Billy Merritt's Improv Party

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#41
Bubble Trouble

The Bubble has been performing.
It is stronger than ever.
As the bubble gets better, it starts to shine.
People come to see the Bubble shine.
They have become what they always wanted to be.
Legitimate.

The Bubble is floating around the city, playing were it wishes. The individual members of the Bubble are getting recognition for thier work. Some more than others. If you look inside the Bubble you see that some of the people have turned into pebbles. Pebbles within Bubbles. These Pebbles start to effect the Bubble, the Bubble can't go were it wants to anymore. The pebbles are weighing it down. The pebbles have other projects, other rehearsals, some of the Pebbles are in other Bubbles.
The Bubble has lost momentem, it just floats in the air with no direction. The lining of the Bubble walls gets thinner, the shine is gone. Some of the Pebbles fall through the walls to heavy to be supported. Everybody gives each other one last look, a needle pops out of thin air and pierces the Bubble.

The Bubble Explodes

The people fall separately to the ground below them. They are no longer a Class, they are no longer a Bubble. They are individuals looking for a place to land. The people who were the Pebbles of the Bubble land onto other Bubbles, destined to bring that Bubble down too. The people who helped build the Bubble, the heroes, the ones who did all the ground work, organizing, flyering, making the calls. They will come back stronger. For them this was a learning experience, and each time they form a Bubble that Bubble will be stronger. The ones who just held on for the ride, it was a fun ride. You will always remeber the ride, good or bad, with fondness. Not everbody gets to float above the city in a Bubble.
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#42
Improv Court

The Creature is in a deep sleep.
She has never been more at ease.
This must be what self- realization feels like.

Clickclickclickbuzzzzzzzzclickbuzzzclick click

She Wakes.

She finds herself in a giant courtroom, the jury box is gigantic, wraping all around the room. Floating above her, on a rocking horse, is what looks like a judge. The jury consists of all sorts of insects wings flapping, clicking , buzzing, antenna probing.

The Judge is a giant bullfrog dressed to look like an old timey English Judge.

JUDGE: You have been brought here to be judged by your peers. Once sentence has been past you then have your wings ripped off.

Creature: What the fuck.

JUDGE: Oh thats a nice defense.

Creature: What am I being judged for? Who are you people...err...Bugs? Where am I?

JUDGE: Do you always start a scene with so many Questions?

Creature: If I am in a scene that makes no sense then it is my duty to find out whats going on.

THE JURY STIRS NODDING THIER BUG HEADS.
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#43
State of the UCB theater

Bitch Mode On:


I was going to write something clever a discriptive about a bug court passing judgment on people just doing what they love. But then I realized people might see more into what I was writing then I intended.
Somebody asked me if the Judgment bullfrog was Owen, no, it was ment to be representitive of the people who say how the theater should be run, and don't even know the situation at hand.
Owen busts his ass every day for this theater, He has to make decisions that are unpopular and he has to take the abuse for those decisions. Some of the decisions I don't agree with, most decisions I do agree with. But no matter what, he gets my support, he is doing the right thing for the theater, and it would be conterproductive to undermine the decisions made.
Yes it is important that a voice of oppisition be raised every now and then when decisions made are felt to be bad for the community or unjust, this keeps things balanced, and it let's the other side be heard.
But to attack a decision without knowing the facts, or to throw around threats as if that is going to change minds is poison. To me, when I read of some of the attacks or of the backtalk passed around, I have to ask myself who is making these attacks? What is their role in the community?
Do they have personal agendas? Do they have other issues welled up inside them that caused the attacks to be meaner then they need to be?
In most cases the answer can found in those questions.
As far as threats, The one I hear all the time is if the UCB doesn't let me do my show, Do my show the way I want, teach, then I will go to the PIT. Let me just say that in talking to the UCB, that is not a threat, if you say that to them, the decision has already been made. I don't think the PIT wants UCB scraps, I would think that they want to develop their own shows, create their own identity, I think the worst thing the PIT could do is to become a parasitic theater waiting for people who feel rejected to join their ranks. I do not think this is happening, but I do feel that useing these kinds of threats are the begining of that process.
As far as AK is concerned, I support your intentions, I think it is wonderful the work that you are doing as far as expanding the community. But I will Not be shamed into seeing a show, I will not go to a place that treats me and the committee like we are some sort of enemy. Your theater exists because of the work that the UCB and the teachers of the UCBT have done, don't kid yourself. Your attacks on the Audition process, the Marathon selection process, as well as other decisions made, only injects more poison into the community.
The UCBT is not perfect, nothing is. But in case you havn't noticed, more students are performing now on the stage than ever before. Attendence is better for most shows, there are more shows. The theater is kicking ass. Speaking for myself, I feel I am doing some of my best teaching, my passion for the art form has never been higher. I ask myself every now and then if I got a show and made alot of money and I didn't have to work ever again what would I do. My answer, What I'm doing right now.

Bitch Mode Off
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#44
I noticed in a few improv journals people were talking about doing a warmup exercise were they do a stretch and say something about themselves that no one in the class knows. I am happy to hear that other teachers are doing this in their classes. I am not saying that I created the exercise, it is barly an exercise it is just warming up. But I do this in every one of my classes, I love it. I like to call it the "Circle of get to know me" . A class doesn't truly gell until people get to know each other, get to know their lives. If the person just tells us what they had for breakfast, great, we know that much more about that person. If the person wants to devulge something more personal, then the class is there to support that person. What people devulge at the begining of classes, compared to what they have to say by the end of classes is always interesting to me. It says to me how much that person has grown, how much they trust the class, or how at ease everyone is. Being at ease with the people you play with, is the key to great group mind.

Be At Ease
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#45
A:The power of repetition.

B:The power Of repetition?

A:Yes, repetition.

B:You mean to repeat things?

A:Yes, Repeat things.

B:What's the power in that?

A:The power in that?

B:Yes, I'm asking what is the power in that?

A:The power is finding the importance in what is being said.

B:Being said?

A:Yes, being said, the importance of the words, thats what I'm saying.

B:Your talking Mamet, Your talking Miesner, West Wing,Sports night,Gilmore Girls.

A: I'm talking Words.

B: Words.

A: Yes words, thats what I'm saying.

B: Your sayings Words? What the fuck?

A: What the fuck? Fuck you!

B:Fuck you.

A: No , Fuck you.

B: Right, Words.

A: Sometimes the game of a scene can be developed by finding the importance of what your saying.

B: What your Saying.

A: Right, You repeat back to your partner what you feel is is important in what they just said, then both of you know whats important in the conversation you are having.

B: Finding out whats important in your conversation.

A: Yes, your conversation.

B: Whats important.

A: I'm just saying.

B: Repetition.

A: Repetition.

B: Importance.

A: Importance.

B: You want to go get a Sandwich?

A: A Sandwich?

B: Yeah, A sandwich.

A: I can eat a sandwich.

B: Stop it.

A: I'm stopping.
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#46
I loves the pussy

Sexuality and Improv.
Some people avoid it in thier scene work like the plague. They may be respectful of the P.C. factor, or they may have thier own issues that they are going through. But all scenes have thier own sexuality to them, It may be with your scene partner, or it may be with that bag of hotdogs in the scene. The fact of the matter is, you want to fuck something in that scene. It is too easy to say that you love something, at times the word just roles of the tongue without a second thought. But when you say you want to fuck something, that is commitment. Love is something that you talk about, fuck is about taking action.
We are all sexual creatures, it is in our nature to attract and be attracted. So why leave that out of your scene work? When you are in a scene, find the love, then take action. Go for it. Use everything in your power to attract that which you desire. Now I am not saying to make out on stage all the time,[or am I], I'm saying find what you want most in the scene and go after it.
In acting you are told that your "being" comes from 4 places. The Head, The Heart, The Stomach, The Groin. Finding the sexuality in the scene means acting from your groin. It is instinctive, it has it's own driving force, a force that sometimes cannot be controled, it makes us do things that in a more rational state we would never do. It is one of the driving motivations for any socializing that we do. It makes us overbearing, it makes us meek, it makes us question ourselves, it makes us pound our chest.
Next time you do a scene, in the back of your head ask yourself, what can I fuck in this scene. What is it going to take in order for to fuck this thing on stage. Once I fuck this object onstage, what am I going to fuck next.

Good luck
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#47
What's eating you?

In the last post I talked about Acting from the groin, that it is all about taking action. To find something in your scene to fuck, to engage, to become a part of.
I had mentioned some of the other places that your "Being" comes from, Head, Heart, and Gut. I would like to talk about the Gut. Coming from the gut, what does that mean? It means to react, to listen, to be affected.
Has anyone ever told you something you didn't expect to hear? Something that made you feel sad, shocked, happy? Where did you feel it first? The gut. You become nauseous if the news is bad, you get giddy when the news is good, but the feeling starts in the gut. It's as if your body is hearing the words and reacting before you the "social entity" can react.
It is listening with your body.
Have a seat I need to tell you something.
Are you sitting down.
Your body listens before you do.
Your body reacts to things before you do.
The trick is to listen with your body, the core of your "Being", then you will give an honest reaction. Don't go for the joke response, go with what you gut is telling you. Listen to your scene partner with your gut.
If you can do that, then you can start acting from the inside.
This has always been the hardest for me, something that I really have to focus on. It is so easy for me to shoot from the lip. But to truly be affected by what is happening onstage, what is being said to you at the moment that it is being said, is truth.

Once you tell the truth onstage, you can never go back.

Once you can listen from the gut, you can act from the gut.

Once you act from the gut, you act truthfully.
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#48
Shot in the heart

The Groin: Taking action

The Gut: Reaction

The Heart: Emotional Substation

To act from the heart, is to act with emotion. To act with emotion is to feel the words that you are saying. Anyone can act in emotional styles,[short form game], but few can truley act from the heart. To actually get in touch with true feelings you have had in your life and bring them back onstage when the moment calls for them.
The heart pumps the blood through your body, the best acting advice I've gotten on the matter is to imagine that you can attatch the emotion you are feeling to the blood as it pumps out of your heart, throughout your body. When I effectvly do that I sense a warmness in my blood, I get flush, I sweat, then the emotion floods over me. Sometimes you can pump too much emotion into your system, just like in real life, and you can over play the scene, just like in real life.
I seem to be talking about Sense Memory, when I say to get in touch with feelings you have had in the past, this is just a small part of sense memory, but it is a tool to be used. An Improviser has to use themselves as their own reference guide, they have to make immediate choices, they must use themselves, their own feelings,expearences. In Sense Memory for a play, you have weeks to bring back these feelings, you examine the script looking for clues.
So how does an improviser do this immediatly? By doing your homework. It is all about being observant, seeing things and always in the back of your head saying to yourself, I can use this in a scene. We do it by seeing characters on the street, situations we have been in, things people have said to us, we always bring it back to the stage. The same can be done with feelings. From this moment on when you are in an emotional state, happy or sad,[or any in the middle] make sure a small part of your brain is recording it for stage time. Don't rely on feelings you have had in the past.Those feeling can be hazy, and over romantcized. My feelings for my first love are completly different from a feeling of love I would have for a girlfriend unit I might have right now. Sure if you are doing a scene about first love, use it. But how many scenes can you do about first love? What about second love or thirtyseventh love? Those are all different emotions, record it.
Once you get into recording your emotions, store these emotions in little tubes near your heart. When you are onstage and you get a call for a certain emotion, pick that tube and inject that certain emotion into your heart, let the emotion pump through your veins. Feels good

If anyone around the theater
tries to sell you some cutrate tubes of emotions from Canada, don't get it. We have been getting reports of some bad emotions going around. Stick with your own.
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#49
Head Games

I'm in my head.

Use your head.

Get out of your head.

Don't think.

Think.

So far we have gone through The Groin, The Gut, and The Heart. None of these things will work for you until you master your head.We all want to be headmasters right? To act from your head is to get in touch with your inner Robot. The Computer chip in your head that tells you what you should and shouldn't do for each situation that arises in scenework.
For every scene that you do there are a series of rules that you must follow and a series of rules that you must break in order for that scene to continue to were it wants to go.
In order for your brain to figure out what to do instinctivly you must program your brain, build your inner Robot. How do you build it? Repitition of scenwork, 500 Harolds, Ingest all knowledge, A story a day, Writing exercises, See shows, Socialize, Get away from improvisers, Go to a mall and watch, Read more than one book at a time,Watch comedy and find games in the humor, Love everything.
Getting your brain programed for "Don't Think" takes years of preperation, don't kid yourself, it does. You must be pataint, let the wisdom come to you, if you do the work it will come. Don't force it, to tell yourself I have learned all there is to know is to fail. Every year Baseball players go to spring training to get thier swing back, to get their timing, they go through drill after drill to find their timing. An actor must do the same. You must always go back to spring training, give your self special drills that are for you and your brain only.
Once you feel your brain has become a Robot, then let you Robot go, trust it to do the right thing, you programed it, it will do what you want it to do. When your Robot is running free then you can focus on the other parts of your body. Useing your Heart to emote, useing your Gut to really react, and of coarse useing your Groin to go after what it is that you want in the scene.

I have not programed my Robot to spell.

That is not an excuse.

It is a choice.
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#50
It take ten years to be an overnight success.

Don't count your risiduals.

It is never the job you just got, it is the next one your going to get that matters.

The P.A. getting you coffee today, will be the producer you are trying to get a job from tommorow.

No Audition is to small.

Just because you didn't get the job doesn't mean you did bad.

Never leave the room with your back to the auditioner.

Don't bring copy into the room.

Resilience

Resilience

Know who you are auditioning for. Is it a Casting Asst., or is it the Director. Both are important.

Don't be eager, don't be complacent. Be yourself.

Once you get a job, do the work to perpare.

Get Sleep.

Don't be afraid to ask for a Red Bull.

Always bring a choice of wardrobe. 2 shirts, pants, shoes.

Make friends with the crew, they will make you look good.

Try to remember names.[I am bad with this]

Save phone numbers.

Try to help others, if you are not right for the part you may know someone who is.

The more people at the UCB Theater get jobs, the better the odds for all of us.

That's Community.
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#52
I am what I am

Some people have asked me what I mean by "Being".

I am now going to drop the Quotation marks of Being, so that this becomes less pretentious.

Your Being is who you are onstage. Who you truly are. You are an empty canvas about to be painted on, the picture will be the character you create. To truly do that character justice you must clear that canvas of all preconcieved ideas of what is funny, What you think the audiance thinks is funny.
Have you ever seen a improv performance were someone onstage is trying so hard to be funny that they become less real. Their voice becomes unnatural, their body posture less belivable. Has that person been you? It sure as hell has been me. I have a funny voice that I go to if I want to get a laugh. That was the first 5 years of my improv career.
But if we truly belive in finding the Truth in comedy then you really need to find the truth in yourself. Who you truly are, what it means to be you. IT's time to take a big dip in lake YOU.[A line from Dana Gould]
It is as simple as acting like yourself in your scene work, asking yourself how would you feel if what is happening on stage was happening to you. Which it is, because you are the one on stage. So many times we try so hard to go for the funny that we forgo reality, we see that funny brass ring and we step all over the truth to get to it. Then once you get there it just wasn't as funny as you thought it was.
So how do you become a blank canvas? Become aware of who you are. Try eating an entire meal from begining to end, taking mental notes of everything that you do, you may be suprised at what you do. Sit in front of a mirror for long time and observe. When you perform, tape yourself and watch all your movements. By taping myself I noticed that I have Improv Sway, that is when you are on the back wall not in a scene swaying back and forth trying to get an idea. Try doing a scene with someone during practice were you don't talk or do anything but simply be onstage together, do that for a good 5 min. then start the scene.
These are all minor things to get you into your Being. There is a great book that addresses this called "No Acting Please" by Eric Morris and Joan Hotchkis. It is real actorly, but you can take some things from it that can help you.


Enough acting notes, next post will have a spaceship in it.
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#53
Coaching gig

The Creature has a coaching gig.
She has never worked with this group before.
She is going to an abandoned blimp base on the edge of town.
She never knew it was there.
She walks to hanger # B16.
She swings open the giant doors.

In the middle of the giant hanger is a silver cube. It seems to be at least 20 feet high, but it is hard to tell. The reflection from the silver makes it hard to focus on the Cube for any length of time. It's as if the Cube is changing sizes, breathing. She decides to go up to the Cube she wants to touch it. The walk to the Cube is longer than she expected, she is walking for at least 20 min. before she reaches the Cube. She starts to reach out to the cube, A voice calls out from behind "I wouldn't do that just yet". It is The Shaft Of Light, and some others she is not to familiar with.

SHAFT: That is a Cube Edit. When it is time to go, it will let you know.

SHE: First of all, Hi, havn't seen you around that much lately, how are you doing? And second, What the fuck is this all about? I thought I was coming here to coach a group?

SHAFT: Well it's good to see you too, I've been around, you know just hanging out. And second, Your planet needs you, we had to trick you to coming here, what we are about to tell you is top secret.

SHE: That doesn't explain why you had to trick me into coming here.

SHAFT: It's top secret.

SHE: That still doesn't explain, oh never mind, whats the big problem, and what is a Cube Edit?

SHAFT: We are the Counsel of Improvisation, we are a collection of level 37 improvisers from all over this earthly plane. We are the ones responsable for what is improvised all over this world.

She looks at all of the improvisers closely for the first time, as she looks she realizes that none of them resemble humans. One is a lava lamp floating in the air, another is a scene from the West Wing in a loop, and one looks like a sandwich. She remembers now that when you reach level 37 you leave your corporal form and become whatever it is they have become. She feels sad for them.

SHAFT: We need you to go with the Cube Edit, it will place you where you need to be.

SHE: And just where will that be?

SHAFT: We have been recieving transmissions about 200 parsecs out in space, there seems to be some sort of improvisation going on out there, it is not of this world. We need to know if it is friendly or if it threatens our way.

SHE: Great, why don't one of you go?

The Councel stirs mumbling to itself. The Lava Lamp bounces foward to talk.

LAVA: We can no longer let the Cube Edit take us where we need to be. You see we have to much control, if one of us were to be Edited it would cause a small rift in time and space.

SANDWICH: Plus we are scared shitless of that thing.

LAVA: Okay, you know what? You didn't need to tell her that.

SANDWICH: Well we are.

LAVA: You are such a fucking Sandwich.

SHAFT: PEOPLE!! FOCUS!

SHE: So you want me to go meet this Improv out in space? Is that right? It may be dangerous and you don't want to risk your own lives.

SHAFT: In order for the Cube Edit to work you have to have your sense of discovery, to allow the Cube Edit to take you to where you least expected, when you least expect it. We have no sense of discovery left in our what is left in our bodies. You are in the prime moment of discovery, you are still seeing things for the first time, yet not freaked out by them.

SHE: Well I still have a choice, you can choose to discover, you don't have to have....{THE CUBE EDIT STARTS TO GROW, EXPANDING.}..discovery forced on you, then it really isn't .....{THE CUBE EDIT CONSUMES HER IN MID SENTENCE}

SHAFT: Well that went smoothly.

LAVA: I hope you are right about her, she seems a bit defiant.

SHAFT: That's what I like about her.

SANDWICH: I'm Hungry.

LAVA: Well then eat yourself.

SANDWICH: Fuck you.

LAVA: No, Fuck you.

SHAFT: Both of you just stop it.
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#54
The Cube is moving effortlessly through space.
It is a gleaming streak.
A comet.

Inside the cube, the Creature sits. She doesn't know how long she has been inside the cube. She is unaware of what is on the outside. She has no idea of where it is she is going. The cube is glistening on the inside, the walls seem to change shape, but the more she tries to focus on the walls the harder it becomes to see the walls. It is like looking into a campfire, she gets lost in her own stare.

CREATURE: Fuck!

CUBE: Pardon?

CREATURE: Whaaa.. I didn't know you could talk.

CUBE: Yes I talk, I thought you needed some alone time.

CREATURE: You would think that I would get used to this by now. I have talked to so many wierd things in my life, why not a Cube.

CUBE: Everything talks. You just have to know how to listen.

CREATURE: So tell me something Cube, Whats going on? Why are we going were ever it is we are going. What am I suppoesd to do? Why Me?

CUBE: So many questions. We are going were ever it is we go. You do what you feel you need to do. Why not you?

CREATURE: Fine. Just accept my fate. You are a CUBE EDIT, I guess you will end this all when it needs to end. .........Are you going to edit me?

CUBE: An edit is not the end, it is the begining of something new.

CREATURE: What does that mean?

CUBE: To edit does not mean you are looking to end something, you should never look to end a scene. Scenes never end. We are only looking at a portion of a neverending scene. All that I do when I edit, is to show us another scene.

CREATURE: So in your perception we live in a universe of constant scenes. Scenes that never end, and you just pop in and out of certain scenes when you feel it is needed. What makes a scene so important that you need to be there.

CUBE: I show up when something important has happened and something else important is about to happen somewhere else. I am the connection between two scenes were something changes in someones life. Something that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

CREATURE: So you are saying that you appear once a life changing event has happened, in order to take us to another life changing event?
That seems to put a bunch of pressure on the improviser to create giant life changing moves.

CUBE: I never said anything about giant, sometimes it's the little things that you remember the most. Sometimes that is what a scene is about.

CREATURE: The little things.

CUBE: All things start out little.

CREATURE: Then they get bigger and bigger until they explode into importance.

CUBE Somtimes.

CREATURE: Sometimes?

CUBE: Yes, Sometimes events are little and stay little.

CREATURE: Neverending Little Things.

CUBE: Neverending Scenes.
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#55
Cubedsquared

CREATURE: So this universe is as a bunch of scenic threads running all over the place and you just jump from thread to thread.

CUBE: It is more than just random threads.

CREATURE: You just said that each scene is never ending. Like a thread.

CUBE: It is like a thread, it is not random.

CREATURE: Are you saying that you know where and when all the scenic threads happen? Are you saying that there is predetermination.

CUBE: No. I am saying that the scenic threads are not random. To say that they are random is to say that scenic threads are all over the place with no connections, no direction.

CREATURE: Then how are the threads placed in this universe.

CUBE: They are woven. Tightly. Everything that you see from moment to moment is a scene, followed by another scene, followed by yet another.

CREATURE: Please tell me your not going to use the Carol King "Tapestry"
anology. I wouldn't think a Cube Edit would be into Carol King.

CUBE: First of all, don't underestimate the power of Carol King, second, It is a good analogy. We live in a fabric of scenework that is connected to other scenework. All things are connected and tightly woven together. Some scenes wouldn't exist if other scenes hadn't occured.

CREATURE: How many scenes do I take a part in everyday?

CUBE: Your day is one scene, the people you meet is another, people who are effected by the work you do that day is another, products you buy for yourself creates more scenes for other people,the person you bumped into on the subway started a scene you had no idea you created. Just by existing you are creating scenwork for hundreds everyday.

CREATURE: I feel like I need to something, be better, yes and more.

CUBE: Scenes will happen no matter what you do, Just exist.

CREATURE: Is ther any way to control the scenes?

CUBE: Knowledge is control, you can't change events. But you can know what is happening. To know is to accept, the more you accept the more you know.

CREATURE: If I know enough can I stop bullets?

CUBE: This is not the Matrix.

CREATURE: Too Bad.
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#56
The Cube is gleaming across the universe on it's way to the next scene.
As it goes by, it leaves little sparks.
Like a muffler on the pavement.
The sparks hang in space like stars falling in the night sky.
One of the sparks gently falls towards a little planet.
On the little planet is a Figure in a long blue cape.
The little planet can barely hold this person.
The planet is a pedestal.
The spark lands on the tip of a cigarette.
The lone Figure lights his cigarette with the spark.
The Figure blows out smoke.
The smoke becomes a canoe.
The lone Figure gets in the canoe.
The canoe begins to drift.

THE FIGURE: Hello, I'm TV's Billy Merritt. You may have seen me in some early episodes of Emergancy 51, Rockford Files, and My favorite, Love Amercan Stlye. I just thought that I would make an appearance in this journal to let you all know that it will be all right. What will be all right you may ask? You will be all right. You may feel that you are not doing the work you wish you could at this moment. Maybe it is becuase of money, maybe it is becase your skill level isn't there yet, maybe it is becase other people think you skill level isn't there yet. There are a Thousand Reasons why you are not where you want to be. I suggest that you try not to focus on the "Thousand Reasons". Instead I suggest you enjoy the ride. Like this Canoe , in Space, it's made out of smoke, this is awesome.
The key to improvisation is patience. You will not learn everything in a year, two years, 10 years. You will never learn all there is to know, once you realize that, it becomes easier to enjoy the ride. Enjoying the ride shows patience, patience is the key.
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#57
The smoke canoe holding TV's Billy Merritt drifts in space.
It reaches landfall.
It is a land made of Leggos.
The Leggos are shaped to look like Paris.
TV's Billy Merritt gets out of the canoe and walks onto Leggo Paris.
TV's Billy Merritt finds a cafe and has a seat.
Sitting across from TV's Billy Merritt is Molier,french playwrite and actor.
To his left is Kurt Weil and Bertolt Brecht, they are conjoined at the head.To TV's Billy Merritt's left is Stalin. Stalin has a glass box, in the box is a tiny Miesner. Tiny Miesner is screaming in repitition "let me out ".
Stalin hands the tiny Miesner to TV's Billy Merritt.
TV's Billy Merritt takes the Tiny Miesner and leaves.

MOLIER:Well me o my I just must Say.
I do not think that gentleman did Pay.

BRECHT/WEIL: Why would he pay? We live in a society were we pay every day.

STALIN:I gots the Urge to Purge.

edit
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#58
We all need a tiny Miesner.
Keep him in a box.
When you don't like were the scene is going.
Let him out.

I don't know if I have said this in this journal yet but I feel it needs to be repeated.
You can only improvise so far.
Once you get to that point, start acting.
I'm not talking about scene to scene. [Although it wouldn't hurt]
I am talking about your development as a performer.
You take all the improv classes you can stand, yet you feel that you just arn't getting it.You know all the basic rules, yet you don't feel truthful onstage. You don't feel natural.
Now is the time to take acting classes, read acting books.
Take in as many acting styles and techniques as you can.
Once you have done that re-apply your improvisation over those techniques.
Layers. Like a big Lasagna.
if you have an acting background already and you are taking improv yet you have the same problems, go back to those books, you will see something different in them.
At this time I am rereading a few of my books and I am finding totally different meanings. It's blowing me away that I didn't see these things 10 years ago when I first read them.
But then again I did smoke a lot of pot back then.
Now I only smoke a little bit of pot.
mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....Lasagna.
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#59
The Pirate, The Robot, and the Ninja

Attack your scene like a Pirate:

Sail along side of the scene then at the right time swing aboard. Land on the deck of the scene giving a harty YARRRrrrrr. Pull out your sword and initiate. Hack away at denial with vicious postivity. Bath yourself in the blood of good scenework. Look a "transaction" scene in the eye and watch it quake in it's boots, then run it through. Rape an "argument" scene, and pilage a "teaching" scene. Then when it is all done collect your booty. Look for your next victim.


Analize your scene like a Robot:

You are Robot. You are machine. You maintain system integrety. You look for the unusual in the situation given you. You lock onto what is different in the situation. You process. You apply the IF-THAT-THEN-WHAT-ELSE program. You build. You create. You move on to the next situation. You go from situation to situation adding and deleting what is needed to make the system run smoothly. When complete you collect Booty.


You edit like a Ninja:

You are one with the wall. No one can see you. You are silent. You are death. You watch from your perch waiting for your victim.Your victim is the scene. In order for you to kill the scene you must understand the scene. Become one with the scene. When the scene leasts expects it, you ride in on the winds of change. Silently cutting the throats of all in the scene. Before the scene knows what happend, they all fall away. Without the death of that scene a new scene can never grow, you must do what you do so that all may benefit. You must keep the balance. Without you there would be chaos. You wait silently for your next victim. You collect your booty.


We do this all for the Booty.
 

Billy Merritt

Stay on the floor!
#60
Every now and then you need to check yourself.
Ask yourself if you are doing what you want to be doing.
Are you having fun?
Are the sacrifices that you have made worth what you are doing now?
Is there somthing else you would rather be doing?

I have sacrificed more than I should of to be here, marriage, finances, my dogs.[she took the dogs]
But I am happy.
I feel truthful.
I can't wait to get onstage every week.
The only time I am sad is when I know the show is over.
I try to imagine what my life would be like without improv and New York.
I can't.
There was a time when I could, but not now, I'm in to deep.
And that is good.

So ask yourself every now and then, is this right for me.
If you answer yourself truthfully,
you will be able to commit harder,
Jump farther,
Run faster than a horse,
And find the game.
 
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