Fourth week, fourth day of class: musical improv is fun… sometimes!

Today began with some more acting out of people’s beat sheets. I was in one scene that was about Betsy Ross being upset at the use of her flag design on merchandise in Target. The Betsy character was definitely the star of the scene, so it was hard to contribute. I still had fun though. We then discussed types of blackouts, including the ones that are just goofy as well as paradigm shifts. Sam had us line up in two lines. One line would step out and start doing a physical action while the second line would act on the paradigm shift, totally changing the perspective of the scene. This was super fun and a great exercise to developing short, funny scenes.

The second half of class was a musical improv workshop with a woman named Amanda. She had us go up in groups of four and start a scene. When someone would say something that sounded like it could be sung, she’d repeat it and say “Sing it!” The person would then do a short solo song about whatever they had just mentioned. This game was great. We then stood all around a piano and started improvising short songs, one sentence at a time. We also practiced singing melodies as a group, which was fun.

In writing, we all performed our songs, which was very fun. Everyone wrote completely different types of songs. From different genres to different level of seriousness, etc. I performed mine, which was about returning the question when someone asks you something. I felt silly, but I think it ended up being pretty fun. For the rest of class, we watched clips from songs of MainStage and ETC shows in Second City. They were either satirical, straight-up funny, or dark. Oftentimes, actors will have big theatre or musical theatre backgrounds when they get into sketch and I enjoy seeing those connections. We then started watching scenes that included time travel or that took place in a certain era. For our homework, Anthony had us write a sketch that took place in a certain era but had a clear satirical point of view. I wanted my sketch to have the point of view that social media is silly, but it represents us to the future on the internet. We shall see!

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