I WENT TO A MOVIE RIFFING WORKSHOP

Got the chance to do some riffing with the best of the best, Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff from "Mystery Science Theater 3000" at Chicago's iO theater.
  1. This was a dream bc MST3K is the best!!
    If you haven't seen it, it's on Netflix. I recommend "Pod People" as an introduction. Also because I love talking during movies like this and all my friends think it's so annoying, so I was glad to have a chance to be free.
  2. There were 18 people there, four of which were women and one of which was a person of color
    Why is this always the case in comedy?? I love my community but I really wish things were better in this sense. I could feel the male white entitlement in the room a little bit. But I'm used to that.
  3. We just started by watching a movie and yelling out jokes as we went through
    We watched "The Wasp Woman"
  4. We did this for AN HOUR AND A HALF and got through 3 MIN of the movie
    One of the main takeaways was how crazy long the process was and how serious Trace and Frank are about what they do. Everything anyone said was carefully typed and we paused the movie throughout to make sure everyone was heard.
  5. Then we went through all our jokes and edited to the ones we liked the best
    The first joke we decided to include was one I had made so I felt pretty 💯 about that. We just went through and discussed everything, Trace and Frank really encouraged everyone to give their opinions about things. They also had great advice on what works best, like how it's best to keep jokes pithy, how people really respond to when you continue on a character's line of dialogue, and how it's best to put the joke at the end of a phrase
  6. After that, we took turns reading the jokes out loud as we played the movie
    This really helped us figure out pacing and see what hit with what was going on. I was definitely surprised at how easily things flowed and how some of the jokes I wasn't laughing at initially hit hard in this context. I realized that a lot of what they do really is just about following your instincts, and not everything has to be intricate and clever. Sometimes just yelling "Hey!" at the screen is just as hilarious.
  7. After that, our 3 HOURS was up!
    It's crazy how hard those guys work for everything! They do a lot of live shows and really watch through and write jokes for everything.
  8. All in all, it was a super fun and encouraging way to spend a Sunday
    I often get in my own head when trying to do comedy, so seeing that the pros do it in this super free environment was encouraging. They genuinely believed all of us were talented and it was a reminder that my instincts are better than I give myself credit for.
  9. Plus they gave us presents!!
    Lots of DVDs and a book and a signed picture of them. They were the nicest guys!!
  10. Now I am ready to riff all day!