Fourth week, third day of class: songwriting workshop and more

Today’s class began with an interesting exercise. After our normal warmup, Sam had us go to the middle of the circle and say our favorite movie. If someone had that same favorite movie, you were “movie pals.” Each pair was then tasked with condensing the movie plot into 5 plot points or “beats.” We had two minutes to discuss how we’d split it up and then another two minutes to perform the full movie. I was doing Pride and Prejudice while others did movies like Nacho Libre, The Dark Knight, Forrest Gump, and more. The exercise was interesting but also hard, depending on the movie and its simplicity. Next, we used our beat sheets from the homework to re-improvise the scenes we chose. Seeing the way the scenes developed as they were re-improvised was super cool.

In writing, we put our show together. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, our class was split into groups of three or four and each group was assigned to a part of the show. We had relationship scenes, extended blackouts, blackouts, goofy scenes, and an audience participation scene. All the scenes were centered around the themes of corrupt leaders, big personalities, and alternative history. Our mini revue was super fun to see performed. Anthony gave great notes and feedback too.

The second half of class was a songwriting workshop with Mary, a local music director. We broke down the structures and tips for writing a comedic song and even wrote a mini song with the class. We discussed the differences between a direct and a satirical approach when writing the song and how your topic is impacted by that fact. For homework, Anthony asked us all to write a song. Scary!! I wrote one about people being awkward in social situations, but that the solution is to return the question you’re being asked. We shall see how it is received!

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