imprology, improvisation based training

Improviser of the month        January 2010

Michael Brunström
 
What is your name?
It is Michael Brunström.
Where do you live and work?
Somewhere in North London.
What is your day job?
I edit and design illustrated books.
How did you discover improvisation?
In January 2007 I bumped into Ken Campbell outside a pub in Kentish Town. He was one of my childhood heroes because of his one-man shows and theatrical capers, so I struck up a conversation with him as we walked. We came to a door and he said, “Are you coming in, then?” And I found myself in a room of people doing a workshop on “wittering”. A few months later, Ken suggested I spend a week learning impro and performing an extemporised musical at the end of it. The moral of the story is: if your hero leads you to a door and says, “Are you coming in, then?” you should probably go through that door, yeah.
How do you practice improvisation?
a) Attending classes, such as Crunchy Frog and Hoopla!
b) Performing in regular shows, such as My Show My Rules.
c) Running improvabouts, such as Frogspawn and The Improvised Greek Tragedy.
d) Playing ‘Endless Box’ and singing songs to myself while walking to work.
How did you learn?
I’m still learning and still have much to learn. My first regular classes were taught by Alan Marriott and Dylan Emery.
Any advice for beginners?
Astonish yourself. Throw yourself in the deep end. Keep breathing at all times. Put on shows.
What is your favourite improvisation quote?
If a scene is going well, make it better; if it’s going badly, make it worse.
What is the most satisfying story or scene you ever improvised in?
Oh, anything with monkeys in. Of course, I could name countless astonishing scenes I’ve seen, but I wasn’t in any of them. Great impro scenes tend not to stick in the memory, because they only make a noise in the present tense. One evening I will always cherish, however, was when Ken made a group of us improvise the whole of an obscure Shakespeare play (Two Noble Kinsmen) in the style of Dr Seuss.
Your favourite improvisation website
Apart from this one, obviously:
www.thecrunchyfrogcollective.com is the main UK impro clearing house. It has a good forum for chucking ideas about. www.facebook.com is a superb and beautiful tool for sharing information about weird stuff happening in the upstairs rooms of pubs. It also has other features.
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