The Groundlings School – Hollywood, CA – Level One: Basic – Day Nine

I really need to get started on my online course homework, so this entry will be short. Here are the notes I jotted down during Day 9 of Basic at The Groundlings School:



  • Bus scene chair set up
  • Random facial expression choice by instructor
  • Talk about where we’re going, why we’re excited, and what we’re going to do there to get emotionally invested.
  • Watch out for making too much noise that drowns out partner’s gifts.
  • Don’t tear through information. Put in beats to rest and pause for audience reactions. You eventually run out of things to say and start repeating things like “You’re the best.”
  • Focus on one idea for why we’re going there and have a back story or other justification to explain why we’re going there.


  • Make space work matter!
  • Don’t overly justify partner’s choice.
  • Stay focused on one activity and relish in it or else you’ll end up repeating actions.
  • Match partner’s emotion in scene.
  • Don’t be presentational. Raise the emotional stakes!
  • Don’t lose track of main idea of scene.
  • Sister/lover label is too much to overcome as an audience member.


  • Establish who/what/where off the bat. You have only 3 minutes to get out all the important establishing information about the scene.
  • Say things in context of character. Don’t say things your character wouldn’t say.
  • When you mention something specific, have a specific reason why that choice and no other choice. Why that choice?
  • Sensing how people say things (idiosyncrasies) in improv can be worked into a character.

These cryptic descriptions probably mean more to me than to you, but I found them significant enough to write down, so here they are. Nine classes down, and three more to go. I can’t believe my first class at The Groundlings School is almost over!

– Angelie


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