March 5th, 2004

TV tonight

I watched "Life With Bonnie," which stars Bonnie Hunt and which often involves some improvised scenes. Bonnie used to be a performer at Second City and she can improvise with the best of them. There are various clues to the fact that a scene is improvised. One of the easiest to spot is when performers literally crack up with laughter after an improvised smart remark. Doesn't happen with a script, because there are no surprises in a script when you have already read it.

Rhyme of the day:

and crack up the guys.

I was a member of a local improv group for a while, and learning how to do that was challenging, exhilarating, scary and fun. On the face of it, improv is very much like children playing a make-up game with each other, but with an eye to the audience. It's fascinating, in a way, that it's so hard for most people (me too) because it seems an ability we had (as children) that is hard to hold onto as adults.