Our first public performance of Speed of Life, a format we’ve been looking at for only a few months. The club nights are proving very useful, and whilst audience and performance perspectives are different there is general consensus about the success and failures of the evening. Club nights are open workshops that give us the opportunity and permission to fail in things we are not yet fully practiced in. In the first few minutes of this performance we were discovering, although there was some ‘blocking’. Having an audience present very quickly tempts players into pleasing them by trying to be ‘funny’ or ‘more interesting’. This leads us into inventing rather than discovering. The moment that happens the scenes become extreme, or unreal. It was interesting that the audience said afterwards they were more interested in the relationships between the three men than the ‘murder’. We must learn to trust staying in the moment. The fact is if we can retain our interest in the ‘other person’ so will the audience, or at least they are more likely too. It also takes the focus away from ourselves and be concerned about the audience, both of which make us act and create rather than just ‘be’ and discover. The discussion with the audience was very informative, as is watching the video. Being an audience member of your own performance you more easily recognise the flaws. Seeing and naming the good and bad habits allows us to develop the one and iron out the other. During performance I find myself assessing what I’m doing and getting ahead of the moment to control the stories direction. No, we must be in the moment. If we want to be truthful we must trust in the moment and allow the story to happen to us.
This is by far hardest improvisation form I know, so we should be somewhat pleased we gave it a shot and all feel prepared to keep working at it and doing it again soon.