Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Yes And

Where else can you drive a Hummer over your Isle of Skye competitor in the International Lawn mowing competition, and host a panel discussion of academic grass fertilizer experts, all in the same two hours? There was also a Madonna impersonator, hula dancing, and a lot of screaming and yelling about dead bunnies. In short, I just finished Shawn Westfall's fantastic 6 week Improv Comedy Class at the Washington DC Improv Comedy Club. New mantras: "Yes, and." "Listen and build." "Are you having fun?" "Character is plot." "It's all about relationship." "Add emotion." The improv process, I found, is something like a writing workshop + old-fashioned charades + ping pong + choir practice. But it's also like dance: you're not creating narrative in your head but with your whole body. (Read about Zip Zap Zop here.)