Saturday 2 March 2013

In the Beginning

SO short form improvisation has come to Guernsey! Short Form Improvisation, you say, what's that? The most succinct way most people describe it is, 'Have you seen Whose line is it anyway?' But I think that's not really true. Yes what they show on telly is the bare bones of short form with games and rules but it's played out by mainly stand-ups who try fit as many sound bits and gags into their two minute sketches as they can. Not an awful lot of working together to create a story.

So the improv form I know from playing it for over 17 years is about story and character led improvisation. That's not to say it's not completely hysterical most of the time but it is a different skill to the stand-up style on 'who's line'.

The first course in Guernsey ran last year with 8 people coming to the full length course over 10 sessions and a sold out performance at the end. I was so proud of the first brave improbables. I always get the fear when I run these things that they won't get it, that they'll suddenly stop creating as a team, forget to listen and things will fall apart. But they didn't, every single person on that stage rocked! I love it. I loved the stories and the characters but most of all I loved watching them get it!

And now they are hooked so I guess they can join me in my improv addiction. Because it is addictive for the players and the audience. This insane bubble of creativity that is made, just once, in that moment and never repeated.

It's been so long since my first time getting up and doing it in front an audience for the first time but even then I was fresh out of uni and filled with the naive invincibility of youth so I don't remember being that scared about it. But I do remember the addiction hit and the withdrawal when I went on a break travelling for two years and didn't get to play twice a week.

So the only way I'll get to be playing again now is to spread the contagion and teach some more people to play.

Play Play Play!

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