A tragedy in slow motion.

I was judging a theatre sports competition last week.

(Talking to one of the teams before hand;)

Me: What games are you guys thinking of playing.

Them: We were thinking about slo-mo commentary.

Me: Are you-

Them: Oh we’re not going to do that ‘two people fighting*’ thing.  We know everyone always does that.

Me: Oh great.  Awesome!

We then have a chat about the kind of stuff I talked about here, about how you can get caught up trying to recreate past magic, and how it never works.

Well, I probably don’t have to tell you how this story ends**.  About 40 seconds into the scene, the players get nervous and immediately start fighting.  My heart broke a little.

I have the same problem sometimes.  I can talk a good a good game about doing the best kind of improv (whatever that may be), but when I’m on stage and the audience isn’t laughing… there’s a good chance I’m going to reach into the big bag o’ shtick.

* the slo-mo sport-fight is one of Whose Line’s many gifts to the world of improv.

**in fact Jeff predicted exactly what would happen, despite my assurances that ‘no no, these guys get it.’


3 Responses to “A tragedy in slow motion.”

  1. jill bernard Says:

    We once spent two hours teaching people how to do spot-on improvised kabuki, and the rehearsal went great.
    The actual performance kicked off with the line, “You want flied lice?” and I died a small death.

  2. Jeff Says:

    When in doubt, people will invariably go to what is familiar. Unless we start showing them there’s another way, they will copy what they saw us, their senior team, or the cast of “Whose line” do years ago.

    I take no joy in being proven right in these cases.

  3. improbable Says:

    I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain.

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