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thoughts on improv notes... musical duets

Yesterday, my Musical Theatre duet class cheered me up because there are two young Korean guys who showed up, said that they were here to learn English, and then gamely sang along to various disney and broadway songs.

Afterwards, Asaf, Andy and I had very late dinner at Kerby Lane. We were talking how each of us went through phases when we gave unsolicited notes.. but now none of us ever do that again. And how tricky it is for improvisors to give each other notes. It's almost impossible actually, since feelings get hurt and people disagree and argue. The only PC way to give notes if you were hired on as a coach.

Even when Asaf/Andy were directing a show, giving notes is still a delicate art-form for them.

Totally different from Danny when he was choreographing our show: "If you don't like how I'm doing things, you can leave. Now." 
*dead silence*

I think it's because population wise, there isn't that many good improvisors.. unlike dance, where there's a million girls who are younger, prettier and more talented then you who'd take your spot in a heartbeat.

Another reason I think is improv comes out of your subconscious, and is essentially who and what and how you are... that a criticism to your improv could be construed as a criticism to your person. As opposed to when you're dancing and singing someone else's creation. 


Jun. 20th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
Could it be that there aren't that many good improvisers because there is a taboo on note-giving, whereas there are many good dancers because they are given artistic and creative critiques from the start? Dancers are driven by the realization and pressure of competition and improvisers are not (though where they are - Chicago, NY - they go on to achieve the Colbert Report, The Office, and SNL gigs).

Personally, give me any and all notes that aren't petty or personal. Don't say "you suck," but feel free to stop me and give me a solid piece of artistic criticism: "you should work on names more because you forgot them a time or two."
If I forgot names, I need to know. That feedback is how I get better at the craft. And if I don't trust your comment or your style of improv, I'll ignore it. No biggie. No offense.
And it is the people I play with regularly that I want feedback from the most because we have to connect the most.

I never understood people's sensitivity to fact and performance-based notes. Those aren't personal. It's an observation to help you improve your craft. People always say "I care so much about this craft" out one side of their mouth but then say "but please don't give me suggestions on how I could be better at it" out of the other.
I never understood that.


I like pretty things

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