Chicago Improv Summer: Brad Morris Scene Workshop


Even though my Chicago improv summer is technically over (our final performance was August 11), I haven't finished blogging my last weeks there, so I can re-live it!! This will be a really short entry on a workshop I did with Brad Morris of The Reckoning and Stubs.

When I say short, I mean it. I spent time watching, listening and performing, not so much with the note-taking, unfortunately.

  • Key elements of a successful scene include a big character initiation from the very start and oversized emotions

  • Practice flying immediately off the back wall. It will help get you out of your head

  • Honor they scene partner, and honor thyself. If, for example, you have been proposed to in a scene (as in marriage) and laugh for some reason, go with it. It's not a mistake. It's a gift.

  • "You're not here [studying improv all summer] because you're clever. You're here because you're clever and want to do something with it." Brad Morris, on why we're here

  • In scenes, it's often easier to know the other person than yourself, so create them, and tell them who they are. They should reciprocate

  • Use your environment to buy some solace when you're panicked about coming up with something clever to say


In summary, establish an emotion up front, use detail in the scenes, find agreement with your scene partner and build on that. And finally, DON'T NARRATE in your scenes. SHOW, DON'T TELL!

that's all!

These notes don't do the session justice, and I'm sorry I couldn't get these notes up when they were fresher. Anyone who did the workshop, feel free to add more in the comment section.