I had a queston about an improv form I've heard mentioned a few times but never really explained to me. I tried searching around the internets and the IRC and couldn't find much.
Could somebody speak on Tragedy a bit? I'm familiar with it in the greek/dramatic sense but not how it applies to improv. Is it a longform format, like a Deconstruction or a Harold or simply a style, like Surreal or Grotesque? It seems to imply non-comedy, is that the case. Is it about "dark comedy" or straight drama?
I was with Harsh, and the concept was brilliant. In spite of itself, the performance tends to skew towards dark comedy - however I think the idea and theme of exploring dark subjects will inevitably let comedy leak in. i really enjoyed the challenge of using the realm of the unpleasant, frightening and disturbing subjects to inform my performance. The folks on this team were, by and large, fantastic actors as well which I think helped strengthen the shows and perhaps avoid the easy laugh.
Ari Voukydis was the brainybrainchild behind this. He had also performed back in the day a form called "black sunday" (I believe, correct me if I'm wrong) which was a similar concept.
The idea or goal with "organic" forms is that every transition, scene, discovery comes from a place of honest discovery, surprising yourself as the performer rather than initiating with a premise, game, scene in mind.
This can happen through a variety of different ways. Many groups do in fact accomplish this through group sound and movement. Sometimes you will see an a team take a suggestion and try to embody that idea with a stage picture. Other groups may just use the suggestion to create huge character choices up top which then can morph into something/anything else for another scene (watch 4Track at the Magnet sometime). Other teams play sort of a follow the follower game at the start to generate ideas for the rest of the show. It is much more than just the opening though. In an organic, one shouldn't really be thinking about what is going to happen or what should happen. Instead (as hippy dippy as it sounds) you should only be moved and inspired by what is already happening on stage.
For example, someone might feel inspired to transition to a new scene by grabbing a line of dialog and repeating it quickly until it becomes a new line entirely (and thus a new scene). Or start a new scene by using the players of previous scenes as objects rather than people. Or weave in and out of scenes previously established merely by recognizing the part of the stage you are standing in.
Organics can can sometimes have a bad rep just because if you see one done badly you will see a group of performers flailing around like monkies for 10 minutes with no purpose. If done well though everything should feel seamless an uninterrupted. Bad organics suffer from no one becoming inspired enough to take the reigns and make a choice in the moment. It also requires that a group shares a common stage vocabulary, communication and group mind so that quick transitions are perceived by everyone on stage. It can be a very difficult form to master but at the same time it has limitless potential cause you can do anything you want with no restrictions - barring your teammates are on the same page with it.
There is a ton more to say about organics I'm sure but I'm at work and I should probably get back to working and I'm sure someone will give some additional input.
Organic improv can also refer, broader, to discovering the "form" or "structure" of the show as you go along. So, not only using organic edits, but also discovering what kind of show (i.e. slow paced, quick paced, full of connections, more deconstruction-y, truthful, etc etc anything) is happening, and making moves to cement that. Just like you pick up on and repeat patterns within a scene to cement moves, you cement structural patterns across teh show by repeating structural moves or playing off them.
Does anyone have the time or inclination to type out what I am *sure* is bound to be a long post, and give paint a picture? Whether witnessed or particpated in, matters not... I am just not getting more than an inkling of this.
Several days ago, I happened upon a web site that listed improv games, exercises, warm-ups, forms, etc. Each item was tagged with subjects like status, team-building, relationships, etc., depending on what you wanted to work on. One cool feature of the site was a link that would let you create your own custom improv WORKSHOP based on your specific needs or problems to be addressed.
I have been searching futilely for this site again. I'm trying to find that "Generate a workshop" or "Build a workshop" link or button, but I can't find the site again and it's making me crazy!
Does anyone know what I am talking about? What is the website with the "Make a workshop" link?
"Generate a workshop" or "Build a workshop" link or button
I don't see an automated "Generate a workshop" or "Build a workshop" link or button on that site. The categories are very similar, but the site I saw had a custom "Make workshop" link or button based on what you wanted to work on.
"Generate a workshop" or "Build a workshop" link or button
That must be it, Mike, as it is the closest thing to what I am remembering. I could be wrong, but in my memory, you could tell the generator what skill you wanted to work on, then it would generate a workshop for you based upon that. But the link you posted is so close to that, it must be right, while my memory is probably faulty.
I hope no one thinks me an ass for saying this, but, god I love this thread!
I haven't read the whole thing, top to bottom, in almost two years. So much good information in here, so many descriptions, so many viewpoints.
It is so cool reading it all at once, long after it was written. There are things in here that I'd forgotten about, already, and things that, though well-described (to someone who had at least a basic knowledge, i.e. knew shitloads more than me), full comprehension simply eluded me at the time. I don't know if I was trying too hard to understand, originally, or if I picked up more than I realized by lurking all over the boards over time and it finally just clicked, or because reading straight through without the pauses to wait for answers made the difference, but a few things just jelled for me. So freaking awesome.
Did I ever remember to thank y'all for all of this? Not just the answerers, either, but every person who jumped in and asked questions I hadn't thought to ask or didn't know to ask, too. Oh, man... thank you. All of you. So much. :love:
I am new to the forums and I have just been able to skim through this thread. But I love it. It is chock full of good knowledge and asking questions is the only way we continue to learn. Thank you Gypsy for starting the thread.