And a long fucking nap.
Anyway, two improv-related thoughts for this week.
- Kickball is an awesome warmup. I'm feeling all athletic and fit and energetic lately, so the idea of wasting a few hours of glorious, sunny daylight Tuesday night was unthinkable. I am ready, at any moment, to play kickball—so I whipped out the ball and bases and forced the kids to play 30 minutes before rehearsal. I pitched, leaving them 5 people to cover the outfield. It was a muddy, goofy blast.
- Writing is not improv. As much as I'm tempted to apply improv rules to everything in my life (I'd look up the link from last year when I tried to actually do that, but I don't feel like it), every now and then it's nice to get a reminder that it just doesn't work. Especially when it comes to the two things I do more than anything else. This post (a memo from David Mamet to writers of The Unit) has been circulating in the last couple of days (funny, 'cause the memo's old). Some stuff works for improv (i.e. "ANY TIME TWO CHARACTERS ARE TALKING ABOUT A THIRD, THE SCENE IS A CROCK OF SHIT."). But the point he makes over and over doesn't: "*FIGURE IT OUT*." Improv rules (hints, guidelines, teachings, whatever we call them) have been developed over time to compensate for the things improvisers can't do in creating entertainment. As writers, we have endless do-overs—first drafts should never see the light of day. As improvisers, we're creating our first and final drafts at once. The standards are lowerbecause the work only exists in the moment. (Which is part of the reason improv doesn't always translate well to video. Not only do you lose the energy of creating on the spot, capturing it means holding it to the same standards as any other writing or performing.)