Friday 29 January 2010

Get Up (Git on up, y'all)

Very interesting and useful workshop today from Shannon McCormick and Shana Merlin of Get Up! from Austin, Texas. They do a two-person longform show and today they showed us some of their tricks. Not surprisingly, the secret of doing a two man show is really knowing your stage partner.

Thinking about trust made me able to articulate a point I'd been dwelling on, which is this:
Trust can be demonstrated by your reaction to your scene partner's wilder (or more left field) choices. If your reaction is, "cool, where’s this going to go?" it indicates a lot of trust. If your reaction is, "good God, what on Earth is she up to now?" trust is lacking.

It is a good way of gauging your own trust of your fellow players and made me realize I don't always trust everyone. But I do know I have the skills to cope with most things. However, trust in your own skills is different to trust in your fellow players and is no way to hold a group together.

The workshop also reaffirmed the importance of the Hero model as a device for informing longform. I'll write more on this and start teaching this very soon.

Get Up! performed their show two days ago at the Amsterdam International Improvisation Festival (Or similar words in roughly that order). It was lighter and slightly more casual in style than many of the American longforms I've been seeing. This threw me a little as I do enjoy seeing the American commitment that often lacks in Northern European improv. But it wasn't actually a lack of commitment; it was more confidence and a decision that they could be a bit more jokey when the time came.

Anyway, tomorrow I have to teach and then do my own two-man show with Jochem (Meijer of easylaughs). Not sure yet what watching the get Up! performance and taking that class will bring to this show, something I hope. Although one thing is sure, Jochem will slap me, try to kiss me and the audience will almost certainly enjoy themselves.