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Take a Garden, Some Improv, Some Friends & Add a Duck

Improv garden Group sees Ducks Fly Over

Ducks Flew Over the Garden

While you’re gearing up for the National Novel Writing Month Contest — NaNoWriMo, as it’s lovingly called — you can challenge yourself with clever ways to manage your Muse. If you find it tough to get started in the mornings, and your coffee is letting you down, try a word prompt game. It’s easy and anyone can play.

Gather a collection of unrelated words — go easy and pick five words to start — then write a paragraph quickly using those words. This exercise gets the creativity pumping. Your Muse will beg for more but only try one more exercise and leave the Muse agitated. It might get distracted and leave you alone while you create a contest-winning masterpiece!

Improv is a great way to challenge yourself as you break any writer’s block. If you have a group of 5 to 8 friends who want to cheer you on, they can participate in another exercise. Recently, High Desert California Writers Club members joined  improv group leaders John and Karen Kane of I6 improv troupe at a Garden Improv Writers Salon, held at the Kane home.

Among several games, “Chained Sentences” seemed to be the favorite. Chained Sentences is a group game where you each improvise by writing one sentence on a clean sheet of paper. You only have a minute to think. Write it down and pass it to the person on your right. Our theme was — what else? — garden improv. When you receive the next sheet from the left, quickly read the prior sentence and create one of your own. Write it down and pass your sheet as the next one comes to you. If you have eight friends you will receive 8 sheets with 8 sentences. On your last sheet (it should have your first sentence at the top) write a nice “moral of the story”, even if it’s maniacally silly or morbidly gruesome. Then try to stop laughing … bet you can’t. The creative juices are flowing!

Here’s a sample of how Improv sentences created a bazaar story idea:

The duck flew over the garden at dawn looking for breakfast. All he could find was a garden of Cadillacs draped in banana leaves. The wind blew, the dust funnels were dancing in trees. “None of this even looks close to being duck food,” he muttered to himself — until he caught sight of a truck labeled “Hostess” driving slowly by on the road that led past the gardens. Shih Tzus and wiener dogs chased the ducks with peanut butter ice cream dripping from their mouths. “All I want is a Twinkie!” said the king duck. Alabaster was the King of the Mallards and was the largest duck. Mostly from eating Twinkies.

Our participants laughed and agreed that garden parties, improv, writing salons, and such are all good  ways to make friends and generate some new ideas.

Rusty

If you like what you see here check with our High Desert Bloggers for more ideas to come.

Strangest Stray Visited the Rusty Bucket Ranch

It was a dark and stormy morning… No, Really! And my dogs howled and barked and carried on so loudly that at 5:15 it seemed like the end of the world would happen any second. Something prowled outside the fence, and it was frightening my dogs. I wandered to the dark kitchen, watching the rain beat against the window. It couldn’t be coyotes. Even they didn’t like hunting in the rain at 5 a.m.

Not a Bunny-In-The-Yard Bark

As I got a better idea what was happening, the dogs continued their constant barking. This was not their typical “bunny-in-the-yard” bark. They sounded scared and defensive. I peered through the kitchen window and a large, white body glistened in the half hazy dawn. I stared at it for a long moment until my eyes focused on two beady eyes.

I even backed away. Then a huge pink snout poked through the cat door in the wall next to me. That was a clincher — I realized an escapee had come to The Rusty Bucket Ranch. It wasn’t my hog; I don’t own one. So I called my next door neighbor, apologized for calling so early, and  asked if they knew anyone raising a hog. Yes! His son down the road was fattening up a white Duroc. Aha! Mystery solved.

How Do You Get  a Hog to Follow You? white Duroc Hog_11222013

First, you get dressed warmly because the early morning rain was nearly sleet and driving hard from the north. I bundled up, grabbed a few handfuls of dog cereal and tossed them into a metal bowl. Any pig worth his weight would come running to a promise of food in a rattle-rattle bowl. I was right. On the first rattle, the 100+ pound hog was at my front door snuffling and waiting for food.

He seemed nice enough. He followed me out across the yard and back to the empty horse corrals. I knew these old pens would come in handy again. “Piggy” followed me like dog. By the time I reached the corral gate, the owner and his daughter arrived with their own rattle-rattle bowl. I told them the hog would be safe until daylight. They promised to be back soon. They also promised a BBQ pork sandwich when the time came.

Once the storm dissipated, they returned in their pickup truck to escort the escapee back to his own pen. “Miss Pinky” followed faithfully the promise of food, and I watched from my window as a little girl, bundled up and sitting on the tailgate, rattled her bowl all the way home. Not quite the nursery rhyme… but you get the idea.

I perked some coffee and sat bundled up in my recliner letting the steam warm up my still chilly nose. The storm continued as the sun rose higher but, it came to me that so many strays arrive at the ranch … and I’m warmly encouraged and greatly entertained to know I have “the beacon” flashing above my roof. All strays are welcome here.

Rusty LaGrange

 

I am Liquid!

Had to borrow this from my private blog page, but thought you all might get a laugh out of it.  It is all about my new purpose in life: becoming a cat! All my best thoughts come after a lovely High desert stroll.

http://newauthorpublishing.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/895/

The Pajama Game Musical comes to Phelan in the High Desert

My husband, John, loves the theater. For an early Father’s Day present, I treated him to dinner at Mexico Lindo Mexican restaurant in Phelan and then to The Pajama Game, a Musical Comedy, Friday night at Serrano High School Performing Arts Center in Phelan in the High Desert. The Snowline Players did a marvelous job. What a wonderful cast of characters and very diversified. Some are even members of the same family. They are a non-profit organization dedicated since 1961 to providing quality entertainment, learning experiences, and scholarships in the theater arts to people of all ages in the tri-community, here in the High Desert. It’s great to be able to enjoy going to the theater so close to home.

“The musical comedy, The Pajama Game, was based on Seven and a Half Cents, a comic novel about labor relations written by Richard Bissell.  The play takes place in 1954, in and around the Sleep Tite pajama factory in Cedar Rapids Iowa.”

For more details about The Pajama Game visit Marti Muses and Marvels.

There is still time to enjoy a night out or a matinee.  Performances are on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:00PM and on Saturday and Sunday at 2:00PM for the Matinees – this weekend and next weekend. The last performance will be on Sunday June 24th at 2:00PM.

Seeing The Pajama Game Musical is a great way to celebrate Father’s Day and support our local community in the High Desert.  We look forward to going to more performances put on by The Snowline Players.

High Desert’s Improv Class

Guest Blogger Andrew Block from Darwin’s A-Team

Whew. Another Sunday of class and fabulous improvin’… This week we did exercises that help us improve our trust in our partners while in scene. One thing to remember when you’re up on the stage fishing for an idea is to trust in your partner to fill in that space. If both of you flounder, then just grab the first thing that comes to mind and run with it. This philosophy can save a scene and produce some truly funny results.

Also, I noticed that our class is shrinking… Say it ain’t so! Where are all our improv actors?! Did we do something to scare you off? If so, I’m sure all of us are sorry! Those of you that just have bigger, better things to do (though I can’t imagine what’d be more important than improv), we hope to see you return soon.

Once again, we have a show coming up at the end of March and hope to see you Darwin’s A-Team fans out there in the seats! And, as always, you can come to class and also fill the seats there! Until next time… For more details check out our website http://darwinsateam.com and our Facebook page Darwin’s A-Team.

Improv Comedy in Victorville of the High Desert

Guest Blogging Post by Andrew Block, Darwin’s A-Team in Victorville, CA

Hey there! It’s been another week and another exciting improv class at the High Desert Center for the Arts in Victorville. The last couple of weeks we’ve been using and studying the guidelines in “The Truth in Comedy” to provide the class a sort of path to the light, a book used by many great comedic actors as a guide to their own brands of comedic entertainment. The future success of this path is yet to be determined, but so far is definitely opening the doors of progress and a more organized, steady learning process.
As for the class itself, I’d like to thank and welcome all those newcomers that have come to the classes and decided to stay. Your presence is always welcome and we hope that it is as much fun for you as it is for us. Those of you reading this and wonder what the heck it is I’m talking about are certainly free to come and check us out at the High Desert Center for the Arts on 8th Street in Victorville, California.
For our small fan-base (we know you’re out there!) and those who are more interested in our shows, we have a show coming up on the 31st of March at 7:30pm at, you guessed it, the High Desert Center for the Arts. Hope to see you at our classes or at least at one of our shows!
For more information on Improv Classes or our shows, visit our website, http://darwinsateam.com, or our Facebook page, Darwin’s A-Team.

Improv Class at Desert Center for the Arts in Victorville, So Cal

By Guest Blogger, Andrew Block

Darwin's A Team Improv Comedy Group

Hey there! It’s been another week and another exciting improv class at the High Desert Center for the Arts in Victorville. The last couple of weeks we’ve been using and studying the guidelines in READ MORE »

Darwin’s A-Team Improv Comedy of Victorville, High Desert

Guest Blogger: Andrew Block, Darwin’s A-Team Improv

Darwin's A Team Improv Comedy Group

March Madness!

It’s that time of the year! No… not THAT time of the year. It’s time for another spring show! After riding the horse named Sickness for the last couple weeks, I am back on the healthy pony and writing once again on behalf of my fellow performers in Darwin’s A-team.

Now, on to business; at the end of March, READ MORE »

Blogging News on the High Desert’s Darwin’s A-Team

Guest Post by Andrew Block

Darwin’s A-Team Evolves!

High Desert's Darwin's A-Team

Welcome to Darwin’s A-Team first-ever blog! The first thing you’re going to ask yourself is probably, “Who or what the heck is a Darwin’s A-Team?” Well, have no fear; that will be the first thing addressed! We are an improv comedy troupe based in the Hi Desert.  We spend our time practicing our improv techniques and putting on shows for the general masses over at the High Desert Center for the Arts in Victorville. Sometimes we stray down to L.A. or someplace when we can, but for the most part we stick with our local crowd.

If you’re wondering what improv is, that’s a simple question to answer. It’s make-believe. We get up on stage and play games that put our performers in certain situations and they have to, or, I should say, get to, make up a scene for the audience on the spot.  No scripts. No practice. Just put in the spotlight and away they go.

We hold classes and practices every Sunday at the High Desert Center for the Arts located on 8th St. in downtown Victorville. The classes begin at 5:00pm and end somewhere around 7:00pm… give or take. If you’re interested, you are more than welcome to come and sit in and check us out and even participate. We encourage all newcomers and remember, you can’t mess up because it’s all made up. If you have any more questions, you can visit our web site at http://darwinsateam.com, our Facebook page Darwin’s A-Team or you can e-mail our leader and teacher John Kane at ziska@charter.net .

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