I went slightly bughouse (ha ha) and checked out six books on the theater, none of which have to be read for this class. What a dumb ass I am. Actually I did not shoot for the theater proper: I localized my checking out to the history and teaching of improvisational acting. I found that there are many other people out there with dreams and theories which are a lot like mine. Ever heard of Viola Spolin? She is the one who created the concept of the improvisational game. In Improvisation for the Theater, she goes over about half of the games I’ve learned by word of mouth, and adds about one hundred and sixty more. She IS the woman. I like improv as a training tool because it demonstrates that we are to show real people on stage, which may be distorted by the director’s perception of “art,” but nevertheless must remain real people. Death is not a realistic play, but the characters MUST be real for the play to fly. Also got Combat Mime, which teaches me how to beat people up without beating them up. I just couldn’t wait for the workshop on the subject–sorry! Got about three books on the history of IMPROVISATIONAL COMEDIE as seen through the eyes of the stagestruck viewers of Second City and The Compass, two original improvsiational troupes. The books mostly masturbated over themselves and how great they thought past comics were. As a true lover of improv I realize that it can only move forward, since it is an art of the moment. The minute it begins to repeat itself it leaves the realm of a pure art form and becomes a hybrid. This is not necessarily bad, but the creative act is then (temporarily) stifled. Am I making myself perfectly clear?

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