Yesterday was inspiration day. It started with me attending Tim Redmondâ€™s workshop Words, Words, Beautiful Words. Essentially, it was an impro workshop using books and authors as inspiration and reference to create, colour, inform and even base scenes and formats on. It was pretty mind boggling for me and I was reminded of that crazy head opening feeling of a class at drama school. I loved the work; mainly watching others make interesting choices. I felt I had passionately over committed to my chosen book and author, which left me waging a war of honour on their behalf. I think I might have had more crazy fun if I had held them a little less preciously, and thatâ€™s whatâ€™s so hard about trying to fit all this stuff into a 3 hour workshop.
One of the best things about being in a workshop environment is watching others work, both at facilitating and participating. Itâ€™s a very levelling experience, and it reinforces all the philosophies of impro. Omigodz Iâ€™ve become an impro evangelist. Not like I wasnâ€™t before, only now I have no idea who I am going to do all this stuff to, with and for when I get home.
Then, we saw two great formats of impro shows. First up was Sink or Swim, in which four pairs play out scenes. At the end of the first round of scenes the players pitch what could happen in a future scene and the audience votes to lose one of the pairs. So on, until the last pairâ€™s resolution happens, with the help of the others. Last nightâ€™s swimmers were the Austenesque Matilda and Flora and the intimate details of their period lives (although I so badly wanted to see the stalked backpacker and her German friend in six different countries).
After interval we saw show from nothing. Exactly that; a few random scenes, some following on, some not, to build an evening of magnificent impro entertainment. I loved it. I loved the scenes with poor Martin, and his crazy wife, friend and boss. I loved the weird dance scene between the two French crazies. And I loved the relationship and marriage scenes that were played out by Sophia the messenger.
Once again this week I have been delighted, inspired, challenged and made so jealous. I love this shit.