The 3-weeks Online Special and how it feels

With Flock Theatre, we give a few classes online during the lockdowns. The format we chose to explore is what we called our 3-weeks special: short courses of 3 classes around a specific topic, accessible to anyone and aiming at exploring improv and its surrounding. Here is why I am LOVING it!

First of all, 3 weeks is short, which means that it will be frustrating, but also that I will allow myself to be more bold, in the exploration and the experimentation, which I might not allow myself to do on longer courses. Also, 3 weeks is longer than one workshop alone, so I get to nerd the hell out of what I want, and it gives me an excuse to do a bunch of preparation and research, which I love!

So far, and partly because I don’t like playing scenes online, I have been exploring what the media can offer us to talk about improv and practice tools in a different way. Here is a quick overview and what I learnt!

How was it?

In February, I gave a class on monologues and narrations, to explore what we can learn from movies and series to get better and these moments where we are alone on stage and have space to talk. From the poetic Get Down to the heartfelt Ted Lasso, we had the opportunity to practice a bunch of techniques and exercises to build, enhance and explore further our solos. I spent SO. MUCH. TIME. looking for monologues and narrations in movies and series! It was really interesting to try to find variety in the style, the content, the form, the diversity of the character, etc. You do not imagine how many angry white dudes have monologues. I mean you probably can imagine it.

In March, I offered a course on comic books and graphic novels. Analysis of them, how they work and what we can learn from it. It was meant to be accessible to anyone (not per se comics fans), but not a lot showed up and I ended up with the awesomest little group of students nerding about graphic novels and really good references. We learnt how to engage our audience, move our story forward and show it visually. It was a gold mine of vocabulary and it gave me the opportunity to read and re-read so many comic books, and discover new ones!

In April, I’ve taught a writing class. I wanted to focus on genres that I love especially, in this case the (French broad definition of) fantastique, dystopias, and uchronias (also called alternate history). The aim was to bring a bunch of improvisers to write short stories, give prompts and read these stories to each other. I was expecting it to be good, but I simply got blown away by these 9 brilliant brains (mostly non-native English speakers), and what they came up with in such a short time!

And because I want to share the love with you, here are a few of these very short stories, to listen quietly while cooking or on the bus.

Audio stories to listen to, by some of my amazing students!

I love audio stories. I love audiobooks. And I’ve loved listening to every single one of these stories! And because I love audio stories so much, I decided to teach a class on it for the next session of our 3-weeks special in May!

Don’t forget to explore, to listen to stories, to tell stories, and to dare trying new things!