8th Class – Improv all around

Little while since my last entry, although stuff HAS been a-going on since then.  Got to catch the dress rehearsal of the new GCTC/NAC co-production VIMY.  It was faboo, but I’m gonna hold off on a full review until after Friday, when I see it again during my volunteer shift.  Why?  Because it’s already, like, ten thousand percent sold out in advance (seriously, if you wanna go, get thee to the box office yesterday), so my review is really neither here nor there as far as helping the show out.  And I like to be a helper.

Then on Monday, there was some fun at the Elmdale Tavern with CRUSH IMPROV and their battle-stylee jam, ‘BOUT TIME.  Got to see some O-town potentates strutting their stuff on stage…Ken ‘the God’ Godmere, Cari Leslie, the Brad MacNeil and more, all awesome, and especially cool as we just started doing some improv in class.  Also, I got to schmooze with some folks in the crowd…talked class and stuff with Pat Gauthier, catching up with Wayne C, and a very pleasant chat with Cat Leger.  And wow, did I ever feel like an underachiever after she got through telling me, like, half her upcoming plans.  If I get two loads of laundry* done in a WEEK, I feel like I deserve a cookie.

But then along came Wednesday, my favouritest time of the week, and class at the OSSD.Got there all keener-early like usual, and took the opportunity to drop off my order for Alan Dean and the headshots I got taken a few weeks earlier.  Figger I can get at least one 8×10, so my folks will have one good picture of me from the last decade.  That taken care of, I shuffled into Studio D, where this week’s substitute teach Mary Harvey was awaiting.  Good to see her again after all this time, she’s got a very diff’rent style from Boss Barry Karp.  We started off, as always, with some warmups, today with a synchronistic twist.  Mary was putting us through an improved exercize wherein you pick a part of the body and draw figure 8’s with it.  fun and a little weird, but even weirder is the movie I’d bought that very same day…Shaw Brothers classic 8 DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER!   Ya gots to pay attention when the universe throws shit like that at you, sez I.

Our 8-diagrams were not quite THIS cool, it should be noted.

Jung aside, we finished our stretches and spent about 10 minutes getting in some practice time for our final ‘exam’, what Barry calls an Enchainement, stringing together 5 of the various mimes he’s been teaching us into a single mini-performance.  I think I’ve got my 5 picked, but I’m having some hiccups with the transitions.  Getting there…

Next, Mary got us working on her specialty…Improv!  I felt all smart for having gone to see CRUSH in action, it was like extra study time.  We gave each other a mystery present the other person had to identify and gush over, did some over-the-top mugging, which was great fun, then did a few min-scenes in pairs, sort of hit-and-run theatre, with scenarios Mary would call out.  My fav’rit was playing the guy who runs into the 6th grade teacher he had a wicked crush on.

Quick break, nice palaver with Simon, Justin, Vanessa…really gotta get some of this gang out for a pint or two soon.  But first, back to class for something called ‘repair shop’.  We split into teams of 5, sent one member each out of the room, then decided what it was that person would be bringing in to have repaired.  They would NOT know, and could only guess at the size and shape of whatever they ‘carried’ back to us, and we’d have to try and make it work, and get them to guess just what it was they had.  Had a blast with the wedding cake one, especially when Catherine kept the improv going even after I’d guessed what it was (she didn’t actually hear me, and I was having too much fun with the act to stop her).

We ran through a few shop scenarios, then settled in for the final, and my absolute fav’rit, improv of the class ‘Martian’.  3 chairs got set up…one for a journalist, one for an interpreter, and a third for the Martian.  The Martian speaks only gibberish, and the interpreter must relay the questions, and answers, speaking both tongues.  We rotated along every 90 seconds, and it was pretty fucking hilarious all around.  Could’a done that all night.

But that was it for another week…only two classes left!!  Gotta ‘member to practice my lines for Boss Karp’s return next week, and let the class in on Crush Improv’s return to the Elmdale on the 22nd (and the Gladstone on Dec.3-4)…I expect to see some OSSD peeps in the audience, fo’ sho’.  So until then, peace, love and soul,

The Visitor (and Winston)

*Reminder…you need to do laundry.  NOW, dude.  Recycling stops being ok when it’s socks.


  1. Hi Kevin,
    Nice blog! I was thinking that it would be nice to somehow keep in touch with the students in the class. You seem to be facebook/twitter/blog savvy. Maybe we can create a facebook page for the students of the ossd. I know there is an ossd page but how will we know who was in the class? We can keep adding to it as we go to more classes. Just a thought…. What are yours?

    Vanessa (from Get into the Act: Lvl 1)

    • Hey there, Proud Polly (that WAS you, right?)…glad you found the place, and thanks! Yeah, i’d like us to keep in touch somehow. We should definitely exchange whatever facebooks or twitters we all have, for a start.

      • Hiya,
        I was Valient Vannie… It’s hard to remember people’s name after that exercise. I keep thinking of the stage names instead of the real ones. What was your name?

        I’ll see if I can create a simple facebook page so we can pass the name to others. That way it will be easy to maintain contact as it will be hard to get everyone’s contact. Email isn’t what it used to be!! hahahaha…

        Any name suggestions? I didn’t think we should use ossd in the name.
        Ottawa Act Students?
        I’ll contact you via facebook next time.

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