Level II is not just twice Level I

I’m just back from my first session of Level II Improv Class (at ComedySportz).

Level I was mostly fun and games, including classics like Zip-Zap-Zop and Zoom-Schwartz-Profligliano, with a tiny bit of character building and object creation, ending with 30-second scene openings.

The warmup tonight was fun and games, including Zip-Zap-Zop and an extended version of Zoom-Schwartz-Profligliano, but then we got down to the serious business of learning how to create real scenes — not all of which were even intended to be funny. Our teachers told us, several times, that Level II is probably the hardest of the classes, because it’s the first one where you’re really acting and staying in character instead of going for a quick laugh; I don’t think any of our scenes tonight went more than two minutes (at least none of the ones I wasn’t in did — it’s hard to tell how long a scene lasts if you’re onstage!), but it was a long two minutes.

The last session of the class, a mere seven weeks away, is a performance for friends and family. A performance of long-form improv. With scenes of twenty minutes. It seems daunting, but all of the players at ComedySportz have survived it, so I can, too. I think.