some notes about what I have planned for the Imp in the forums. Blown out a little, here it is.

The class is "Making Connections." The inspiration—long-form improv. More specifically, long-form improv that falls flat because the scenes are built too close together. Or long-form improv that feels like a tree with decent roots (opening ideas), but only a branch or two above ground.

Any of this sound familiar?
—You're playing every scene literally from something in the opening?
—You've got a topic that feels like a shitty one, and you don't know where to go with it?
—You feel like everything you're doing is a game, and you don't know how to pull a relationship out of things?
—You feel like you've drained the well? Bled the turnip? Beaten the dead horse?
—Your only ideas for scene starters are too plot-driven?
—You can't remember anything from the opening, or from the other scenes, or from your round of scenes, and you don't know how to start the next one?
—You're starting stuff your scene partners just aren't getting?

We'll work on stuff like this:
—Getting the most out of openings and monologues
—Talking your time dashes further
—Ways to keep ideas in your head (and the most helpful kinds of ideas to put there)
—Mining themes and patterns
—Finding the most interesting elements of the scene to explore

Should be fun.

2 comments:

New rule: I'm not approving anonymous comments. If you want to sit at the grownup table, you have to sign your name.

Now c'mon. Pick a fight.