Published by ShawnKinley on

Leaflet - 'Hotel Dunsmuir', Vancouver, Canada, 1908


Student Post


OSHOW – Week 8

“(original Japanese below. Translation by ChatGPT)

8th Week 

This weekend, I went to Vancouver and spent time at Rina’s house from Tightrope Improv Theatre. I enjoyed sightseeing, but it was also another week of improv as usual, with appearances in Maestro, Gorila Theatre, and Super Scene.

After two months of intensive improv training, I felt that my identity as an improviser has definitely changed.

 I finally understood Keith’s words, “Be Average,” and have been able to practice it. 

Many people confuse this with “Be General.” In fact, “General” and “Average” are opposites. This is because one’s own “Average” is being crushed by the concept of “General.” 

For Keith, having “a crab with a Nazi emblem” was considered Average. People may find it creative, but for Keith, who is British, it was a childhood association. But people don’t try to bring out their own Average. They don’t dream that their Average is creative. So people put out something that seems creative from the outside and move further away from their own originality (Be Original). 

Many people try to do well and be interesting, but there are few improvisers who try to be themselves. Everyone denies themselves and tries to become someone or something else.

I did a scene of infidelity at Tightrope’s Maestro, where I proposed to have sex with the person involved in the affair “with my three sons.” Everyone present was surprised, but at that moment, I was truly Average (let’s leave the imagination as to why this idea was Average). It was a time when I didn’t make any effort, but from the perspective of those around me, I was being creative.

Keith’s concept of Average, in other words, is about being oneself, being true to oneself, and being genuine. But the latter words sound as if they are something extraordinary. In fact, Keith wanted to convey that it’s not that big of a deal with the word Average.

And my perspective on improv has also become simpler. When it comes to improvisers, I look at “what patterns they are stuck in,” and when it comes to scenes, I look at whether “the story is progressing or stagnant.”

Experienced improvisers are skilled at hiding their fears and delaying the story very creatively. There was clear wimping, but there were also moments when they stopped the story by expressing conflict (even though they could have resolved it and moved forward) or avoided progressing the story by playing games (even though they could have used the game to advance the story). 

As a fundamental premise, the improvisers at Tightrope had wonderful spirits. But no matter what kind of improviser you are, there is always room for growth, and I felt that once again.

Storytelling is especially challenging. Doing the most important thing right now is the riskiest and scariest thing. And above all, it’s hard to realize it yourself. I started looking at it naturally from the perspective of “What would Shawn think?” and it broadened my perspective.

By the way, the most thrilling moment was the scene where Rina breastfed. She lifted her own clothes to breastfeed Jeff, who was playing the baby (of course, nothing actually came out)! It was a very bold move! How many female improvisers can do that? I once again respect her.

It was also fun to talk about improv with her in the middle of the night. She is involved in improv workshops and shows at Tightrope almost every day. She said, “I’m doing more improv than ever before.” And she also said, “You have to do this much to get better.” In Japan, there are several improv groups, but there are no dedicated theaters, and even if they perform, it’s usually only once a month. Some teams perform weekly, but they are very rare. Especially for young people and beginners, opportunities to perform are scarce. I’ve said this many times, but it’s a place I want to create in the future.

After talking with her and meeting other improvisers in Japan, I thought that Japanese improvisers could venture abroad more. Japanese improvisers are charming, eager to learn, and many have a deep understanding of Keith’s improv. Fortunately, this is because comedy improv is not very widespread in Japan. Just as Rina supported Tightrope’s shows, there are many people who can take over the improv world. Many people seem to hesitate due to language barriers, but neither Rina nor I are particularly proficient in English. That’s not very relevant. You don’t need to become like Westerners. Be Average. Just be yourself, and that’s good enough.

Moreover, especially mid-level improvisers in Japan should watch performances by veteran players with more experience from around the world. 

There are very few veterans in Japan who are actively performing. Everyone ends up in teaching roles and settles comfortably without updating their thoughts. In other words, there are no role models to look up to. By spending time with Shawn during this school, I found my goal. Rina also seemed to be greatly inspired by meeting Lisa Roland from BA TS. 

Finding such role models can boost motivation, and it makes me realize that there is still much more I can do. I hope to plan a tour someday and take many Japanese improvisers abroad. I’ve found something else I want to do.”


Japanese Original text

今週末は個人的にバンクーバーに行き、Tightrope Improv Theatreのりなの家で過ごした。
観光も楽しんだが、Maestroに出演し、Gorila TheatreとSuper Sceneを観ると言う相変わらずのインプロウィークでもあった。

2ヶ月間みっちりとインプロを学んで来たことで、自分のインプロバイザーとしての在り方が確実に変わってきていることを感じた。特にキースの「Be Average」という言葉をようやく理解し、実践出来るようになってきた。
多くの人はこの言葉を「Be General」と混同している。GeneralとAverageは実は対局に位置している。なぜなら自分にとってのAverageは、Generalというもの押し潰されていってしまってるからだ。
キースにとって「ナチスの紋章をしてる蟹」というのはAverageだった。人々はそれを独創的だというが、イギリス人であるキースは、子供の頃に当たり前のように連想した。だが人はそのような、自分にとってのAverageを出そうとはしない。自分のAverageが創造的だとは夢にも思っていないのだ。だから人は自分の外から独創的と思われるものを出して、どんどん自分そのものが持つオリジナリティから離れていく(Be Original)。うまくやろう、面白くあろうとする人はたくさんいるが、自分らしくいようとするインプロバイザーは少ない。皆自分自身を否定し、誰かに、何かになろうとする。



彼女と会って話してみて、もっと日本のインプロバイザーは海外進出して良いと思った。日本のインプロバイザーは愛らしく、勉強熱心で、キースのインプロに対する造詣が深い人も多い。これは日本でコメディインプロがあまり広まっていないことが、幸いにも影響している。りながTightropeのショーを支えていたように、他にもインプロワールドを席巻出来る人は何人もいるはずだ。言葉の壁に対して躊躇する人は多い気がするが、別に僕もりなも英語がそこまで出来るわけでもない。そこはあまり関係ない。欧米の人のようになる必要はない。Be Average。自分らしくいればそれで良いのだ。

それに、特に日本の中堅インプロバイザーは、もっとキャリアのある世界のベテランプレイヤーのパフォーマンスを見た方がいい。日本には現役でパフォーマンスをやっているベテランが少ない。皆指導する側に回ってしまうし、考えを更新せずに安住してしまう人が多い。要は、憧れられる人がいないのだ。僕は今回のスクールでショーンと時間を過ごしたことで、僕にとっての目標が見つかった。りなもBA TSのリサ・ローランドと出会ったことで、かなりインスパイアされたようだ。そういうロールモデルを見つけることは、モチベーションにも繋がるし、まだまだ出来ることがあるんだと自分に対して思うことが出来る。いずれはツアーを企画して、多くの日本人インプロバイザーを海外に連れて行きたい。やりたいことがまた1つ見つかった。

Categories: Oshow


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