There were three rules. There were three skills. And there was a whole lot of fun.
I overslept Sunday, the last full day of my Shibaricon. My roommates decided to have an amorous encounter at 3:45am the night before, so I put in my head phones and turned the music up. This was great for canceling out their utterances and allowing me to sleep. It was also helpful for me not hearing them get up or hearing them leave.
When my eyes finally opened, it was 10:45am. I had already missed my morning yoga practice and most of the first class session. I took a quick shower, threw on a school outfit, and rushed downstairs.
But, once I was there, I was left with a question: What class should I take?
On a whim, I walked into Lqqkout’s Evening At The Rope Improv. With my theatre background, and having attended a class by Lqqkout before, I knew I was in for a treat.
Settled on a sheet in the middle of the room, with an acquaintance sharing the space, the class began…but not before a double rock star salute from BendyYogaGirl and Lqqkout.
So, the three rules:
1- Say Yes And…
Lqqkout spoke about excepting the reality created by your partner and then beginning the collaborative process from the start of the scene. As each person adds new information, see where it takes you. Be open. Be honest. Just say/do it.
2- Don’t Block
Denial destroys scenes. Instead of avoiding, go there. Don’t play it safe by maintaining complete control and avoiding vulnerability; if you do, you can’t move forward. Instead embrace the fear and be brave.
And 3- Listen and Respond.
Listen to what someone says and how they say it. How is your partner communicating with you? Respond and react to this new information. Don’t think about it; just go off of instinct. Improv scenes are all about the right now.
The three skills:
1 – Mid-scene Negotiation
This, by far, drew the majority of comments from the class.
Lqqkout was quite clear in that this skill is a varsity level technique and no one should expect it to work every time. Obviously if something is a boundary, don’t push it.
But what if something was not mentioned? Try bringing it up lightly, staying in the shallow water. Do not jump into the deep end. Remember: big risk, big danger; small risk, small danger. Tread lightly; tread slowly.
Remember to establish a communication protocol from the start, and know what each person wants from the scene to begin with.
2- Flexible Expectations
With your wants for the scene established, what happens if the scene goes somewhere you had not expected? How important is your goal for the scene? How much do you need to meet it? Be honest about your wants. Be prepared for disappointment. And, once the scene is over, after a time give feedback.
And 3- Freestyle Rope.
In rope improv, you will do ties you haven’t done before. It’s improvisational; that’s the point. Go with it. Embrace your creativity and stick with your instinct. Tie what needs to be tied for the situation. Pull from your tool kit the ties you know without thinking. Work with what you have, but never hold back from trying something new.
And so it was, after our discussion of rules and skills, we all had our own improv rope scenes. I forget why, but I asked my acquaintance if I could bottom to them. We were both switches, but for some reason I was in a bottom head space. They were happy to oblige.
As we began, Lqqkout challenged us to act in our scene unlike we had ever before. Thus I thought, How do I normally act in rope scenes? I give nonverbal communication. Sighs. Moans. Moving my body. What if I just talk?
As my acquaintance tied, I did just that. They tied my arms behind my back. That was nice. They used a jute rope which had a pleasing bite to it. They tied around my leg. I asked them to tie it tighter. Tighter. Thank you.
I enjoyed the constraint of the rope against my body, enjoyed having a conversation as they worked. It was different, very different from any other rope centered scene I’d ever had before.
Thinking about the rules and skills of the class, I saw how much this could translate into my play, both with rope and other kinky scenes.
Evening At The Rope Improv; my grade for the class, A+.
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