View Full Version : Differences

September 30, 2003, 09:46 AM
I just wanna hear peoples thoughts on the differences of styles they might have noticed with all the different locations we had present at 24 Live.

We had Utah, NC, NYC and Chicago

I know the normal NYC Chicago debate of Game vs relationship styles. But with two places like NC and Utah who aren't really trained the same, I'm wondering if there is any noticable difference other than "gamey".

Utah seemed a little more grounded in their everyday scene work.
NYC people seemed to play alot of high power characters.
Chicago def seemed to think the furthest outside of the box than anyone.

Was great to see so much diversity and inability to rap.

September 30, 2003, 10:45 AM

I don't know if 24 Live was the best place to draw many conclusions on difference in playing styles among the cities. I don't recall watching scenework and thinking, "oh, that's so typical Chicago," or "ahhh... sweet New York clustery goodness." Too small a sample size, too loose a format for the marathon. The DCM or CIF are the places to be if you want a rigourous comparative study, but someone missed his chance in New York, now didn't he?

I'm beginning to think the notions of "typical styles" applies best to student and new groups -- I've seen 45 minute Harolds at IO that were very slow and grounded, and I've seen (and been a part of) 17 minute Harolds at UCBT that were very fast and wacky. (The Syndicate's UCBT debut clocked in at 16:54.) When you're learning, a certain teacher's style is bound to be a strong influence on you, to the point that I could tell who taught a UCBT level 3 just by watching the students' group games. (And one day, the same will be true of DSI.)

The best improvisers are adaptable and flexible and versitile and can bring whatever style is needed at any given time. Zach's an amazing improviser, but if I was watching him for the first time, I couldn't say with certainty where he trained. He may have personal preferences and innate tendancies, but we've seen him work the slow/grounded and the fast/wacky and switch between the two and do it well. (Note: I'm not trying to say that a two-dimensional "improv style-space" exists or is descriptive of reality. Reality is generally complex.)

Sometimes I daydream about what will typify the "Chapel Hill style." We have so many non-dogmatic influences in the training program and house team system, but I think all the teachers and directors could agree on a range in the "improv style-space" that's important to teach and hone and emphasize. I don't think my teaching style is typical New York, but that's certainly the strongest influence. There's a lot I don't like about that typical style, and I certainly emphasize slow/grounded when I give notes, but I teach fast/wacky as well. Teams need to be able to do both. Teams need to be able to do both within the same PIECE, which is what I've been focusing on with Mister Diplomat. (And now you can watch along!)

In the end, at least in my experience, debates about style differences have dogmatic/xenophobic/civic pride undertones. New Yorkers will watch a Chicago team stuggle and say the Chicago style forgives people for being uninteresting; Chicagoans will watch a New York team struggle and make a quip about not impressing Lorne.

So, to find a way to stop typing, the only style I'm interested in is "good." Style differences are easy to pick up from groups who are early in their learning and development, but the very best groups transcend all of that. Hell, the "New York style" itself can be traced to the UCB, who trained in Chicago. Set up a checklist of style points you expect from each city and watch Baby Wants Candy and The Swarm -- there will be incredible overlap.

I have an opinion.

September 30, 2003, 04:02 PM
Was great to see so much diversity and inability to rap.
I didn't realize there was a mirror on stage... :twisted:

I didn't know who was from where and there wasn't a huge sampling. I found the NC scene to be very accepting and was made to feel very welcome.


Kit's Alter Ego
November 30, 2004, 01:42 PM
Bumping Corey's threads in retaliation.