Upcoming Shows

  • September 18, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • September 18, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • September 19, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • September 19, 2014 7:30 pmFirst Fridays w/ Interrobang
  • September 19, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • September 19, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • September 19, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • September 19, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • September 20, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • September 20, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • September 20, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • September 20, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • September 20, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • September 25, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • September 25, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • September 26, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • September 26, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • September 26, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • September 26, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • September 26, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • September 27, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • September 27, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • September 27, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • September 27, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • September 27, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
AEC v1.0.4

Breakdown of a Bad Improv Workshop, Set to Run From Noon – 2:30

By: Matt Holmes

11:40:
The overly eager and overly early arrive to find a locked building with no signage. They wait.

11:50:
The regularly early arrive. Everyone meets everyone else and discusses the situation. They wait.

11:53:
Somebody arrives to open the door.

11:56:
The workshop instructor arrives, says hi to everybody and goes to the bathroom.

12:03:
The instructor tells everybody that they’ll start in five minutes and give people a little more time.

12:11:
“Well, I guess we’ll get started.”

12:11 – 12:13:
Roll call with three people not present

12:13 – 12:17:
Sitting in a circle as the first three people briefly introduce themselves, their complete improv background, an attempt at a joke, and a self-deprecating comment

12:17 – 12:19:
The fourth person in the circle goes into every last detail of her life leading up to this point.

12:19 – 12:20:
The rest of the people introduce themselves briefly.

12:20 – 12:25:
Instructor explains the plan for the workshop, now for the first time really thinking about it.

12:25 – 12:40:
A basic warm-up that’s overly simplistic for all but two participants who can’t grasp the mechanics or have like absolutely no rhythm or just can’t think of anything or have a really bad memory, so sorry everybody

12:33:
A late student arrives, complaining about traffic and parking, while carrying a coffee.

12:41 – 12:53:
Instructor explains in complete detail how the first exercise will work and how we’re pressed for time because most real workshops are at least three hours and this one, for some strange reason, is only two and a half, which really is not enough time.

12-53 – 1:10:
3-Line Scenes, alternating between jokey punchlines and confused arguments

1:10 – 1:17:
An open discussion about the previous exercise, trying to remember what happened, while highlighting problems and explaining rules of what never to do and what always to do

1:18 – 1:30:
An exercise focused on loose organic transitions and freeing yourself up to follow wherever it goes and being open

1:30 – 1:40:
An open discussion about the previous exercise, trying to remember what happened while highlighting problems and explaining rules of what never to do and what always to do

1:40 – 1:45:
Instructor asks everyone how they’re feeling about the work, everyone shrugs their shoulders and says they feel okay but wish they were doing better, and one student speaks at length about confusions and specific examples of “just not getting it”

1:45:
“Let’s take a ten-minute break to hit the bathroom, feed the meter, take a smoke break, etc.”

1:46:
One student has to leave early and thanks the instructor.

1:59:
“Okay, I guess we should get back to it. Let’s circle up and get warmed up again.”

2:00 – 2:04:
A children’s game with vague connections to theatricality

2:04 – 2:07:
Two students improvise a patient, engaging scene with an interesting point to it.

2:07 – 2:09:
Instructor points out that we didn’t know the characters’ names, if they were sisters or just friends, and that it wasn’t clear if they were in a restaurant or in somebody’s kitchen.

2:09 – 2:17:
Four more improvised scenes struggling to be coherent and interesting

2:17 – 2:22:
Instructor shifts gears into a series of scenes where students tag each other out.

2:22 – 2:25:
Students discuss the scenes, most citing that they were just about to do something good before they got tagged out.

2:25 – 2:34:
Another round of scenes with tag-outs; students now make quicker punchlines

2:34:
“Well, we’re a little over the time when we were supposed to end. Does anybody mind if we go a little longer?”

2:34 – 2:41:
Another round of scenes with tag-outs; instructor pauses each scene to discuss how truthful the scenes feel and then having them continue

2:43:
Instructor thanks everybody for coming and ends the workshop

2:43 – 2:50:
Casual discussion among students and instructor

2:45:
An overly eager student arrives for a workshop scheduled to start at 3.