We do a lot of exercises focusing on space object work. It’s something that can easily fall away in the excitement of being on stage. That, or you lean on the same few objects again and again.
As improvisers we’re often hyper-aware of our personal weaknesses, so it’s important in Chick Flick practices that we give useful feedback that’s also positive.
We wanted to share some of the things that we’ve said about ourselves, and also give each other props for some excellent space work. (See what I did there?)
Mia about Mia:
I’m really not good at holding binoculars. They grow every time! The same, really, with anything you have to hold or “put on” with two hands: glasses, books, swim goggles…
Mia is an ace with a mouse and a keyboard. She even does the eye thing, where she looks left to right to read the screen as she types.
I love the way Mia plays a harp. So intense – you can see the harp.
Mia’s great when drinking from glasses or bottles. She always remembers that the lip of the glass is above your hand, not right at the edge of your fingers! Plus, she remembers where she put it when she sets it down.
Everyone should see Mia put on a improv bonnet, it’s just adorable.
Mia is great with a drink, when she spills it I want to get her a napkin
Mary about Mary:
When I go into a purse, I have a hard time remembering if the purse has a flap top or if I put it down or something. I’ll start pulling things out of it before it is open.
Mary is great with buttoning up space object shirts.
Mary can hit a pipe with style.
Mary will commit to an object with her whole body. If she’s starting a lawn-mower or lifting something heavy, you can see her strain with the effort.
Mary remembers doors really well. Which is great when you walk through it, she will call you out.
Karen about Karen:
I can never remember how to screw a lid of a jar on and off. You’d think opening jars wouldn’t come up much in improv, but it also seems to be one of my go-to actions if a scene is ever set in a kitchen!
Karen is good at books. But she is really also very good at shoe things and wooden legs. Like when she put on her wooden leg and called it “old stumpy” – hilarity.
Karen, girl, you make books look real, yo.
Seconded that Karen does kickass book/magazine reading on stage.
Karen and Mary did a scene once where you were in a bedding store and I loved how the sisters were talking about deep stuff but the whole time you both were touching pillows and laying on bedding.
Karen is great at having a table scene. She is very aware of the table and the silverware. Makes me more aware.
Jennifer on Jennifer:
My weakness is forgetting where a table has been put or where a tree is. I love how an audience will gasp if you walk through something.
I love when Jennifer “eats”. It looks so realistic when she’s munching on a bag of “potato chips” in a scene!
Jennifer needs to teach us all to properly smoke a cigarette.
Jen is a great shop girl – showing off her wares – she creates a full environment of things. In one scene I especially remember, she was selling, or buying, a small toy horse – the horse was there, and more, I wanted it for myself.
Jennifer is great at smoking. She goes through all the steps like a pro — getting the pack, shaking out a cigarette, putting it in her mouth while she fishes for a lighter, and then that triumphant first inhale.
Theresa on Theresa:
I tend to hold pencils like they are needles. Also, this is very basic, but sometimes I am a magician and objects just appear and disappear.
Theresa is so good about holding tiny things like lollipops that totally inform her character.
I second the thing about Theresa with the lollipop – I still remember a show long ago where she was eatin’ an ice cream cone and it informed her character and looked so real.
One time in practice Theresa’s character was painting her toenails. It was amazing, she even remembered to shake the bottle first and blow on her toes. Later, she walked around like she was splaying her toes apart to keep the wet polish from smudging.