I learnt three things tonight:
1. I’m still shy
2. But in a group of strangers, I really have no baggage – I could be anyone/anything I want.
3. The funniest things aren’t thought out beforehand – people just take whatever they get and run with it
And I had a blast, so much so that I was already looking forward to next week (in between thoughts of hurrying to my car before the meter ran out) as soon as the class ended.
I went for my first Improv class tonight.
The first half of it was reminiscent of orientation ice breaker games we used to play in the first week of school. Well actually, they were ice breaker games. We played the usual name game (complete with over the top and sometimes raunchy actions), a ball tossing game where we threw 4 multi-colored balls around while yelling out one another’s name, the usual birthday/height line-up game where the variations were you either couldn’t talk or you couldn’t see, blow-wind-blow.
I love ice breakers (with the exception of the one ice breaker I once played, where we literally tried to compete to see who could melt the large chunk of ice in the shortest amount of time). I miss the old Bear and Hunter game we used to play all the time in VJ and with the Rovers. This game was particularly effective in easing the initial awkwardness with the HCJC ventures at the Scout Jamboree, when we jointly served as first aiders. During the Jamboree too, we played another ice breaker, Hi, Hello Harry in which people who messed up got dots of toothpaste on their faces – in the midst of the game, we were radioed for help and we had to run off into the crowd, carrying the stretcher and wearing the dots of toothpaste on our faces.
I miss the games we used to play, the times we used to stay up all night playing Pictionary, Whoops! (our own creation), and other brainless games that Lina would come up with. Happily, we did some of that when I went back this December. Ah, the PJ parties of old.
In the second half of the session, after everyone warmed up, we started to get into some improv games. We played a game in which everyone stands frozen in their places while one member of the class goes around doing whatever he feels like doing (what the instructor called “the focus”), until he passes the focus to someone else. It’s amazing what people can come up with, and even more amazing at the funny things we can do when we aren’t given the time to think.
At the end, we played this improv game called Freeze, where two members of the class gets on “stage” and start trading lines on a random topic, until someone off stage yells “freeze”, gets on stage, boots one person off stage, and start off on a completely different topic from the frozen position. I was continually amazed at how spontaneous people were, and wished I had the guts to just yell out “freeze” and jump into the fray. Next session!
* Too tired to properly describe the experience, but I wanted to at least jot down the exercises for now. But I’m still psyched at how much fun it is, and how much room I have to grow. There’s a Beginner’s improv jam this Sunday evening, where we could go and play more improv games, and I’m tempted to bring Ting there to check it out when she comes visit…