Gearing up for the next lot of short form improv sessions, which start again this Sunday (the 8th), now that we’ve had our break during the Brighton Fringe. We’re doing something ever so slightly different with this block of sessions. When you’ve been doing improv for a while (and it doesn’t have to be a particularly long while, not really), it’s somewhat easy to fall into certain ‘traps’ – maybe you’re often going for the gag, or taking over scenes, so that everyone else on stage has to follow your lead, whether they like it or not. Or maybe it’s the exact opposite – perhaps your mind goes completely blank, and you can’t think of anyway to progress the scene, and so you prefer to let someone else do all the hard work. At some point, all of us have been guilty of that to some degree.
These next four workshops – over the majority of June – take this into account, with a series of drop-ins that we’re calling ‘Iron Clad Surgery’. The idea is that each separate session will take into account one of these challenges, and tailor the exercises accordingly, to help performers begin to sharpen the tools in their toolbox. Perhaps the best thing about this is that most of (if not all) the exercises and games we’ll be using this month are still the ones that will be familiar to those who have been popping into improv over the last year or so anyway: so it’s not like that the unsure or inexperienced are going to be thrown a curve ball. The drop in sessions are as open to beginners as always, it’s just that the content of each workshop is going to be more heavily weighted toward whatever particular challenge we’re tackling that week. Anyway, for further details, you can have a look at http://andthisisandrewallen.weebly.com/ironclad-improv.html .
There, you’ll also see details of our upcoming long form course, which starts at the end of June.
Tonight, a few of us rocked up to the DukeBox Theatre in Hove to take a few photographs of a regular improv session (not that there’s any such thing). It seems we might get an article in the local Argus at the end of the week, so it was thought a good idea to get some photos done, on the off-chance that they might end up accompanying the article. I’m not all that fond of having my photo taken, so it was a bit of an effort not to be openly grimacing in each one. This, by the way, might seem a little difficult to swallow, since – as the person who runs Iron Clad Improv – I made a concerted effort to make sure I was in each and every photograph, and more to attempt to look like I knew what I was talking about. We’ll see how successful I was if any when any of the photos get published on Friday.
In real terms, I didn’t get all that much writing done today. In fact, it was close to zero. I managed to think of a single rhyme for a song that appears in Act 2 (however improbable, I am still considering sticking songs in this thing), and scrawl a few notes in the margin for Act 1, but other than that, I’ve produced nothing today. I’m OK with that – first day back at work after a writing holiday away, after all – but I can’t afford to let this happen too many more times. It is always so easy – so seductive, even – to allow a day to go past without any writing whatsoever, and to tell yourself that that’sOK, because you’ll always catch up tomorrow.
You never will.