Puppet Up Improv Class at Ampersand Studio May 18 2014

On Thursday 17th April Ampersand Studio played host for a very special one off event, a free three hour improv class led by the amazingly talented Patrick Bristow Co-creator and Director of ‘Puppet Up’. Two weeks previous to this Felipe Reynolds and I went along to opening night at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne. This is where Patrick plays Host to the remarkable Henson Puppet up Puppeteers, and driving the (metaphorically speaking) out of control bus of hysterical improvised comedy with the Melbourne audience throwing crude topics at the team (all too naturally) fueling the nights antics. A fun show had by all (even the cast by the sound of it), and at the end of it we were fortunate enough to head upstairs to meet the crew.

After a few drinks and swapping stories of our creative journeys Patrick very generously offered to host an improv class at our studio and share his knowledge with our little puppet community. A few phone calls, Facebook messages and 2 weeks later we had a studio full for eager performers ready to shake off any inhibitions and get a little silly. We were also thrilled to be joined by Brian Clark, Peggy Etra and Grant Baciocco from the cast to share their expertise and join in the mayhem.

Unlike most in the room, it was my first improv class and I didn’t know what to expect but quickly the nerves settled as Patrick lead the group into some warm ups to get the mind alert. Throughout the 3 hours we ran and stumbled through a bunch of improv techniques and scenarios that we put ourselves into that more often than not ended in laughter, especially when things when wrong. Patrick is an absolute pro at getting you relaxed and in the moment to teach you to work with the things around you and bounce off your fellow performers.

All in all it was such a wonderful experience, and incredible to have so many talented creative people hanging out in the studio that you could really feel the buzzing energy in the room.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the workshop, I hope you enjoyed it and got something out of it, as much as I did. And a big special thanks to Patrick, Grant, Peggy and Brian for sharing your experience’s and expertise.

This certainly got me inspired about what will be doing next at Ampersand Studio, so keep an eye on our page at www.facebook.com/ampersandstudioart for more to come.