Tagkeaton

TWR015 - Something Has To Communicate (with Gonzalo Alarcón)

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Simon Bronikowski
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Marije Nie
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Gonzalo Alarcón
(recorded on April 24, 2020)

GONZALO ALARCÓN (Brussels, BE) started as a Circus performer on the streets of Chile. He then discovered the Art of the Clown, which continues to be his focus. His latest performance Chiringuito Paradise tells the story of the grand opening of a bar which ends in complete catastrophe.

We sit together with Gonzalo for the third time and finally get to listen to some clips. We start with a short one and discover the Rhythm of John Cleese’s performance in “Fawlty Towers”. We try to figure out how to learn, shape and discover the “professional intuition” that enables you to play with Rhythm. We listen to the cleverly constructed “failing tunes” by John Edwards, a pseudonym of pianist, arranger, composer, and conductor Paul Weston and laugh a lot. Finally we listen to the charming Victor Borge, who seduces the audience with pun after pun.

This is the third part of a series of conversations spiraling around comedy. You can use the chapters to jump to what interests you.

Part 1: The Music of Laughter
Part 2: The Physics of Comedy

Shownotes:
1. John Cleese in Fawlty Towers without drums and with drums
2. Jonathan Edwards – Keeping Out Of Mischief Now
3. Victor Borge’s performance
4. Simon mentions Les Luthiers (spanish)

Thanks to Eric Kooger (Amsterdam, NL) for the drum tracks.
Thanks to Jonas de Rave (Gent, BE) for the accordion tracks.

00:00:00 Back in the Room with Gonzalo
00:01:53 Example 1: John Cleese in Faulty Towers
00:08:26 Unlearning, Training
00:12:44 Rhythm
00:16:50 Rehearsals
00:19:40 Simon tries to be funny…
00:20:51 Example 2: Jonathan Edwards a.k.a. Paul Weston
00:30:11 Something Has To Communicate
00:34:07 Context
00:36:53 Problem of Content
00:43:24 Example 3: Victor Borge
00:54:20 Last words by Gonzalo


We are happy to receive any (constructive) feedback and criticism, corrections, comments, questions and notes: whiteroom (at) whiteroom-pod.com. You can also comment below. We will try to reflect on this input in the podcast.

You can support the podcast by subscribing to it and by becoming a producer, if you like. A small regular contribution already makes a big difference.

TWR014 - The Physics of Comedy (with Gonzalo Alarcón)

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Simon Bronikowski
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Marije Nie
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Gonzalo Alarcón

(recorded on April 22, 2020)

GONZALO ALARCÓN (Brussels, BE) started as a Circus performer on the streets of Chile. He then discovered the Art of the Clown, which continues to be his focus. His latest performance Chiringuito Paradise tells the story of the grand opening of a bar which ends in complete catastrophe.

This is the second part of a series of conversations spiraling around comedy. As these episodes will be quite long, you can use the chapters to jump to what interests you.

We are back in the room with Gonzalo talking about comedy. After some preliminary talk about the question “KEATON or CHAPLIN!?” we take our time to discuss the classic masters and why we need to look at their work and what we can learn from them; then we dive into the “anatomy” of the joke, the punchline, how to create a problem and finding a surprising solution to it, how to increase the “potential energy” of the joke, comparing it to music and especially concentrating again on rhythm. We find a lot of nice analogies to the laws of nature and are proud of having discovered the “Physics of Comedy”!

Part 1: The Music of Laughter
Part 3: Something Has To Communicate

Shownotes:
Larry Griswold Slapstick

Thanks to Eric Kooger (Amsterdam, NL) for the drum tracks.
Thanks to Jonas de Rave (Gent, BE) for the accordion tracks.

Chapters:
00:00:00 Keaton or Chaplin!?
00:00:32 Back in the Room with Gonzalo Alarcón
00:02:00 Chiringuito Paradise
00:06:45 Visual Comedy
00:08:28 Keaton and Chaplin
00:25:25 Learning from the Masters
00:31:00 Clichés, Principles, Intuition
00:36:53 Physics of Comedy
00:43:04 Tensions and Expectations
00:51:13 Know your Objective
00:58:10 Potential Energy – Building up the Problem
01:05:02 Too Much is Not Interesting
01:07:29 Rhythm
01:11:50 Bonus: Jesus joke


We are happy to receive any (constructive) feedback and criticism, corrections, comments, questions and notes: whiteroom (at) whiteroom-pod.com. You can also comment below. We will try to reflect on this input in the podcast.

You can support the podcast by subscribing to it and by becoming a producer, if you like. A small regular contribution already makes a big difference.

TWR010 - The Music of Laughter (with Gonzalo Alarcón)

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Simon Bronikowski
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Marije Nie
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Gonzalo Alarcón

(recorded on April 1, 2020)

GONZALO ALARCÓN (Brussels, BE)
started as a Circus performer on the streets of Chile. He then discovered the Art of the Clown, which continues to be his focus. His latest performance Chiringuito Paradise tells the story of the grand opening of a bar which ends in complete catastrophe.

This is the first part of a series of conversations spiraling around comedy. As these episodes will be quite long, you can use the chapters to jump to what interests you.

Part 2: The Physics of Comedy
Part 3: Something Has To Communicate

With Gonzalo we try (and fail, and try again, and fail better) to understand the nature of comedy, of what is funny, or how is funny. We return to the questions on technique, being good and the necessity of taking risks. We look at Rhythm (the key to it all?), jumping between jazz and theatre, with some fruitful insights into the nature of what “comic” could mean. Of course we look at Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. In the end we listen to and think about the comedy of sounds and objects.

In the second half we listen to the following clips:
1. “The Sanity Clause” from “A Night at the Opera” by the Marx Brothers (1935)
2. The “Smile Scene” from “Ninotchka” by Ernst Lubitsch (1939)

Marije mentions Cross Pollination a few times: A group of performers who meet regularly to explore a dialogue “in-between practices” which we founded together in 2017.

Simon mentions the BBC Sound Effects Archive. “These 16,000 BBC Sound Effects are made available by the BBC in WAV format to download for use under the terms of the RemArc Licence. The Sound Effects are BBC copyright, but they may be used for personal, educational or research purposes, as detailed in the license.”

(We’re sorry for the poor sound quality again – hoping that the content outweighs this deficit. It will get better!)

00:00 Small Introduction
02:26 There is a guest: Gonzalo Alarcón
11:33 How Gonzalo began
15:33 Importance of Taking Risks
18:57 Technique Against Technique
21:35 The Story – an Excuse for Exchange
24:53 Contaminazione Artistica
27:08 Comedy & Rhythm: How is Funny?
32:05 Accepting Failure
34:31 Technique and Trust
37:50 Example 1: Marx Brothers
49:43 Being Inside and Outside
57:38 Urgency
01:02:13 Listening to the Music of Laughter
01:05:14 Example 2: Ninotchka
01:13:26 Provoking Laughter
01:18:50 Embracing Tragedy
01:22:13 Mechanics, Precision, Timing
01:28:59 What moves you to perform
01:32:51 Humanity
01:37:31 Slapstick
01:39:25 Comedy of Sounds
01:43:26 Composition & Energy
01:50:11 To be continued…


We are happy to receive any (constructive) feedback and criticism, corrections, comments, questions and notes: whiteroom (at) whiteroom-pod.com. You can also comment below. We will try to reflect on this input in the podcast.

You can support the podcast by subscribing to it and by becoming a producer, if you like. A small regular contribution already makes a big difference.