2019 Day 1: Keith Johnstone Impro Workshop

Notes from Keith Johnstone Impro Workshop 2019 Day 1.

Keith Johnstone Impro Workshop 2019 in Vancouver
Day 1

Dolphin training
– Spolin’s guessing who
– Group yes
– Professor and invisible elephant
– Status family scene
– Fight for high/low status
– Status party

John Holt. How teacher gets children hate reading? Kids love reading.
Teacher told not to be spontaneous.
If you try to do well, you look future.
Enjoy your partner’s performance and inspire them.
Audition TV program makes us think suffering is OK.
I want to make audience wants to take you home. I want to take you home. It’s a sign of good nature.
Why we pay for people who want to be safe? If you are not in danger on stage, we won’t pay you. Be risky.
When I start teaching, I made students never fail, but it was a mistake. Human beings want to test themselves.
You can’t learn without failing.
Don’t punish yourself.
We like to see people don’t punish themselves when screwed up.
Punishing yourself reduces audience’s satisfaction.
If you screw up and still happy, we can laugh at you. It is pleasure.
Teachers hate spontaneity. They call it bad behavior.
Be average. People come on the stage trying to be good improviser.
Audience loves obvious.
Tommy Cooper is a master of obvious jokes.
If you don’t know what comes next, audience loves you if you are not screwed up.
If you are genius, go home.
The reason I still like teaching is I don’t know how to do it. It is a game.
You should learn by insight. You learn at once and never forget it.
Making faces is good training for improvisers. Syllabus for spontaneity.
Watch your partner and find which pleases your partner.
See your partner. Wait in 2 seconds. If your universe gives you an idea, do it. If not, copy a used idea. If you have an idea beforehand, don’t do it. Tell yourself forget it. It’s thrilling!
Nervousness keeps you safe.
Open your mouth and say something. You can get a better idea.
If you can’t get an idea, stay happy. Audience wants to feed you grape.
Good idea will take you somewhere. Bad idea won’t take you anywhere.
Spontaneity cannot be safe.
The idea doesn’t have to be good. Trust your universe.
“Something Wonderful Right Away” That’s terror.
Being trained to have a good idea is mistake.
You have to be yourself. I really want you to be yourself. Being average is you. Being good is not you.
If you are average, your partner can work with you.
If you can’t do bad scenes, it’s show-business. It’s dull. It’s all set. It’s not the nature of art.
You might fail but audience loves you.
Come with blank mind.
Succeed or fail. But you learn something.
It’s a point of communication. It’s not a point of a good idea.
Roger Mayne was a genius photographer for 2 years. He has speech defect.
Marvin Minsky is talking about censorship mechanism of brain.
They don’t want to be novelist. They don’t want to be painter. They don’t want to be creative. They want to be in a system and make money.
If you teach fish to climb a tree, you think it is uncreative.
Naive group disconnects things. Brain connects everything. Audience connect things. Connecting things takes you into the future. That’s why we avoid it.
Drama is A changes B.
It is safe. It is theatre! Take risks!
Don’t protect against the future. You can get freedom.
People ask questions to protect themselves.
Rules for beginners. Beginners kill everything, so say “Be positive!”
Every story makes a circle of probability.
This is the course about why Keith doesn’t want to watch improv.
In comedy, you can’t forget audience. You can know from audience’s reaction.
Saying “You will do twice or three times” is good because you don’t have to be good first time.
Yeats misspelled a lot.
I want you to look at every audience.
Great introduction is a disaster.
Keeping telling a lie. Never apologize. Normal non-political people begin to think there must be a truth in it. This is Trump’s way.
Say surprising “ha”. You feel tension. Shoulders up. Neck shortened. It’s effect of fear.
If you recognize your friend, your eyebrow goes up. It’s a signal of recognition.
Jay Leno’s eyebrow up and down all the time.
In a zoo, make an eye contact with an animal and drop your eyes and look again. It brutalizes.
“Who is mom?” They take 15 seconds to look for the right answer.
Come in just before boring.
Voice is discipline of audience. Voice controls the audience.
Make it worse. Raise the stakes.
Are you afraid of stage? You cross your leg otherwise. Body gives wrong message.
Frown. Open your eyes and keep low eyebrow. Aggression. Then tilt your head a little. Questioning.
Normal improvisers come on the stage to be no.1 animal.
Where is joy? We call it acting and also playing.
Not saying something interesting but being interested by other saying. It might change your life.
Stanislavsky thought Chaliapin is a good actor.
In drama school, no one mentioned about fear.
Don’t do your best.
Staying in the circle you established. Don’t look outside.
Mr. Bean’s Christmas. All comes from interaction and character of Mr. Bean. Not trying to complete the action.
So many comedians are funny in silent movies. They are fighting for truth.
Try to be truthful, believable and authentic. Otherwise it will be pointless.
Peter Cook’s One Leg Too Few.