When practicing HI with students, make sure to focus on the emotion and characters in the piece. Like all memorized pieces, your ability to effectively coach a student is minimized if their piece isn’t memorized. If a student attends a practice session with most of the piece not memorized, encourage them to spend that practice session memorizing the piece instead. If the piece is memorized, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Since the main purpose of HI is to humor your audience, make sure to focus on how humorous the performance is. If you aren’t laughing during the performance, chances are the judge won’t either. That being said, just because you find something funny doesn’t mean other people will. Don’t be afraid to ask for other’s opinions, and if a joke or a bit doesn’t seem to be working in tournaments, either figure out why or change tracks.
In HI, it’s important for characters to be distinct, and accents or funny voices are a natural way to do this. However, a humorous voice isn’t more important than diction. If you can’t understand a student, then it’s probably best for them to change voices.
As important as the content of a piece is, the student still needs to use creativity to give a humorous performance. If you or the student are having trouble thinking of ideas for a humorous presentation, try watching clips from SNL or other comedy shows. Take note of how the actors use things like comedic timing, facial expressions, etc. to create humor.
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