Thursday, January 14, 2010

Week 52, Day 361 - "Your New Improv Coach"

“Your New Improv Coach”

Written by Joe Janes


361 of 365


Crystal Dee, 30s

(Lights up on Crystal Dee, a very energetic woman a nice blouse and old sweatpants.)


Is everybody here? Is this everybody?...Okay. Okay. Cool. We’ll, get started. How’s everybody doing?...I said, “How’s everybody doing, yo?”... That’s better. I knew you could do it. My name is Crystal Dee. I’m going to be your new improv coach. Good looking team. Lots of hotties and studs. Tonight, you’re just checking me out, as a coach, get your mind out of the gutter. Hopefully, we hit it off and we get to do this more often. Right? Right….You might have seen me around town. I’m on several improv teams. Shut The Chuckle Up, Mr. Peepers and Unnatural Gas. There are other teams I coach. You’ve probably heard of Jest in Show and Improvised Kafka. I also teach and am an ensemble member over at Comedy Olympians – the home of pun and games.

But enough about me. Let’s do some improv, yeah? Everybody up on your feet. Stand on up. Good, good, good. Come on, now. Everybody. Stretch. Everybody stretch. Shake out your arms and your legs. Take a deep breath. Let it out. Give yourself a big old hug. A big squeeze. This is a friendly ol’ hug. Keep it clean. (She is hugging herself) Hug and hug and hug. (She realizes she may have been doing this too long.) Okay, break it up or get a room with yourself.

Now, then… Two people up. Come on, don’t be shy. Two people up. You and you. (She gets two audience volunteers up and on the stage. A man and a woman.) What are your names? (They respond.) Cool. Cool. The guy’s are pretty hot in this group. And you’re pretty, too. How long have you been in improv? (She cuts the woman off.) I’ve been doing this ten years. Ten years. Took my first class from improv guru Ed Garza. Do you know who Ed Garza is? Well, you should. Big lesson, here. Know your roots, people. Ed Garza, Jim Belushi, Viola Spelling. Okay, you are a couple and you are decorating your condo for a “Lost” premiere watching party. Okay – and go!... (They, through Crystal’s side coaching, if need be, begin an improvised scene.) …Good, good, keep going. His name is Benji. Call him Benji… Good, good, you guys rock, keep going….Okay, uh, woman-girl, as Benji inflates the palm tree balloon – inflate a palm tree balloon – object work, people – as he does that, you find a woman’s phone number written on a napkin in lipstick in his jacket pocket. It’s hanging on the door. Make it look natural. (She side coaches them through this action.) Okay, okay, woman-girl, you find the number, it has lipstick on it, what’s your reaction? …Class, what would you do? .. Okay, those choices are all wrong. If you get angry, he’ll leave and you’ll have all your friends coming over for a party and have to explain why your live-in boyfriend isn’t there. And you ruin the “Lost” premiere by wailing all the way through it. Especially when Sawyer comes on. So, it’s improv, discover another reaction to have other than anger and confrontation. Go… (She side coaches the woman through reacting to the note and squashes all the woman’s choices.) Look. Look. It’s a class. You’re new, you’re green. It’s a process (pronounced proh-cess). But let me show you what a more experienced improviser would do. Stand over there. (She places the woman to the side of the stage.) Keep blowing up that palm tree, Benji!... So, I’m putting up a welcome sign near the door and, oh, no, I knocked Benji’s jacket down off the coat rack… See, natural… I pick up the jacket and dust it off, accidentally slip my hand in one of the pockets and what’s this?… I see the note. Benji doesn’t see me see the note. I look at it. I read it. I process my emotions about it. Anger? Hurt?... All very obvious choices. Never go with the obvious choice. The right choice is fear and suppression. I shove the napkin back into his pocket, put the jacket on the hook, turn and smile at Benji…. See, it’s all about relationship. We’re decorating but it’s not about decorating, it’s about relationship. I march over to Benji and knock the palm tree out of his mouth, grab him firmly by the boobs and kiss him. (She does this. If the actress doesn’t think a kiss would work here with the volunteer, she can substitute “nuzzle.” And she should nuzzle the hell out of him.) Benji looks in my eyes and says, “I love you.” (She waits for the volunteer to say, “I love you.”) And “I will never, ever, leave you, Crystal.” (She waits/coaches him through that.) And…scene.

Good job, you two. Good job. So much potential. Have a seat. Great scene. I think this is going to work out. Hey, one last group thing. Everybody back on your feet. Stand up. Hands in. Come on. Hands in. (She sticks her hand out and tries to the best of her ability to do a “hands in” with the audience.) Crystal rocks on three. One-two-three- Crystal rocks! Whoo! I’m hitting the bar across the street. See you over there? I’ll even let you buy me a drink. Okay. Okay. See you over there. Make sure Benji goes!



Nat Topping said...

I would pay $40 a ticket to see Improvised Kafka. This is not an exaggeration.

Joe Janes said...

I was torn between Improvised Kafka and Improvised Dostoyevski. I also thought Improvised Whose Line Is It Anyway? had potential. I will take your $40 and save you a trip to The Playground.

Chris Othic said...

Everyone knows Improvised Tolstoy is the way to go.

Aly said...

Four more to go