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Hey watch out, if you’re not interested in a post about improv don’t read this. I am working on something self-indulgent as well, just give me some time.
I think about improv a lot but I don’t write about it very much. I’ve been writing less in general.
The reason I’ve been writing less in general is because I have been pretty busy.
The reason I don’t write about improv very much is because I am still an improv baby, and though I’m more confident in my improvising than I used to be, I’m still very cognizant of the fact that I have not been doing this very long & I still have all these problems & mostly, I am worried that writing a bunch of posts about improv will be bad luck.
Like walking under a ladder. Writing a post about how to make things work in improv is the equivalent of not knocking on wood, throwing salt in front of you, being calm when you see a black cat. It’s definitely superstitious but it’s also a little bit of not wanting to be just covered in hubris.
But here are some thoughts I have on a specific topic in improv, and I feel comfortable enough to talk about it and put it on the Internet so aw, fuck it.
I have been making a conscious decision when I’m on the back line to uncross my arms. Instead, I put my arms behind my back & stretch them out & away from me, or I do a tricep stretch on stage, or I put my hands in my pockets.
A couple months ago at the 11th Hour Show (such a fun indie show, guys) my group performed & they took all these pictures of us where whenever we were on the back line we had our arms crossed over our chests & looking like real B’s.
When I realize I’m crossing my arms & I’m making a face like a gnome, I unkink my face and open up my arms. The only reason I’d be in that posture is because I don’t like what I’m doing or seeing, & if I don’t like what I’m doing or seeing, I’m not having fun.
It’s similar to tying premises from an opening to a physical action. If I realize I need to uncross my arms, I realize that I need to open up my mind & become invested in the work being done in front of me. Paying attention so I can listen hard and react hard.
I’m not saying that you can’t cross your arms & look like you’re having fun or paying attention to the monologue/opening/scenework, because there are definitely players on a completely different level who cross their arms and recall everything and have the most fun. I’m just saying that I can’t do that. So I’m trying to stop.