Get Up

Shannon and I have started rehearsing again. Hooray! We have decided our troupe will be called Get Up and have scheduled our first show for Friday June 17, 9 pm at the Austin Improv Co-op at the Hideout.

We’ve started a rehearsal process based on the book The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler. The book takes the work of Joseph Campbell and shows how to directly apply it to screenwriting. It breaks down the steps of the hero’s journey and explores the different archetypes. We are trying to use it for long form. Today we did a long form run through while consulting the book after each scene. It was suprisingly successful. I feel like if we can get good at this we can use it in almost any longform work we do.

What really strikes me about the book as it applies to improv is that there are so many scenes in the mythic structure that totally get skipped or dropped in improv. The refusal of the call, when the hero turns down his first invitation to adventure. The crossing of the threshold, where the hero leaves the ordinary world and enters the special world. The road back, where the hero has the reward, but is chased out of the special world. Sometimes in improv we feel pressure to move forward and rush things and we skip important and satisfying stages of storytelling.

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About Shana Merlin

Merlin Works is the brainchild of Shana Merlin: improviser, teacher, and performer. Since 1996, she’s been leading classes that stretch people’s imaginations, push them out of their comfort zones, and make them laugh out loud for hours at a time.

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