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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.

BIOGRAPHY

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.

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About improvunderdogs

A fan of improv and using it in a variety of ways. This blog is part of our quest to make improv more valued in the community.

One response »

  1. I just wanted to send my thanks to whoever is writing this blog for your thoughts on the class. It was such a pleasure working with everyone in these workshops.

    I would love to link back to this article on my own website, please let me know if you’re okay with this. And thanks again for the write-up!!

    – D

    Reply

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