13 Essential Musical Skills for Improv Musical Directors

Introduction A couple of times every year I get asked to work with musicians who want to do Musical Direction  (MD) for improv, or I get asked to run MD workshops at festivals. Which I happily do, but it often surprises me how unrealistic the participants’ expectations are. I think the reason for this is … Continue reading 13 Essential Musical Skills for Improv Musical Directors

Protagonists & Antagonists – Part I

Introduction Here is a little model. Think of it as a storytelling model, applied to improv. It’s a bit theoretic, but it can really be applied; see the last section for how this material came about and why it is useful. While explaining the model I will use plenty of examples for scripted stories. In … Continue reading Protagonists & Antagonists – Part I

13 Things – a (Musical) Long Form Improv Format

I thought that this month, I'd describe the RIOT signature format; it is called "Thirteen Things".   RIOT only does musical long-form so we add a lot of singing, but the format can equally be performed without singing.  I'll describe the overall format first and then describe how we use song within the format. General Format … Continue reading 13 Things – a (Musical) Long Form Improv Format

Time to Sing?

If you are doing musical improv, how do you know or decide when to sing?  In this article we discuss a couple of options. Organically Sometimes songs just happen organically.  The Musical Director (MD) provides underscore to a scene and a player just feels she has to burst out in song.  Magic!  In my experience … Continue reading Time to Sing?

The Power of Monologues

Introduction I am a big fan of monologues, mainly for initiation of scenes (and by extension, stories).   But I don't see enough of them, which is a pity, because monologues can be quite powerful.  Let's see why I like monologues so much. Disclaimer: Armando’s and “Monologic” formats When I talk about use of monologues in … Continue reading The Power of Monologues