So last week I attended my first Improv Class at Dad’s Garage with a group of my fellow TBS employees and this week was the second (of eight) classes before our “graduation” performance.
For starters we learned that one member of the group has chosen not to attend the class, which sucks because I feel as though she would have added something to the group dynamic.
Second, we learned that our “graduation” performance is indeed on August 8. Still no word on whether or not non-Turner folks can attend, but I’ll find out soon.
Lastly, we got to do more thematic, narrowly-defined exercises building off the groundwork rules we learned last week. Specifically, we got to play a game called “Expert” where we individually played the role of a particular expert, alone on stage, talking and pontificating for 90 seconds straight. Harder than it sounds.
My “expert” persona was a lifelong elevator operator for the Four Seasons hotel in New York. I played him as an aging, meandering lech with a melange of Brooklyn and Bronx accents.
Not that it was “easy” but I really got into the character and could have talked for an additional 90 seconds I was having so much fun.
That game led nicely into “That’s right, Bob!” which was basically a two-person version of the “Expert” game with some hilarious outcomes.
Next week is billed as the first class where we’ll be working on situations, games and scenes that we’d actually perform in front of an audience. It should be a blast.
The best part of the whole experience thus far has been the passion, talent and intensity of the people involved. The instructor, Chris, will explain a concept once and then we’re off and running. He’s not forced to give much criticism or direction because we get the concepts and completely embrace the format.
It’s just fun to see my co-workers taking such risks and working so hard at something like this. Hopefully it’ll pay dividends on-stage as well as in the office.