Throughout the many classes of improvisation, I think that I have learned a lot and have gained many new experiences which could benefit me in the future. Since the start of the unit I was very excited, because I knew it was going to be full of laughter but I was also unsure about it, because I have never had any experience with improvisation. When we had our first few classes, I felt that I struggled a little and often stumbled along when speaking. However as weeks flew by I felt that I had grasped the main concepts of improvisation.
During our inquiry into improvisation I have learned that failure is a big part of improvisation and everyone has failed before, but this is just part of the learning process. An example where I was unsuccessful during class was when we played a game where one person had to start with a word and the following person had to say another word that connects with the word said before them. During this activity I heard one of my classmates say “hunger”, so right away in my brain I was thinking of “Katniss” from the Hunger Games and that I should say this when it was my turn. I didn’t stop thinking about that and wasn’t listening to the other classmates next to me, so when it was my turn I said “Katniss” but this word had nothing to do with the person beside me. This made me unsuccessful in listening and reacting, because I was planning out and not thinking on the spot. An example where I was unsuccessful was during the improv summative was during the “Death Scene” Our topic was “The Doctors Office” I was hinted that I was the doctor, at that same time a performer asked if I had a PHD and other qualifications, and I responded by saying no repeatedly. This was unsuccessful because I was blocking an offer given from a performer and I did not help develop the platform for the scene.
Apart from failure, there were also many moments of success. An example where I was successful during class was my partner came up to me and asked me if I thought my mom was going to let me buy the game. Right away I was able to connect to that, and think of an experience I had in asking for permission to buy a violent video game. So I answered by saying I was not sure, and then talked about how fun it was going to be. After we decided to call my mom to ask, but then we got news that she had died. This was a successful scene because I was able to think on the spot (while connecting to my own experiences), I accepted my partners offers, and I was also able to tilt the scene when the mom died. An example where I was successful during the summative was during the “Park Bench” scene. In this scene, I sat down next to the performer the looked at his shirt for a long time until it creeped him out, then said that I really liked his shirt. After a while I looked at his shoes, then grabbed his foot, sniffed it, then asked him how much it cost. This was a successful scene because I was able to direct the audiences focal point at the performers shirt and shoes at certain times. Also I think that I was able to keep the attention of the audience at only one area from my eye contact and body language.
Throughout this unit I was given lot’s of feedback from my teacher and peers, I noticed that a lot of the feedback were looking at the same problems and I felt that all were really true. In a summary I felt that the most important techniques I needed to improve on was to listen and react and learn to develop the scene instead of stalling it. I think I was able to improve on my listening and reacting skills the most, even though I still made mistakes, I was really successful in using this skill in games such as the one about the video game. In this game I was able to listen, react, and even tilt the scene in the very end. I think that developing a scene is also a very important part of improvisation, however I was not able to improve on it because I received this feedback during the summative.
In conclusion, I believe that I have developed my improv skills a lot through out this unit, also the concepts of improvisation will always stay with me forever. This is because halfway through the unit, I realized that improv could also be used in life situations not just in drama. Some examples could be when you are in a business meeting, when you are unprepared for a speech, when you bump into a very important client, etc. Also I will take the feedback that I got from this unit along with me to next year, so that I could improve in my improvisational skills. (863 Words)