Ever since I first saw Whose Line Is It Anyway?, I’ve wanted to take an improvisation class. If you’ve never tried it before, think of it as psychological bungee jumping. It’s safe, but it doesn’t really feel like it during the free fall.
I signed up for it with a bit of trepidation, but I figured “What the heck. There are enough times I’ve made a fool of myself inadvertently. I might as well learn how to do it intentionally, so it gets a laugh.”
Although it was a relatively small class, members had a variety of experience running from “Move over, Ryan Styles” to “OMG, will I still be alive when we finish?”
Kate and Rashida Washington did a great job of reassuring us that we would all be successful, and that success in improvisation (and really, any type of communication) is based on tapping into our own authentic experience and emotions to create scenes and characters with which the audience can identify.
We started out playing a theater game where we walked around the room until the music stopped, then we were to touch one of our body parts to a different body part of the person closest to us and tell them something about ourselves that would surprise them. Who knew there was such a game as musical body parts? Imagine the whole new level of interest this game will inspire at kids’ parties!
During the next game, we took a “journey” from birth to death. If you can imagine full-grown adults rolling around on the floor, sucking their thumbs and kicking their legs in the air, you’ll understand why I hid Ricky Osborne’s camera during this exercise. He’ll just have to find his blackmail material elsewhere.
One fun exercise was when we were given “free form” lines of dialogue (i.e. sentences that were nonsensical) and asked to create a scene. While we all came up with fun scenarios, if you get the chance, be sure to ask Jacquetta Calhoun and Rajesh Barnabas about their “senior situation” that had us roaring in laughter!
In all, it was a great and fun-filled first class led by Kate and Rashida Washington!
If I’ve terrified you with this description, this class probably isn’t for you. However, if I’ve piqued your interest or curiosity, you can still register for the next three weeks of class, and join us in the adventure. And for anyone still on the fence, I double-dog, Carol White Llewellyn DARE you to take it!
And hey, you never know…you might be part of the very first RCTV Saturday Night Laugh Improv Troupe!