“I love that about the Dutch. They are so direct!”
Alright, now I am confused. I am standing with a group of performers in the London venue The Miller. The show just ended and I came to tell one of the improvisers I liked his performance. Now that he is praising my directness I suspect I probably phrased my feedback in a not so complimentary way.
Oops. You’re welcome! :)
Last week I visited London to play Close Quarters, which you may remember from some of other blogs I wrote about this format. This duoshow is taking us to a new city every single time. Recently it brought us to the Slapdash festival, an event I have been wanting to go to for some years now.
Slapdash is organized by a kind team of improv professionals: Jules, Judith, Carleen and many, many volunteers. Every night offered a wide variation of improv shows: specials from visiting groups, mixed ensemble shows, teacher show, British, European and groups from overseas. It took place in two venues, The Miller and Theatre Delicatessen, both equally pleasant to be and play in.
Unfortunately I could only attend 2 nights, but the wonderful festival team let me perform on both. In-between my two-prov partner Dona and I spend a sunny day in London brunching, shopping and sunbathing. All the while talking life, love, dreams and improv.
It also brought us to the subject of audience feedback after a show. We enjoyed ourselves a lot when playing on the stage of Theatre Delicatessen the night before. We were however astounded by how short a 30-minute slot actually is.
Imagine a show ending with a blackout and 2 faces of utter surprise when the lights come back on. That was us. (Note to self: put clock in sight)
Feeling all confused afterwards, we were even more grateful for whoever came to speak to us. And some very nice people did. It eventually left us fairly satisfied with our short performance.
Later, it sparked a discussion between the two of us to what extent you should say ‘Great set’ to all performers. Or only when you mean it. Do you compliment the effort (‘Great try!’) or the quality perceived by you? And by that: can you trust that ‘Great set’ actually means great?
Luckily I don’t have to worry that much about sending mixed signals when giving a response to performers after a show. My Dutch-flavored compliments will be the rest of the world’s “constructive feedback”.
Oops. You’re welcome! :)
A big thank you to Jules, Judith, Carleen and everyone at The Nursery and C3? for taking such good care of us, Phil for helping with e-ve-ry-thing musical and non-musical, all the performers of Slapdash for being lovely on and off stage and Dona for slowly becoming my improv sister.