Workshop: Fun Facts

“Staying Playful with Specificity”

A very close up shot of Velvet's left eye, eyebrow and nose, against a dark bluey-green (#17222C) background. Arts Court Atelier c: Curtis Perry Photography

“We saw the forest for the trees… and still chose your backyard”, a colonizing pileated woodpecker, probably

Whether I’m opening an improv scene, playing within the rich references of a genre, or joyfully sharing my latest hyperfocus offstage, the devilish fun can be in the details!

Being committed and honest to the reality you’ve set can sometimes be received as “annoying”, “nit-picking”, “particular” behaviour. How do we stay playful and engaging with in-depth offers?

Short Answer: By deepening our connection to our partners and our “Who-What-Where” meet cute choices. (Learn more about the opening quote at the end of this blog post)

In my upcoming workshop, Staying Playful with Specificity (Sunday, March 26), I’ve chosen three areas to playfully build those connections: Character, Emotion, and Play Style


How committed are we to the character? Is the persona closer to a narrative archetype or to ourselves? We’ll play with adding different quantities of information from each of these three positions. Note: We won’t have time to explore whether we’re the Main Character in our lives


I love hearing and dropping references — pop culture and trivia, especially in pun form. However, the interplay between information and being emotionally impacted takes scenes to a whole ‘nother level (a MADTV sketch showing escalating emotion with each response). We’ll find our preferred blends between factoids and emotion-oids

Play Style

Are you adding facts to show-what-you-know or to enrich the scenic flow? Are you deep diving into your special interest, or are you diving for a deeper, shared truth? We’ll play with data diving for fun and friction

After the workshop, we’ll have an all-community Specificity All-Play Jam. Ottawa improv community, jump up on stage or come cheer on your peers

The reclusive pileated woodpecker “colonized Ottawa” after their forest wilderness was destroyed — latter details notably missing from Ottawa’s foremost colonial newspaper

Photo: Brent Robichaud

Published by thedukers

Velvet Duke is a Black autistic queer entertainer from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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