Saturday, August 09, 2008

Improv at the CERN!

Who would have thought that I would take part in a comedy improv workshop at the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research)!

On Saturday there was a comedy improv workshop at the CERN conducted by Charna Halpern who is the founder of Improv Olympic Theatres where Mike Myers has studied! I just heard about it from a friend and thought I'll check it out and see, since it was open to anyone.

Actually it was like killing 2 birds with one stone, cos ever since I had read Dan Brown's Angels and Demons, I've been fascinated by CERN, and wanted to visit it, and ofcourse I've been trying to get involved in theatre here as well…

Charna and her 2 assistants conducted a really great workshop. I learnt so much about improvisation. I hadn’t really done much improvisation before this, though I had done a few improv exercises at the theatre classes. One of the first things I realized was that improvisation can be more difficult than scripted plays as there is no predefined plan and you have to think on the spot and react to the other actors on stage. So it leaves you more vulnerable as it is your thoughts not some script that you are putting into action…Which can lead you to think Am I funny enough? Would they think I’m stupid?...

Today most people who meet me don’t believe that I might be worried about what others think or that I may feel inhibited, but the truth is that it has taken over 15 years to get out of that shyness and it still sometimes comes across in certain situations and I have to continually keep working at it to have confidence in myself. One of the reasons I really love theatre is cos this is what brought me out of my shell. More about that long story can be found here

That is another reason why I decided I should attend this workshop as it is the perfect setting to act and ‘let my self go’ even if I make a fool of my self all of us are here to learn, and not professionals. It was pretty cool cos most of the others there were physicist from CERN. And being with people from a different background was really fun cos we all bring a little bit of ourselves into improvisation.

I also realised that it really is a 'team sport' cos for improv to be successful there cannot be any shining stars! With each word or action the actor creates the scene maybe by giving another character a name, setting the location… and it is important that the other actors accept this initial offer and build on it. As they call it the ‘Yes And’ attitude.

Actually there’s a lot that you can take from this into life as well. Especially the ‘Yes And’ attitude where you try to build on what others have done, rather than breaking them down…

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Blogger ipm said...

sounds like you had a lovely evening!!!

3:22 pm, August 14, 2008  

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