Neil Casey 401 Notes Day Three→

  • Group games are all about making small moves following the patterns listening to what everyone’s doing.
  • Terrible group game is character a and 7 character b. bad is joke a person in a line. Not terrible but we can do that. Third bad one everyone talking over each other.
  • A group game is not just a scene it can be but a good group game is when the intellect and ability of ability of 8 improvisers following a simple pattern. A lot more ouija board than video game
  • Everyone’s tempted to take control but you’ll find something much more interesting if you’re just reacting, just like follow the follower: you did something and I’m going to do something like it not the same because I’m me

Got Your Back E39: Eat the Whole Pizza

Here are some notes and interpretations I took while listening to Austin improv podcast Got Your Back. This is from Episode 39: Eat the Whole Pizza. Click the links on the times to be taken to an audio version of the note.

3:24 – Working way harder then you have to – aka eat the whole pizza, use the whole buffalo. Slow down, be more efficient, use what we have to create more stuff.

4:39 – Why does it happen? Judgement (of what’s happening on stage), a lack of trust.

6:16 – “If it feels weird, do it more.” – Liz Allen. If it feels weird, you’re not 100% committing.

8:02 – “The minute you start judging from inside the scene that what you’ve put out isn’t enough, you start being at that 80%. You’re not committing, and all that judgement can rush in and you’re stepping away.”

9:12 – “This idea that if you’re going to keep worrying and being in your head and trying to control stuff, it’s going to be so much more work for you.”

10:30 – “It’s improv – to get something going someone is going to have to buy into someone else’s thing at some point. If we’re not going to do more of this thing, then maybe you could give the next thing, but are people going to buy into that thing? Or are people going to be people putting out next thing after next thing after next thing and we never get anything going. So it’s that idea of going deep versus broad. It’s not about doing the next thing after the next thing after the next thing. It’s about doing a thing and then doing the next thing specifically affected by it. And that requires awareness of the moment.”

16:45 – “Looking at the offers that happen not just as throwaway lines, but every offer we could go deeper into.”

19:16 – The ideas you pull from the opening of a Harold is like a stool. “The further apart those three worlds are, it’s going to hold up that stool so you can sit on it.”

23:41 – “A scene starts, you have something, and I’m like “this is great, it’s real, I believe it, I’m into it”, and someone will get scared or fearful or otherwise self-aware in a negative way and then try to force something or they’ll invent, they invent rather than mining or inferring from already established information. Or even backing away from it is another thing that happens.”

28:43 – Be patient in our exploration of each move. It requires really listening to and reacting to each move, and not being in such a hurry. You’re not really soaking in the implications of what is being said and using that verses getting too carried away in what you thought was happening.

33:40 – Heightening without exploration – if it’s heighten/heighten/heighten/heighten/move/move/move/move, and we’re not taking the time to use any of these, it takes you out of reality. You have to explore/deal with the consequences/react and respond, otherwise it’s replication/ignoring – it’s crazy town, people making game moves.

Think I am a Tree – because of the last thing, we have the next thing; not a new thing. If we have the tree, we have bark, if we have bark, we have a carving.

37:20 – If we have an idea in the first beat, we want to explore the specifics in the second beat. If people’s butts are poison in the first beat, we can explore that reality – people’s butts are poisoned due to incompetence at the boron factory – let’s explore incompetence at the boron factory.

38:42 – “On a big scale, what are we doing here? Element: butt poisoning, how can we do more of that?”

39:20 – On callbacks: Callbacks are like steak. It’s really great, but five bites of steak really fast is gross. But if you put a little space, it’s incredible.

44:42 – “Keep it simple – it doesn’t always have to be two guys hanging out and one of them’s a vampire! The fun will happen if you trust the process. […] There’s going to be some fun thing that we can do, either implicit or explicit, if we’re listening and being efficient. That’s going to be less work than creating something from scratch.”

45:20 – How to use this. Person A starts a scene, Person B’s response must contain some of Person A’s line in their response. Person A’s response must contain some of Person’s B line in their response. Repeat.

47:07 – “Let’s get more specific on the specifics.” Using some of the last line will get you that emotion of that out that makes you continue

51:00 – As an audience member, simple = satisfying. If you do that and it happens organically, it looks amazing. The laughs that you generate are of a different quality too – they are more staying, and will stick around longer.