Saturday, October 04, 2008

Subject: Secret Policeman’s Ball Congratulations

Excuse me Sir, were you expecting a bastard?

Works under consideration: 0
Current Dominant Thought: Comedy Writing Dreams
Ideas: 9.1

Subject: Secret Policeman’s Ball Congratulations

It’s a struggle. Writing comedy is lonely and you never know if you’ve done a good job until you show it to someone and they laugh.

I had a big thrill this week. I entered a sketch writing competition for the Secret Policeman’s Ball. Write a pitch in 140 characters. Here’s my entry:-

Celebrity water-boarding with Jonathan Ross starts well with David Cameron & a glass of water but ends badly with Sarah Palin gargling the Star-Spangled Banner.

And I received this email:-

From: Russell Barnes
Subject: Secret Policeman’s Ball Congratulations
Date Received: 30 September 10:01 am

Good morning and congratulations!

Your entry for the Secret Policeman's Ball sketch competition was highly commended by the Ball Writer's Group, which means you've won a DVD of this year's ball - hurrah!

Unfortunately for one reason or another these won't be available until after Christmas, however if you could send me your address we'll send them out as soon as we get them in the office. I'm sorry for the delay, but well done for being funny.

take care

Russell Barnes
Entertainment Editor
Channel 4 Television

So I feel good…I feel fine.

Next week I’m off to a workshop with every1sacritic and have a reading of my sitcom script ‘Hitting Things.’

The fight goes on…

Where’s The Comedy – Train of Fun/Train of Hurt?

Last time I wrote about working with actors. I’m so looking forward to doing my own workshops. Here’s the second exercise I would use to gaugue the strength and the nature of the performer.

Walking and looking.

I learned this exercise at the Desmond Jones School of Mime and Physical Theatre.

Two performers. Stand at opposite ends of a space. On a prompt they walk past each other and take up position where the other stood. They look each other in the eye and…

That’s it. They stand and look at each other. Everyone else in the group watches them. And you wait and you can wait a long time for something to happen.

No acting is involved, no routines, no hiding behind some ‘shtick,’ nope. There’s nothing but the performers and the space, o’ and the audience.

It’s a killer, it’s love, it’s all those open wounds, it’s raw, it’s scary and it’s electric because of the simplicity. Man v man usually becomes a battle of wills. Women v women – I’ve seen this turn into a stalking and on one occasion I did it with a woman and all I felt was warm love – like sunshine on my bare back.

Try it. Don’t let anyone ‘ACT!’ It’s different every time, it’s always fascinating, and often electric.

Variations: try putting another person into the space and see what happens. Indeed you can add performer after performer – if you want an idea of how the dynamic will work.

A word of warning: Be very aware that you can hurt some one who is at a vulnerable time in their life and you should be ready to offer support and comfort. I’ve seen a lot of tears and seemingly strong people crumble to the another’s force.

If you want to know anymore drop me a line jim [at] dreamdrill dot com

Tune in Next Time…
How did the workshop go?
Tools for developing comedy characters.

Random Mix
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I Still Have Teenage Pony Kicks

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At 5:50 pm, Blogger Les Becker said...

Hmmm... "walking and looking"? Perhaps if you threw in "while chewing gum" it could turn into "walking and stumbling". Of course, that could work with beer, too, which would also cover the "offer support and comfort" part of things.

At 6:37 pm, Blogger JimKin said...

I'd never mix performers and chewing gum...Do you know the DANGER!


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