I’m sad to be leaving Calgary. Yesterday, we had our last class at the Moose and a final performance of Micetro. The Italians brought the house down, especially Tania’s “Dear Diary” scene. Afterwards, we went to Shawn’s place for a party where we drank, signed each others’ pictures and promised to visit. I’m hoping to visit as many of the people I met on this course as possible. This would take us to Italy, Germany, Norway, New Zealand, England, Hong Kong and the US.
I’m flying to Toronto in a few hours. Toronto still feels like home even though we will be couch surfing for the next 3 weeks.
I’m leaving Calgary exactly where I wanted to be. The world looks different now. Every interaction feels like the start of an exciting game. Ordering breakfast was fun because everything was moving fast except for one person who ordered very slowly. So the game was to do everything quickly and then pretend not to be impatient. This makes the slower person (who was in on the game) even more stressed and slower. Eventually, someone else ordered extra food and shared. For extra spice add vegetarianism and another language. Done with a good natured attitude, this is a game everyone can enjoy.
A game that several Calgarians seemed to be playing was “how many things can I hang from my belt”. Waiting for the bus one morning there was a guy strutting up and down the sidewalk with a flashlight and a radio on his belt. Soon he was joined by another person with even more things on his belt. Immediately, the first guy stopped strutting and watched the newcomer take over as top rooster. This was hilarious to watch particularly because the participants didn’t consciously know that they were playing. Given enough time it would have been fun to approach them with even more belt trophies. I wonder if they would back off or fight for their position even with their clearly inferior belts.
We had no classes this morning so some of us tried stilt walking. Sam took us to the workshop of the Green Fools and ran us through some basic exercises.
Even with short stilts it was quite difficult. Notice the look of concentration/fear on my face. We each tried walking in place for about a minute while holding Sam’s hands. I had assumed we’d all be walking in about 20 minutes but it was not to be. Still, it was fun.
We took a break from classes today and went into the mountains.
We spent the day at Lake Louise
This a beautiful emerald lake nestled in the mountains. The colour comes from the silt carried down from the glaciers.
This is what the lake looks like without improvisers.
We hiked up to the tea house at Lake Agnes.
This is a great trip, especially for people who are new to Canada. Lake Louise may be the most picturesque part of the country.
After the hike, we went to Banff and had lunch at the Rose and Crown rooftop patio. It has a spectacular view of the mountains on three sides.
Last night half of the improv class performed in the Friday Micetro at the Loose Moose. It was a lot of fun even though I was eliminated in the first round. A few long time Moosers joined in to make sure things went well. Afterwards, there was a party with dancing, food, drink and improvisors: a potent mix. My friend Karen came to the show and stayed for the party. It was good to see her and there was a nice symmetry since we met five years earlier when taking the same course.
Today was a day off but we spent the afternoon making casts of our faces. These will be used to make masks for Steve Jarand`s class.
Tonight we are all going to see the senior improvisers perform some Gorilla Theatre.
Today was the second day of classes at the Moose. We did the hat game which is always fun. The idea is to encourage the actors to be mentally present and not worrying about what to say or how to be funny. Two actors wear floppy hats and perform a scene. The scene ends when one actor tries to snatch the hat from the other. Snatch someone’s hat and you win. A failed attempt means you lose.
Many people try to win by controlling the other person. Making them sit down or tying them up (with mime ropes) is popular. A more subtle approach is to try to make them think about events in the future or past so they stop paying attention to their surroundings. Questions like, “What time did you wake up today?” or “How many eggs are in a large omelet?” can be quite effective. As they think back to the morning or imagine they are cooking they are no longer “in the moment” and you can often take their hat without much resistance.
So as you travel through life, pay attention. Don’t let anyone take your hat.
Arrived back in Toronto today. It took two days to make it back rather than the three days it took to get down there.
Toronto was experiencing torrential rain when I arrived. I reassured a fellow traveller that this was unusual for Toronto. It isn’t actually a rain forest.
This is a short stay. Tomorrow, I’m off to Calgary for an improv workshop. I’m really looking forward to it. I took this workshop 5 years ago and had a blast.