The Deconstruction w/Piero Procaccini – session 6!

    Session 6:

Full Piece and Harold Applications (Combining all components, Applying these techniques to other forms such as Harold, Personal Feedback)

Notes from Piero are in CAPS.

Exercise –
opposite energy exercise

Thematic and commentary scenes don’t specifically reference the source scene they are influenced by behaviors and mood. Details and specifics from the source scene should only show up in the run.

Source scene pointers –
This is definitely about both people in scene. How is it about them?
Repeat names, best to do so early on.
These characters can come back within the run.

Thematic scene pointer-
Vary thematic scenes if possible, so during initial source scene analysis pick more than one theme.

Run scene pointer-
Group scenes are possible, ground the painting (scene or movie) – less inventing, revisit information all-ready provided.
Don’t start out too fast because then the run has trouble accelerating.

“When joining a scene” pointers –
Complement, match, or take the opposite.

Deconstruction overall applications –
Source scenes are the first beats of scenes. They establish the information you need to follow up on within the long-form normally.

Thematic scenes (Yes, and) applies to most scenes.

Commentary scenes apply to second beats of scenes

Initiation of a scene is normally a premise-based start (commentary scene) (YES, OFTEN MORE THE CASE WITH 2ND OR 3RD BEATS)

Run scenes are third beat scenes – one person initiates with a strong idea on what items they are calling back from the source scene.

Overall it is more important to have a good scene than push your premise. Think of it as a pyramid. Half of the base is one character the other half of the base is the second character if the characters move in an outward direction of the triangle it is based on confusion level, the perpendicular line from the base center is the level of premise.
In the triangle, the higher the amount of premise in a scene, the smaller the area of understanding between the two characters that makes up the base of the triangle. The area outside the triangle is the bad scene area. (THE Y AXIS OF THE TRIANGLE IS THE AMOUNT/COMPLEXITY OF YOUR PREMISE AND THE X AXIS IS THE ABILITY OF EACH PLAYER TO UNDERSTAND THE OTHER’S PREMISE – 0 BEING COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF THE PREMISE. THE GREATER YOUR PREMISE, THE MORE DIFFICULT IT WILL BE FOR YOUR SCENE PARTNER TO UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU WANT FROM THEM SO YOU MUST BE WILLING TO DROP YOUR PREMISE.)

In a worst-case scenario, you should let go of the premise if the other player is confused and build one line at a time.

Laughtrack Theater Company “workshop intensives” breakdown – Deanna Moffitt

    The Power of Silence – Saturday March 13th
    by Deanna Moffitt

In this class students will get the opportunity to discover the power of silence in their scenes, by building tension, using emotional connections and finding a collaborative
narrative, with your scene partner. Using a generous dose of stage time students will work their acting skills to find out what happens when they release the pressure of
trying to be funny and instead be real, and discover that the adage of “comedy in truth” is right on the money.


DEANNA MOFFITT started improvising in Portland, OR with ComedySportz in 1998. She soon joined ranks with Stacey Hallal to form the critically acclaimed duo, All Jane, No Dick, which performed in comedy festivals across the nation and Toronto. While in Portland she continued working her way up the corporate ladder as an IT Project Manager for a Fortune 1000 company. After five years of performing in Portland, Deanna followed her heart, quit her job, sold her home and made the move to Chicago, to pursue a career in improvised comedy.
In between her travels she completed training at iO Chicago and took classes at the Annoyance. She was soon hired by ComedySportz Chicago and performed regularly with iO’s premier Harold Team Revolver and the Improvised Musical Del Tones. In 2007 she was hired by Second City Theatricals to work on Norwegian Cruise Line, performing a best of Second City Show. She spent that winter in the Caribbean, in 2008 she spent the winter in the Mediterranean and this winter she is enjoying the best of them all by spending five months in and around the beautiful Hawaiian islands.

My notes for posterity:
Deanna was a wonderful coach, she was able express to us the needs that we as individuals should be aware of when we perform and therefore how to push ourselves to do more. The whole class was built on the idea of being able to express ourselves emotionally and go from 1-10. We did exercises where we would take turns doing two person scenes. One person would deliver an arbitrary line and the other person would have to build a reaction of how that line affected them all the way to a ten. We then did scenes where we put our reaction into an object we were holding in front of us in a two person scene. After the break we did scenes purely based on the suggestion of music and rhythm. We would start with music and when the music went out we had to begin talking, but the music would inspire us to inhabit certain characters and situations.

New Exercise highlight:
Checking in with each other with music underscoring was very rewarding. We had to start where we were both looking at each other and from there look out and begin a scene. It became less about what we, as individuals, were doing and more about whether or not the person we were on stage with knew what we were doing and feeling. Without that moment of really checking in it became hard to do scenes with people of varying levels but with that moment of checking in it became easier.