Stage Time & Juice
by Carol Yao
Children were assembled and asked to draw a map and to decorate it with pictures cut out of old storybooks and various odds and ends. They also created their own avatars out of Playdoh.
With a toss of the dice, the children moved their avatars around the map verbalizing a story as they went along and encountered various features and monsters. Their words were transcribed as follows, without any editing.
The Odyssey of the Juicers
Created on March 2, 2019, at the Red Room
Facilitated by Paul Baker, recorded by Carol Yao.
As told by: Olivia, Ophelia, Kimberly, Sean, Jonathan, Helio, Sophie, Jane, Timothy, Mikey, and Sarah
An asteroid hit a dinosaur and the dinosaur died. Birds survived. The feathers tickled. Monkeys evolved into humans. Humans say I love you. The fire destroyed Japan. The birds didn’t care, they just flew over. The movie Jurassic Park opened and they became rich.
He found a treasure.
He fell one kilometer down a very dark hole.
He also fell down the hole and went into the middle of the earth.
Paddington made a marmalade sandwich.
A pirate found a feather he needed for his hat.
He fell into the pool. There were fish in it. He found a beautiful star. The panda had to swim.
The boat met a rabbit and killed it.
He went to the movie and on the way home it was raining and there were ants on the road and a fish spitting water. The swallows were flying low. By the time he got home he was completely soaked.
The boat met a butterfly. The butterfly got on the boat and then fell into the ocean.
The boat went into a trap and fell into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
He fainted and when he woke up he was on the bird island. The bird wanted to get his marmalade sandwich.
Mama Chicken was sitting on her eggs. The eggs hatched and the chicks came out. They asked Mama Chicken if they could play with the other chicks and she said yes, so they went to play and became good friends.
Mama Rabbit went to buy apples. She saw a rooster and dropped the apple. Mama Rabbit picked the best apple to give to her friend for her birthday.
She saw a fish in the water eating a sandwich and she saw her friend. After pooping she saw her daddy and mommy.
Robot found the bad guy and the bad guy wanted to fight, and Robot won.
The mom and dad were busy taking care of giving birth to the baby so the kids made dinner. Everyone ate it and were happy. Their mom said they could go visit Elsa.
The boat got eaten and came back out through the dinosaur’s poop and flew into the sky and fell down onto a building. And then the sailor sailed the boat away.
The next Stage Time and Juice open mic and more show will take place on Saturday, May 18. If you have something you would like to share as a featured guest, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Formosa Improv Group (FIG)
by Michi Fu & Liam Fanning
Formosa Improv Group (FIG)
by Michi Fu
Formosa Improv Group (FIG) is a bilingual improv group based out of Taipei that owes much of their humble beginnings to the Red Room. We recently had our international debut at the Manila Improv Festival in March 2019. Exciting news is that FIG will soon be launching their Level 2 series to reward workshop participants who have been faithfully attending Open Practice Workshops on Mondays at the Red Room. Level 2 participants will be given a showcase opportunity to perform. Stay tuned for more details on how to register for FIG’s Level 2.
As with FIG’s tradition of having rotating artistic direction, we were eager to see what veteran improv actor Liam Fanning would have in mind for our troupe. He brings with him a wealth of experiences from Richmond, Virginia’s ComedySportz®. On April 27, 2019, FIG was led by Fanning in a monthly mainstage show themed “FIG TV.” Artist Director Fanning was prompted to share thoughts regarding inspiration and reflections of FIG’s latest production.
by Liam Fanning
Like so many attention-seeking children, I always wanted to be on TV. However, when confronted with the unexpected opportunity to be on the local news, I froze in front of the camera! After so much aspiration, I couldn’t even answer a simple question about dumplings for fear of fumbling. As a consolation, Taipei’s bilingual improvisation team Formosa Improv Group (FIG) performed a television-inspired set at the end of April called FIGTV. My ambition as Artistic Director of this project was to leave behind the pressure of on-camera perfection in favor of a conversation with our audience.
The format and structure of the FIGTV performance was an attempt to marry the contrasting improv philosophies of longform and shortform. Longform Improv allows a performance to take a handful of ideas given as suggestions and truly marinate on them. Typically, a show is more open-ended and evolves organically. Shortform, on the other hand, concerns itself with a more fixed format – the goal is to push actors and situations to the point of spontaneity that they may not otherwise explore. The structure of FIGTV combined elements of both to create a style that captured a partiality of the binge-watching era, a continuing story broken into episodes.
In this era of streaming content, the niche audience is king. However, no mass-marketed Netflix show can compete with improvisation. Improv shows offer the audience a unique opportunity to take part in the creation of a truly ephemeral performance – one that has never been seen before and will never be seen again. It requires an audience to participate and collaborate rather than settle into a role of the entertained. As a group, FIG aspires to bring these themes of collaboration to everything that we do. This includes building bridges with amazing local art communities (such as the illustrious Red Room) as well as inviting our audience to engage and participate with us at our regular Monday night open workshops. Although television may be a ubiquitous medium, when was the last time your TV asked you earnestly what you wanted to watch? And no television program is as grateful to you after watching it as FIG is to our budding community of supporters and fans!
Just as important as bridging the gap between the audience and the performer is bridging the cultural gap that bilingual events often find themselves confronting. FIG has a unique position in creating an environment of partnership between Western and Eastern traditions and cultural contexts. Too often, cultural exchange is relegated to awkward ice breaking events or face-saving maneuvers. FIG tries to use improv to bring out deeper sentiments such as trust, mutual respect and, of course, laughter! Where else can you combine elements of a Taiwanese historical drama and a classic American sitcom? With FIGTV and subsequent shows, we hope to start a dialogue between the two hemispheres our group members hail from and to collectively create something that is greater than the sum of our parts. We hope that you continue to tune in!
Liam Fanning is a member of the Formosa Improv Group and the Artistic Director of the May Performance FiGTV at the Red Room! Liam has been living in Taiwan for 8 months and is so grateful to the welcome he has received from the improv and art community. You can see Liam performing with FiG or around Taipei!
Body and Soul, Breathing, Meditating, and Dancing to Singing Bowls
What is the link between our breath and singing bowls? You could say vibration. As we breathe out, our vocal cords start to vibrate, and we can talk, sing, or sigh. As we strike or go over the rim of singing bowls, we make them vibrate, and they sing. This is why in Body and Soul sessions, we often start with breathing exercises to prepare our body to receive the vibrations of the bowls even better. Breathing deeply and slowly helps us relax and be receptive to the present moment and the sounds of the bowls. And also, emitting our own vibrations is very healing, as it has the effect of an internal massage.
Bowls’ vibrations are very soothing because they have several layers (overtones) vibrating in harmony, and our cells feel and absorb that harmony. Plus, when we are meditating or deeply relaxed, our brain produces waves at an alpha frequency (8 to 12 Hz) – singing bowls emit vibrations with frequencies similar to this alpha state, and help our brain to align with its frequency.
So, what better way to end a Sunday and refresh for a new week than having a singing bowls’ bath? In each session, we spend 30-40 minutes lying down just listening to the bowls. Some may fall into a semi-sleep, some may have a floating or weightlessness sensation. Most of the time, you have the feeling you went very far away, and lose the sense of time.
On May 26th, we will start with dancing on the harmonies of the Bowls, improvising movements according to how we perceive the sounds. This will be another way to connect deeply with those harmonies before the final sound bath.
Certified Yoga Instructor