monoscene

Is there a danger in catering an indie team’s form to what works best in rehearsals? I’m on a team that practices weekly, and we happened to try a monoscene in a session and it generally went better than the montages the group was originally doing - the hesitancy to edit and initiate (two of our biggest issues) were now non-factors, given the method of the form. The only thing is, we’re all 401 level students - are we avoiding problems that need to be confronted in doing monoscenes instead?

Not at all! Cater your form to your strengths. Your indie team is your chance to grow as a group and do what’s best for you.

There’s this weird tendency in improv to hamstring ourselves - either by running away from our natural impulses, sticking with coaches who insist on pulling us in an undesirable direction, or by just forcing a lot of headiness for no real reason - and I don’t get it and would love to stamp that out.

Anyway, it’s interesting because you still have to initiate and edit in a Monoscene. It’s just a slightly different way of molding the clay. (See Billy Merritt’s post on the Monoscene) When you master that, you could see how it works in every other form.

I would say it’s wise, however, to be aware of your initiating/editing issues in class or a practice group. Or, maybe, spend a group rehearsal just focusing on those skills.

But by all means, if the Monoscene feels good/right/fun/natural for your group, then keep exploring it!

(And if this was asked by someone I coached on Monday, you know what I’m talking about and you’re great. If you’re not in that group, I’d love to do a workshop on this subject.)

Ask improv-is-easy a question!

No One Here Wants To Be Funny?

One of my favorite moments at an improv workshop was one that Matt Besser taught in the summer of 2005, when he reminded us that it was okay to want to be funny.

It was in the UCB offices which at that time were three rooms over the Malibu Diner on 23rd street. The main office, where the artistic director and school supervisor and others sat, were in the middle. There were classrooms on either side to the north and south. The northern classroom stored all the costumes used for the UCB’s sketch show and had a cot where Besser would sometimes crash when he was in town from LA, like he was at this time. The southern room was smaller, a bit neater, and had what I remember as about fourteen radiators which pumped full blast year round including the middle of July. We were in that one.

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