Improvisation and the Theatre
On one of our many library outings here at work I recently pciked up the book Impro by Keith Johnstone. It's a book I've known about for a while but have never gotten around to reading. I'm sure glad I picked it up that day because ever since then it's been hard to put down, and I'm almost through half of it in only a few days. I have been reading it inbetween renders here at work.
The book goes into detail about status transations and how to negotiate your way through an improvised scene, basically using all the skills in raising or lowering your status as you've learned all your life. it has totally exposed all the ways we manipulate others and ourselves in order to gain attention and sympathy in life. It has been said that all acting scenes are a negotiation, and if this is so all negotiations are ones of status. A status negotiation can be as simple as someone staring as another looks away, all the way to a long drawn out argument where the high status bounces from one to another, with alternate uses of one raising their own status to lowering their adversaries.
The book is coming at the right time for me since I am due to begin classes at BANG! improv studio. I am super excited to take another improv class, I had taken one this summer in NYC at the Upright Citizen's Brigade, and it was so fun. Mostly when you are at an improv class you are being entertained while learning acting and improv techniques and also entertaining your classmates. I remember laughing for 3 hours straight. The final class performance was a day I was not laughing though, I was terrified, but the performance went off without a hitch and then we all went to karaoke together which was so much fun.
Improv is great for animators. You learn about character development, how to develop a story, working and collaborating with others while keeping your mind totally open to every possibility. And you'll probably find out you're funnier thatn you thought. : )