For the better part of 2005, I participated in a weekly Sunday morning workshop at Second City (9am on Sundays, my friends, a true sign of commitment) led by Micheal Gellman. The plan was to work with Micheal on his theories of scenario one-act improvisation and put them into a show. All the while, our rehearsals and shows were documented and then shaped into a book by Mary Scruggs. The book is modeled after Stanislavsky's An Actor Prepares where all the characters in the book are fictionalized, but based on real events in classes and rehearsals. I don't expect to pick up Micheal's book and be able to recognize myself in it.
As an improviser, this experience was very beneficial. Even after all the training I have had, and after a decade of teaching improvisation, I still had a thing or two I could learn. One of the most important things I learned was what it really meant to explore the silence. Not just silence, "the" silence. I used to think it meant to keep your mouth shut until you think of the next thing to say. With Micheal, I learned it's about leaning into the moment and the emotional life of your character. It's an opportunity to forward the scene without words, purely through emotion and interaction. Pretty cool.
Also through this workshop I met Blaine Swen, which led to my all too in-frequent performances with The Improvised Shakespeare Company and through the stage manager, I met my fiancee, Julie. Needless to say, I hold my experience with this workshop in high regard.
The book is out and there will be a book signing today.
"Process: An Improvisers Journey", - today - Wednesday January 30 - from 5:30pm - 7:00pm at the Second City ETC. Theater in Chicago, IL.
It's free. I hope you can make it. Mary and Micheal will be there along with several of the workshop participants, like me.
Gellman even has a MySpace page about it! That's like your grandfather wearing an iPod! Please visit him. It's rather sad. His only friend is that Tom guy.
This Saturday, Robowriter fans! 1pm - 3pm at Gorilla Tango, 1919 North Milwaukee. $5. Bring whatever scenes you are working on or show up to laugh and be inspired.
ONE MESSAGE. LOUD AND CLEAR.
An addendum to yesterday's post. On Tuesday, March 4th, if you don't have a blog, but still want to participate, use the comment sections of your favorite blogs to spread the cyber shout - IMPEACH BUSH NOW!
Also, Don Hall and I are working on putting up another edition of The Nod that night to cap off the day.
THE BS NEWS QUIZ OF THE DAY
Yesterday, I asked...
"A travel agency in Germany is offering a flight where all the passengers have the option to be what?"
Guess this was an easy one - no one bought into the answers "Drunk out of their minds,""Available for networking," or "A member of the Mile High Club"
100% got it right with "Naked as jay birds"
According to Reuters, German nudists will be able to start their holidays early by stripping off on the plane if they take up a new offer from an eastern German travel firm. Travel agency OssiUrlaub.de said it would start taking bookings for a trial nudist day trip from the eastern German town of Erfurt to the popular Baltic Sea resort of Usedom. One thing I have observed about nudists, they are made up of the people you least want to ever see naked. It would be my luck on this flight to be wedged in between two hefty guys whose naked rolls of flab spill over into my space.