Doesn’t that look like a typical workshop? I hadn’t yet posted a group shot from the warm-up exercises, but this one is pretty typical. Pictured here are only two of the three groups telling one-word stories. The small circle in the background consists of (clockwise from left) Jim, Lorien, Sharon, Aydin, Justin, Justine, Carol, and Sol. The foreground circle has Scott, Allegra, Li-At, Tony, Ben (barely visible), Mike, Dustin, and Marika.
Andy, Scott, and Mike are fishermen in a game of Coundown. They are first given a minute to create a scene, then they have to replay the scene in 30 seconds, then 15 seconds, 7 seconds, and finally 3 seconds. It’s a great exercise for learning about the beats of a scene, and identifying the critical parts of a story. By the time the 3 second scene happens, you’ve pared the story down to the critical 3 beats. This scene also had my favorite quote of the night, Scott saying “those fucking poissons“.
Here, Ben, Allegra, and Mike are superheroes in a Remote Control scene. This is another game that focuses on the beats of a scene. The director controls the scene with a ‘remote control’, calling out the commands reverse, fast-forward, slow, pause, etc. The players need to keep track of the beats so that they can go back through them on command.
Kathy, Marika, and Jim are playing another scene of Remote Control. Since I was directing with the remote, I didn’t keep notes on the scenes, and I don’t remember the setup for this one. If someone does remember, please add a comment.
This is another Remote Control scene with Tristan, Li-At, and Scott. I also don’t remember the setup for this one, for the same reason. For everyone who has wondered why I take so many notes during the workshop, this is the reason.
Mark (kneeling), Andre, and David are also in a Remote Control scene. Mark was playing a horse, so I believe this scene was about veterinarians (?). I do remember that Andre had to slap Mark on the butt a lot. It’s those physical beats which are nice to replay over and over again. Some strong lines (like Scott’s “fucking poissons”) also make for easily identified beats.
Another Remote Control scene with Aydin, Andy, and Angela and I don’t remember the setup. So, why did all the reasonable pictures have to come from that exercise. Luckily everyone was brilliant.
Carol, Justin, and Lorien are in this (of course) Remote Control scene. This was Carol’s first time at our workshop although she’s done some improv in the past. Lorien has returned for her second class, which is a good sign, and Justin is returning after his triumphant first performance in a Stand Up comedy show.
Finally, a Remote Control scene where I remember the setup (because I’m in it). Justine, Alan (kneeling), and CJ are in a Remote Control scene about headhunters. At this moment, CJ is about to cut off my head in retribution for my cutting off his neighbor’s head (nothing but high-concept comedy). Hey, this is the second shot of someone on their knees! Who’s taking these pictures (or why do we feel the need to get on our knees in class)?
This is a basic Irish Drinking Song with Li-At being blocked by my arm, Kathy, Tristan, Ben, Allegra, Tony, and Sol singing their hearts out. Do I remember the topic? No. If you remember (or were in) any of these scenes, please leave comments!
There were some fine head shots taken just after the class ended. Andy had brought a set of wigs but they didn’t get used during the class. On the left, Kathy and Andy in their best 60’s rock album pose, and on the right, Mike is in his 80’s, metal pose.
And pictured here, for the first time, the post workshop after-glow.