It’s been said that laughter is the best medicine and it certainly helps keep things light and cheery, if handled responsibly. Being Asia’s premiere institute for Film, Communication, and the Creative Arts, Whistling Woods International serves as a beacon of learning for all creative purviews including the fast-paced verbal art of improvcomedy.
At WWI’s recent 5th Veda session on the subject, students and attendees were given a heavy doseof hilarity by the panel – Adam Dow, Ankit Challa, AvinashVerma, Surya Rao, and Gavin (Chubby)Methalaka, representing Improv Comedy Mumbai (ICM). Commencing the discussion was Adam Dow who began with a few “warm-up” improv exercises to loosen up the audience.
The session was crafted to help students understand the intricacies of improvisation comedy through a variety of exercises conducted by the group. The group kept the students enthused while educating them that improv is a creative expression for all artists – writers, directors and actors.
“Comedy is like sports, you don’t know what will happen next or what’s going to come your way. Nothing is planned and nothing is determined; it’s all about being in the moment. Dialogue becomes organic; which makes improv a place of creativity,” said Dow, a veteran with more than two decades of experience in the performance art form.
AvinashVerma, fellow thespian and collaborator at ICM, described to the studentshowimprov is a technique where the story and narrative are done right on stage.“It’s on the spot so there’s as much excitement as there are challenges when it comes to performing from the top of your mind,” he explained.Narrating the similarities between acting and improv, Ankit Chawla explained, “You create, imagine a story and then edit; it’s just on the spot, is all.”The panel kept the discussion lively and entertaining while ensuring that students could comprehend the challenges of an improv performance.
Chubby Methalaka shared his experiences and outlined how a lot of the scenes performed were, in fact, derived by the audience’s energy and that it goes both ways. Improv is a series of calculative moves and allows the performer to be a different person, on the spot.
Theriveting session concluded as the President of WWI, Meghna Ghai Puri graciously gave a formidable vote of thanks to the panel amidst thunderous applauds from the students.