Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I think I'm getting out of my head.

Improv Class Appears to be Working.

This is part two of the blog story from a couple weeks ago. Remember  when I talked about my experience at the beginning of a six week introduction course into the art of improv? At the time, I was struggling with, as I have been for a while, getting out of my head. It's a term in the acting world used to describe someone that over thinks everything and is always on the defense. I can say that describes me to a T.

As I was entering this brave new world I came to the conclusion that my behavior was induced by working in the public relations field for so many years and having to always be on the defensive, carefully choosing my words so as not to be taken out of context or interpreted differently than I had intended. My job was always on the line.

Fast Forward to week five of improv class. I do believe that the process has begun.
This kind of reminds me of a song I played on the radio as a DJ many years ago by Little Anthony and the Imperials – I Think I'm Going Out of My Head.

I'm still in my head but giving myself permission to speak freely without over thinking is an evolving process. It's not going to happen overnight. In improv class it has become easier each week. I think a lot of that has been due to familiarity with the team (other students). As we become accustomed to each other, our thought processes and personalities, we find ourselves becoming more spontaneous and not having to think about our responses. For me that is exactly how I interpret things. Again, I could be over thinking this, but it gives me pleasure knowing that I am, at times, able to just be me. Unfortunately, there are always going to be those “foot in mouth” moments when you say something that you wish you hadn't. I guess that comes with the territory.

As we near the end of the six week class we are starting to work on character development. For characters we repeat what we already know with a few embellishments. It's actually quite simple but takes practice. I found it quite easy to be a character when called upon as long as I allowed myself to just let it flow. Once I started to think about it – wham. I froze up.

Lesson learned: Characters are drawn from things we know and experiences we have had. There is nothing new and we don't need to create. So, I guess the fact that I'm the oldest guy in the class should mean that I should be able to draw upon a ton of life experiences and develop many characters. 

DVD Cover Image - Grumpy Old Men
Now, I'm asking myself the question: What kind of characters or roles should I pursue? I got it. Grumpy Old Man Improv. I would be perfect. I could just be myself. Besides me own experiences to drawn upon, who would be my role models? Why Walter and Jack, of course.

Now, will you kids just get off my lawn and wipe that silly grin off your face.  

1 comment:

  1. Jerry: Sounds like you learned a lot & had fun. Good to stretch your neck out in voice acting.


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