Tonight was the first class of Continuing Improv – Ensemble. I arrived at the Second City training centre about a half hour early, hoping to catch a glimpse of any of my former classmates. To my surprise, none of their names were on the class list. It was a completely new slate for me.
I paced around a bit, and had a conversation with another guy named Kevin who was taking the Writing I class. I asked him about the class and what he thought of it. Honestly, he felt it was a good class if writing is your thing, but unfortunately for him that appears to not be the case. He only took it because it was the only remedial class offered to Level B, which is where he is at. He knows how to write, but felt that he just didn’t do funny very well. I suggested he stick with it though, and look to his classmates for the funny. “Be the straightman”, I told him. The funny comes later.
He then asked me about the Conservatory auditions, and I told him the sordid story I have touched on in my earlier blogs.
Class was starting though, so I bid him farewell and joined the rest of my new group. When Sandy read off the list, I did discover that one of my Level E classmates would (or should) be joining us. Matt Williamson, who had joined us in Level D, and who is just full of intense ideas and physical humour. For some reason he was a no show, however.
The rest of the class contained a couple faces I have met in my travels during make-up classes, but for the most part it was the first time I had worked with the bunch. It almost feels like starting over, just I have more skills to start with. Should be fun.
One of the skits I created with another student named Eric worked incredibly well, but then I began to break the cardinal rule that I have for some reason been doing for the last couple levels too often. I broke the fourth wall. I found myself laughing during the bit. I have no idea where this is coming from. For years I have worked so hard on remaining in character and not breaking up, but for some reason certain scenarios in improv just crack me up so much that it is a constant struggle to stay in the scene. I will work on that.
I’m not the only one who struggled, though. Everybody has something they need to work on. It is a class, afterall, and hopefully we can all learn together about strengthening our weakpoints. I plan on working extra hard to solidify my own.
Homework for this week is to watch some Film Noir, as that will be next week’s genre. Gotta run to the video store and pick up some of the classics. The Maltese Falcon. and D.O.A. are good picks. Maybe even Bladerunner. Gonna get me some Bogart’s and Lorre’s and sit down with a lovely dame for a drink and a flick. Hopefully she won’t try to kill me with an ice pick.
Oh, and as to the ideas part…I have a few short story ideas I’d love to write. Want to do them tonight. But if I did, the dame really will kill me when I am unable to get up for work tomorrow. So, I shall file them away until tomorrow.