Mouths full of marshmallows, brightly painted bodies and on the spot humor are some of the things that happened at American River College’s rave themed Improv Club event Thursday from 10 p.m. to midnight.
Theater professor Pamela Downs holds three late night Improv events each semester for students and guests alike.
“It’s important for actors to gain improv skills and for non-actors it is a way to gain confidence and connect with other people in a non-threatening way,” Downs said.
The warm up activity for the night consisted of everyone participating gathered in a circle then having everyone, one by one, alternate to the middle, doing something expressive through body language with all of the participants copying that movement three to four times.
There were five rules that were stated at the beginning of the night.
Emmanuel Jimenez, a theater major and the former president of Improv Club, explained each rule in depth.
“Number one a huge rule of improv everywhere you go is yes and…But yes is a way to let things progress off one another,” said Jimenez.
The first rule is enforced because if people continue to say no to something then the scene will eventually die and there won’t be anything for anyone to work off of.
“Number two be seen be heard, just standard theatre rules if you’ve taken a beginning drama class or anything,” said Jimenez. “Cheat out and project your voice. So make sure your front is facing the audience and the audience can hear you, otherwise what’s the point?”
Jimenez continued to elaborate on each of the rules… “ Number three non improv talk goes outside… pretty straight forward. We have a club to run. Number four it’s a secret. The 4th rule is a secret rule for fun.”
Each semester there is something done that has a prize for solving it.
“One semester an officer wore his shoes on opposite feet every meeting to see if anyone would notice and number five is respect,” said Jimenez.
The last and arguably the most important rule in terms of considering the other improvisors was the fifth rule.
“ Be respectful of each others personal space because even though you’re doing a scene together, doesn’t mean you know and are comfortable with each other,” said Jimenez.
Downs elaborated on the requirements for joining improv club or the actual Theatre Arts class 344.
“The class doesn’t suppose you’ve done anything before,” said Downs. “You just have to be open minded and willing to try things as well as being very tolerant of things.”
One of the last scenes of the night, and potentially the most dangerous, involved strawberry flavored marshmallows.
A few improvisors started a scene and someone else would enter and make them put a marshmallow in their mouth and everyone would have to continue the scene as if they did not have anything in their mouths.