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Anyone who is skilled in the art of improvisation can tell you that there is three distinct phases for new improvisers. The phases are usually progressive and not all of them are always achieved. Players can plateau in a phase and never let themselves transcend it. I hear a lot from people "I'm stuck". These folks are usually at the end of one phase and are about to transition to the next phase. The trick is that every transition requires time, guts and trust. 

So let's talk about the three phases for improvisers I see the most here at the Bovine School Improv.

First Phase: Fear. So many people at the start improvisation the first thing have to get over is...

We are creators!

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  • Tue, 03/22/2016

We are artists. We are comedians. We are creators.

When we are on stage we are creating. We are bringing something new onto the stage and into the world. We create new characters and worlds. We have a responsibility to create something we love.

Mary Shelley's Dr. Frankenstein creates life without love. So much so that the doctor then begins to loathe the creature he has created. After giving life to the creature, "I issued into the streets, pacing them with quick steps, as if I sought to avoid the wretch whom I feared every turning of the street would present to my view. I...

We Can Be Heroes - Classic Bovine Blog

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  • Thu, 03/17/2016

This blog is part of a series of "Classic Bovine Blogs." These are blog posts that we managed to recover from our old website that crashed in 2014. This blog was written by Eric Farone and originally posted on March 15th, 2011.

Who Are You? ~ The Who

In improv I tell people to “be a character”. To some people this just means try to be someone besides themselves. So they change their body, or their speech, or even just hold onto an attitude just to get outside of themselves and into a character. All these choices get them a bit...

What is a "bad" audience?

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  • Tue, 03/01/2016

We have been performing "On The Spot" for 16 years here at the theater. Often the players are quick to blame they audience for a bad show. "They were a bad house" I have heard far too often (I may have even said it myself once or twice).

We have had sold out houses, small houses, tired houses, responsive houses, and mostly crazy fan audiences. The point is, that we have seen a ton of different audiences and only a handful have been "bad". For me, a bad audience is one that is where one person or a small group is too distracted to pay attention. If a group or individual is very drunk...

"Yes, &" SHUT UP!

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  • Thu, 02/25/2016

"Yes, &" doesn't mean "Shut up and do it my way". It is not a weapon to be wielded by the first person who speaks.

"Yes, &" is about collaboration. That means that I need to give and take. For those of you not familiar with "give and take" it means you and I both have to "shut up" at some point during the scene and let our partner contribute too. It also means we must speak up and build on what has come before at some point too.

If my partner does an "&" that I did not expect, it is my job to go with it and "Yes, &" their idea. I shouldn't get mad, correct, or...

Free Falling - Classic Bovine Blog

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  • Tue, 01/26/2016

This blog is part of a series of "Classic Bovine Blogs." These are blog posts that we managed to recover from our old website that crashed in 2014. This blog was written by Eric Farone and originally posted on December 19th, 2007. 

I have a game I like players to warm-up with. I call it “3 Line Scenes” it is a three line (exchange) scene in which the Who (relationship), What (focus of the scene) and the Where (location) must be established. For example;

Player One: Mom, I’m Sad. (Who/Relationship)

Player Two: But this is Disneyland, the...

Do It Now, Do It Too, Do It Again - Classic Bovine Blog

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  • Wed, 01/20/2016

This blog is part of a series of "Classic Bovine Blogs." These are blog posts that we managed to recover from our old website that crashed in 2014. This blog was written by Eric Farone and originally posted on May 9th, 2008. 

"Do it now, Do it too, Do it again" 

A friend of mine in Chicago, Martin DeMaat, gave me this advice about improv: "Do it Now, Do it too, Do it again." He told me what it meant to him. 20 years later I think I get it. I still tell my students and so I might as well explain it here.

Do It Now.

There...

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