Wednesday, September 17, 2008

That was School?

This evening we were reading a little bit more of the book Circus Dreams: The Making of a Circus Artist when we came to this one part that ended up leading us on a fun rabbit trail. The book came to a section talking about how the acting teacher at the circus was teaching them about improvisation and included the rules of doing improv. I got up and sort of acted out an improv scene that they mentioned in the book. The kids seem to like it when I jump up and start acting out scenes in books. This particular one involved people arriving at a meeting where the previous arrivals had taken off their shoes, noticing the smell, then noticing that no one has their shoes on, and the finally taking off their shoes also. It was funny.

Then I came up with an idea to explain improv better. I googled Who's Line Is It Anyway. Have you ever seen that show? My husband and I used to love watching it whenever it was on. I miss the fits of laughter that came with watching the show. Anyway, I found tons of videos on YouTube showing portions of the show and began watching them with the kids, explaining how the actors have no idea what they are going to be asked to do and therefore must improvise. I also explained how they have no idea what the other actors are going to do or say so they must instantly drop what they might have been planning on doing and react to the other actor. Improvisation...a difficult and often funny form of acting. We enjoyed that little lesson.

Who'd have thought we'd find ourselves watching Who's Line Is It Anyway for school?

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