What's a Scorwitz?

Apr 23

I Guess I'll Keep Trying: I Think That Was My Last Harold Audition and Here Is Why →

iguessillkeeptrying:

I started this blog a year ago after Harold auditions. My message then: “I guess I’ll keep trying.” That carried me to these Harold auditions. It’s been a year and that won’t work for me anymore.

To be clear: What I’m Not Saying:

  • I’m not saying that I am going to stop doing improv.

Well said, sir.  I am glad that I was never so transfixed by the ellusive Harold Night.  It takes a lot more than just good improv to get there. 

Mar 28
poupak:

thepit-nyc:

This Thursday (MAR 28) at 11pm come see Poupak’s People!
For ONE EVENING ONLY, Poupak Sepehri (The Soul Glo Project, Pou & Nic, PANTS!) has gathered her friends, and some of the best musical improvisers in New York for a unique mach-up of talents.  This musical improv show will experiment with mixing up styles, and coming up with a unique format.  The audience will have an opportunity to jam at the end and make musical improv magic happen for the first and last time ever!
Get ready New York!
Featuring Michael Martin, Kirk Damato, Frank Spitznagel, Melissa Gordon, Ashley Ward, Julia Morales, Morgan Phillips, Ari Voukydis, Scott Morwitz, AND MORE!

You know who loves the PIT?? Clue: ME!

I LOVE that I somehow made the cut before “AND MORE” along with these other names!  

poupak:

thepit-nyc:

This Thursday (MAR 28) at 11pm come see Poupak’s People!

For ONE EVENING ONLY, Poupak Sepehri (The Soul Glo Project, Pou & Nic, PANTS!) has gathered her friends, and some of the best musical improvisers in New York for a unique mach-up of talents.  This musical improv show will experiment with mixing up styles, and coming up with a unique format.  The audience will have an opportunity to jam at the end and make musical improv magic happen for the first and last time ever!

Get ready New York!

Featuring Michael Martin, Kirk Damato, Frank Spitznagel, Melissa Gordon, Ashley Ward, Julia Morales, Morgan Phillips, Ari Voukydis, Scott Morwitz, AND MORE!

You know who loves the PIT?? Clue: ME!

I LOVE that I somehow made the cut before “AND MORE” along with these other names!  

Feb 09
talkingbreakfast:

larhunter:

laughterkey:

papermag:

This is a photo of Angela Lansbury cuddling a koala. All is good and right with the world.

I love that this is featured in the NYFW tag.


Yeah but by the end of Act I that koala’s gonna be found MURDERED.

This is what awaits you at the end of the white tunnel of light when you die.

talkingbreakfast:

larhunter:

laughterkey:

papermag:

This is a photo of Angela Lansbury cuddling a koala. All is good and right with the world.

I love that this is featured in the NYFW tag.

Yeah but by the end of Act I that koala’s gonna be found MURDERED.

This is what awaits you at the end of the white tunnel of light when you die.

Feb 09
improv-is-easy:

improvisorsimprovisor:


paulciampanelli:


downrightupright:


nicclee:


improvisorsimprovisor:


improv-is-easy:


scorwitz asked improv-is-easy:




If Game is the thing you repeat, then what is the difference between Pattern and Game?




Game is funny/interesting/heartfelt.
A Pattern (an empty pattern, anyway) isn’t.


I respectfully suggest that this needs a little bit more clarification. A Game is a Pattern, but it’s a pattern of human behavior that’s fun to play around with and helps provide structure to a scene. At its broadest, a pattern is anything repeated. 2, 4, 6, 8 is a pattern. But a bunch of improvisors counting off by twos is not interesting. If you inject some behavior, emotion, relationship, or human reaction into a pattern, you have the beginnings of a game. 


I agree with this clarification. A pattern is anything you do more than once. I would say a game is a specific dynamic between two people with a distinct rhythm. For example, the sadder I am, the happier you are and the happier you are, the sadder I am. We feed each other’s behavior consistently, but we can also heighten the game. It doesn’t matter what the context and the details are because that dynamic can be taken and applied to an analogous circumstance. Game has to do with behavior, but emotions and stakes (and point of view and philosophy) are certainly involved.


I’m sure different schools and generations have different answers, and I can’t wait to see the reblog thread continue. That said, my take is: game is the central funny thing that we heighten and explore. Pattern is, well, any pattern. Chris Farley’s motivational speaker sketch has a game of “bad motivational speaker.” But there are many patterns: the way Farley continually gets in people’s faces, the way he keeps saying “Van down by the river!”, etc., none of which ever take focus the way “bad motivational speaker” takes focus. In fact, those patterns serve the game.
How this distinction has been important and helpful to me: if I play a character in a scene, I want to create a cohesive series of patterns (think Farley adjusting his belt, hunching over when he talks, even the way he talks) that combine to create a recognizable, consistent character. But I still need that character to play the game, which is separate (that’s all the specific details that make him a bad motivational speaker).
You could take many of the same patterns (especially around Farley’s character) and play a different game (say, bad gym teacher, or bad bedtime storyteller). Or you could take the same game and play it with different patterns (he could be a bad motivational speaker in so many different ways).  
Again, that’s just my interpretation, but it’s an interpretation that’s been practical and useful for me getting better at improv and generating sketches.


I.e. Patterns are the building blocks of a game?


We mustn’t confuse certain labels. “Motivational speaker” is just a job—a context we’ve been placed in. The Matt Foley Character would most likely behave in the same manner no matter what job he took. Can you imagine how Matt Foley would act if he had a different job? Then that suggests that his behavior is independent of his situation. If he were a gym teacher or a story teller or on a date or trying to calm a baby, he would most likely still be “hyperactive, brash, rude, in-your-face guy.” That’s the game of the scene. It’s also a lot more useful than simply “bad storyteller.” 
The building block of a game is a human behavior. To push the metaphor farther, you can stack building blocks a lot of different ways. That’s your pattern. You can have a lot of different kinds blocks and those blocks can be stacked a lot of different ways.
But really, these semantics are only useful afterwards while analyzing a scene. Are we thinking all of this when we improvise? If I were to improvise a Matt-Foley-esque scene, what might be going through my head? Hopefully something sublingual and intuitive. And hopefully a light bulb that says “Hey, this is fun! I want to do more of this!” An improvisor needs to recognize their behavior on some level and commit to it. 



I agree with all this… especially the last paragraph (I bolded my favorite part).
For simplicity’s sake, my original definitions have served me well, but your mileage may vary. Based on the specific scene and player and team, game can sometimes be quite broad or quite specific.
I try to keep it simple so I don’t have to think very much while improvising; I can just react appropriately and have fun. 


Thanks everyone!  I kind of already knew the answer, but I thought it would be helpful to add to the great improv tumblr repository of knowledge, and I’ve gleaned some new and helpful insights here!

improv-is-easy:

improvisorsimprovisor:

paulciampanelli:

downrightupright:

nicclee:

improvisorsimprovisor:

improv-is-easy:

If Game is the thing you repeat, then what is the difference between Pattern and Game?

Game is funny/interesting/heartfelt.

A Pattern (an empty pattern, anyway) isn’t.

I respectfully suggest that this needs a little bit more clarification. A Game is a Pattern, but it’s a pattern of human behavior that’s fun to play around with and helps provide structure to a scene. At its broadest, a pattern is anything repeated. 2, 4, 6, 8 is a pattern. But a bunch of improvisors counting off by twos is not interesting. If you inject some behavior, emotion, relationship, or human reaction into a pattern, you have the beginnings of a game. 

I agree with this clarification. A pattern is anything you do more than once. I would say a game is a specific dynamic between two people with a distinct rhythm. For example, the sadder I am, the happier you are and the happier you are, the sadder I am. We feed each other’s behavior consistently, but we can also heighten the game. It doesn’t matter what the context and the details are because that dynamic can be taken and applied to an analogous circumstance. Game has to do with behavior, but emotions and stakes (and point of view and philosophy) are certainly involved.

I’m sure different schools and generations have different answers, and I can’t wait to see the reblog thread continue. That said, my take is: game is the central funny thing that we heighten and explore. Pattern is, well, any pattern. Chris Farley’s motivational speaker sketch has a game of “bad motivational speaker.” But there are many patterns: the way Farley continually gets in people’s faces, the way he keeps saying “Van down by the river!”, etc., none of which ever take focus the way “bad motivational speaker” takes focus. In fact, those patterns serve the game.

How this distinction has been important and helpful to me: if I play a character in a scene, I want to create a cohesive series of patterns (think Farley adjusting his belt, hunching over when he talks, even the way he talks) that combine to create a recognizable, consistent character. But I still need that character to play the game, which is separate (that’s all the specific details that make him a bad motivational speaker).

You could take many of the same patterns (especially around Farley’s character) and play a different game (say, bad gym teacher, or bad bedtime storyteller). Or you could take the same game and play it with different patterns (he could be a bad motivational speaker in so many different ways).  

Again, that’s just my interpretation, but it’s an interpretation that’s been practical and useful for me getting better at improv and generating sketches.

I.e. Patterns are the building blocks of a game?

We mustn’t confuse certain labels. “Motivational speaker” is just a job—a context we’ve been placed in. The Matt Foley Character would most likely behave in the same manner no matter what job he took. Can you imagine how Matt Foley would act if he had a different job? Then that suggests that his behavior is independent of his situation. If he were a gym teacher or a story teller or on a date or trying to calm a baby, he would most likely still be “hyperactive, brash, rude, in-your-face guy.” That’s the game of the scene. It’s also a lot more useful than simply “bad storyteller.” 

The building block of a game is a human behavior. To push the metaphor farther, you can stack building blocks a lot of different ways. That’s your pattern. You can have a lot of different kinds blocks and those blocks can be stacked a lot of different ways.

But really, these semantics are only useful afterwards while analyzing a scene. Are we thinking all of this when we improvise? If I were to improvise a Matt-Foley-esque scene, what might be going through my head? Hopefully something sublingual and intuitive. And hopefully a light bulb that says “Hey, this is fun! I want to do more of this!” An improvisor needs to recognize their behavior on some level and commit to it. 

I agree with all this… especially the last paragraph (I bolded my favorite part).

For simplicity’s sake, my original definitions have served me well, but your mileage may vary. Based on the specific scene and player and team, game can sometimes be quite broad or quite specific.

I try to keep it simple so I don’t have to think very much while improvising; I can just react appropriately and have fun. 

Thanks everyone!  I kind of already knew the answer, but I thought it would be helpful to add to the great improv tumblr repository of knowledge, and I’ve gleaned some new and helpful insights here!

Feb 07

Poupak's Parisian Life in New York: Entrepreneurship →

internationalcomedyteam:

I’m scared. I am starting a new venture in a city where I have family, but I don’t have a Comedy support system, and my venture is in… comedy. I have moments during the day when I feel excited and elated, and other moments when I feel discouraged and plain crazy. I…

If anyone can do it, you can!  It will happen.  It IS happening!

Feb 02

Improv Nonsense: Lying, Meanness, Stupidity →

improvnonsense:

This is about the second line of the scene. Maybe the fifth line. For people who are kinda newish — like two or three courses in, maybe.

When doing improv in front of an audience, and when you are starting with just a suggestion (as opposed to an opening which gives you more full ideas) you will…

Man, that improv spark is lighting up again in me after reading this post.  Gotta get out there and try this more and more.

Feb 02

Improv Nonsense: Follow the Follower →

improv-is-easy:

scorwitz:

improvnonsense:

Let it transform quickly. It should feel silly but not embarrassing because you’re all doing it together. Commit. Give over to it.

Follow the follower is a good metaphor of what happens in an improvised scene. Taking things from each other and making them stronger. Listening and observing from…

I am somewhat leery of an improviser that truly despises Follow the Follower and Organic Openings.  That’s what improvising is about, minus witty cultural references and proving that you know a lot about a lot.

What Scott said!

Wow! This may be one too many reflags, as I’m not well versed in the rules of Tumblr, but I just feel proud to have been placed on Kirk’s improv Tumblr!!! 

Feb 01

Improv Nonsense: Follow the Follower →

improvnonsense:

Let it transform quickly. It should feel silly but not embarrassing because you’re all doing it together. Commit. Give over to it.

Follow the follower is a good metaphor of what happens in an improvised scene. Taking things from each other and making them stronger. Listening and observing from…

I am somewhat leery of an improviser that truly despises Follow the Follower and Organic Openings.  That’s what improvising is about, minus witty cultural references and proving that you know a lot about a lot.

Nov 27
poupak:

did-you-kno:

Source

For all my Nutella lovers friends… just… ewwwwwww



Uh, yeah… That’s kind of the point.

poupak:

did-you-kno:

Source

For all my Nutella lovers friends… just… ewwwwwww

Uh, yeah… That’s kind of the point.
Oct 10
poupak:

evanwatkins:

nicclee:

Amy Poehler and Amber Tamblyn perform at UCB Theater in Los Angeles.  The show is called Gravid Water, Tamblyn has been given the script of an existing play and has to stick to her character’s written lines verbatim, while Poehler has no knowledge of the written play and has to improvise her half of the scene.
WTF! Come over here!!
Grrr. I guess I have to make it a point to see Gravid Water in LA some day. *grumbles* *sighes*

Gravid Water does play NYC, here’s details for the next show: http://newyork.ucbtheatre.com/shows/view/656

Yes it des - and it’s always, ALWAYS a great show!!

When does this show get posted in NYC so I can actually get tix?

poupak:

evanwatkins:

nicclee:

Amy Poehler and Amber Tamblyn perform at UCB Theater in Los Angeles.  The show is called Gravid Water, Tamblyn has been given the script of an existing play and has to stick to her character’s written lines verbatim, while Poehler has no knowledge of the written play and has to improvise her half of the scene.

WTF! Come over here!!

Grrr. I guess I have to make it a point to see Gravid Water in LA some day. *grumbles* *sighes*

Gravid Water does play NYC, here’s details for the next show: http://newyork.ucbtheatre.com/shows/view/656

Yes it des - and it’s always, ALWAYS a great show!!

When does this show get posted in NYC so I can actually get tix?