Thursday, 7 October 2010

8-Bit Improv

So far this blog has been entirely about cooking and crafting so it's probably time to talk improv. I've been doing improv since college and started actually getting paid to perform at bars and the like while I was in China for the last two years. Before I even got back to the US I was looking for improv groups back home so that I could keep it up. Luckily for me, Sea Tea Improv (get it?) held auditions almost immediately after I moved home and I got in. My first show at the Brew Ha Ha comedy club with them was last month, the next one is on Halloween. Spooky.

Today I wanted to mention a game we practiced on Tuesday because it was unlike pretty much any game I had played before. I am 98% sure that one of the Sea Tea peeps, Joe, actually invented this game. It's a bit hard to get your head around, but it's a really interesting concept if you think about it.

His idea is that you treat the stage as though it is the entire universe. And this universe, just like in an 8-bit video game, is forever repeating. So if I walk off the stage on the right, I should end up walking back on the stage on the left without any delay and having crossed no space in between.

Got it?

Now, of course there is no way for me to actually walk off the stage in one direction and instantaneously appear on the other side. That's why we work as a team. If I walk off one side, another actor walks comes on the other side and becomes my character. If I walk off in the middle of the sentence, they should come on and finish it. If I walked off backwards/sideways/with both hands in the air, they should be walking on with the same orientation. We even tried to more complex stuff last night, like reaching offstage so that your partner had to be your arms/head/whatever.

It was a bit of a challenge, but really fun and interesting. It's definitely a game where you need to have a bit of group mind going on so you can almost anticipate what your partner will do and react immediately.

If people want to check Sea Tea out, the next performance is at the Southington Apple Fest this Saturday, and the next Sea Tea show is at the Brew Ha Ha in Hartford on Halloweeeeeeeen.

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