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Eight is NEVER Enough's Improv Study Guides

The Performers Journal

Journaling is so very important to actors and comics. It is our record of life and our way to help us process all the crazy ideas floating in our head. I keep a journal for every scripted show I perform to write blocking and character notes. Comics keep a journal by their beds in case they think of a joke or have a dream and can immediately jot down the ideas. Here are a few ways we want you to use your journal…

1)Record life as you see it happen. Observe the world – at work, school, the mall, on the bus, train, subway etc. Everywhere you go you will see people (friends, family and strangers) living their lives. Things happen. Write down what you see. Be descriptive. Who was involved? Where did it happen? What happened?

2)Record notes regarding schedules and reminders when you get to class or rehearsal. You want to be able to have a clear focused mind when performing and rehearsing. This way you can relax and not worry about forgetting important things like phone numbers, appointments, homework assignments, ideas and more. When you get to rehearsal/class, take 2-3 minute tojot things down and start to prepare to be creative.

3)Record ideas for jokes and sketches. These might overlap with your life observations (Item #1 above)

4)Record notes regarding your scenes. After you perform an Improvisation, write down how it went. Record the good, the bad and the ugly. Remember the good stuff as you want to recreate those glories. Remember the bad stuff to you can learn from mistakes. A mistake is only a failure if you do not grow and learn from the experience. Was there a character you might want to bring back in the future? Who were you? Where were you? What Happened?

5)Record “How to play” Improv game notes. By putting game descriptions in your own words in the Journal you will grasp the game concepts faster. What does the MC say? What is the gimmick to the game? What tricks help the game go easier?

What we do is very subjective. Journaling allows us to gauge our work and progress more objectively. You will have a record of your work and experiences. Five years from now you will have your own reference for writing stand-up, sketches, short stories, novels, TV shows, movies or whatever else you may be writing.

ADDITIONAL NOTES: I prefer to use a composition book for my journals. You know, the black and white marbled bound notebooks that run about $1 for 100 pages. These books are usually more sturdy than the spiral books and much cheaper than real journals or diaries you buy at a book store.A BUSINESS. Learn you craft. Be the best you can be. Show the world you mean BUSINESS!

Articles and Handbook by Walt Frasier. Mr. Frasier has appeared on film, TV, Commercials and the Live theater and is currently the director of instruction for the COMEDY HALL OF FAME FOUNDATION. See Walt Frasier live in Times Square and touring nationwide in Improv Comedy Troupe EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH.
Improv Performance Tips:

Handbook Home

Why study improvisation?

I want to improvise
- Getting started


Teamwork in Improv

The Responsible Performer

The Performers Journal

Improv Warm Up Games

Improv Guidelines
& Techniques:


Rule #1 "Yes AND"

No Questions. No Blocks


Pantomime

Setting Up Your Scene:

List of Ask Fors

Creating a Character

Creating a Situation

Creating a Setting
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