April 8, 2012
Last week, my drama class worked with the improv group Nose2Nose. The two members, Neil and Tim, taught us many activities which not only helped us in improv but will help us in many areas of drama.
“No Man’s Object” is where there are two improvisers who work together to think of many different ways of creating different uses for a random object. The best way to do this exercise is about trying to make the audience interested in your work by doing it for them and also acting as if your object’s use is good. This particular exercise will help directors and actors find the right props to use in plays, and it helps the actors figure out what their character would be holding in a particular scene and how the way they hold it, helps build the character and scene. This also helps actors learn how to cooperate, and helps actors think on their feet if a prop is misplaced or mishandled.
“Half/Half” is a game where there are two improvisers on different sides of the stage, and without interacting with each other, have to outact the other and make the audience focus more on them. This game taught me that being calm and using little movement is just as important to catch the audience’s attention than using lots of movement, and also the audience can be more intrigued by a stronger character, so instead of doing something unrelated, it is better to make your character have purpose.
“The Line Game” is a game where the improviser has to come up with as many ways to say a line as possible in a short amount of time using space and voice. This taught me that there could be many images and story lines just with one line, and also taught me how actors should say their lines judging by their motives and attitude. Another activity similar to this is to build upon the line. This helps actors build their character and find the little details about that character and what they really want.
“Soapbox” is a game my IGCSE didn’t do, however the other class did do. It is where the improviser stands on a box and does a monologue about a random topic for as long as possible. This taught me that for an actor to find a good character, they should improvise with that character and make them talk on a rant to see when they do naturally. Also having an unusual topic helps the actor figure out what their character will do in different situations.
“Prop Story” is a game where everyone in a class thinks of a character and stands in a circle with an arbitrary prop in the centre. Then one by one the members of the class come out and interact with the prop to make a story. Out of all of these exercises, this one helps us most with co-operation as there are many people you are working with. This also, just like ”No Man’s Object,” helps an actor react in character to prop mishaps.
After the two classes of improvising, every drama class in high school went to the auditorium to perform in front of the grade eights. I believe that we all performed better in class as the audience was pressuring. Not only were the grade eights there but also the other older drama students. I didn’t go up as much because of this. I prefer improvising in a drama class more than improvising in front of an audience because nobody in class is really wanting to be entertained, so it feels you can actually act instead of trying to make the audience enjoy your performance.