Catch this new UNSCRIPTED sketch show: LIGHTS!

Chasing those magic moments

I love improv so much because of the endless possibilities that can play out each time we perform.

Down the road of any one of those possibilities lies magic waiting to happen. When you find the magic, it's the best feeling in the world.

I was lucky enough to watch A Midsummer Night's Dream this summer by Vancouver's Bard on the Beach. My favourite part of the play is the performance of the love story and tragic death of Pyramus and Thysbee. In this play-within-a-play, we witness the character Nick Bottom (playing Pyramus) milk the hell out of his "death" scene.
It's a scene where he just won't die and goes on and on for 4-5 minutes. The audience is laughing uncontrollably.

It occurred to me after that great performance, those magical 4-5 minutes happen all the time in improv. We usually get one or two really great scenes like that in a show. Sometimes the stars align and there are a whole bunch of those improv magic scenes. And anyone can play Pyramus. We take turns.

That's what we're chasing. We're chasing those moments when the actors on stage are on the same page, knowing who has the focus, playing out juicy moments and the audience is being surprised and delighted.

I've been treated to a number of these improv magic moments this week already.
The amazing Sarah Dawn Pledge caught me in a magical moment of dropping trousers
to end a scene this Wednesday and shared on Instagram.

They are precious because they are rare.
On my way home from corporate training this afternoon, the cabbie asked me what I do.
"I'm an actor", I said. When he asked what kind, I responded "improv".... he looked puzzled... "improv comedy".
"Ok, comedy!  Ok, be funny, make me laugh" he said.

I tried to explain an alphabet scene. He didn't get it.
I told him a joke about a doctor. He thought doctors might be mad if they heard that joke.
Then it was time to pay and I went back out into the rain.

They won't all be magic improv moments.

But with any luck, I'll find some magic with my house team tonight at VTSL, Escalator to Heaven.

Let's keep chasing!

Comments