This story might be apocryphal, but I stumbled upon the origin of the word “beats” in regards to dramatic writing.
When I first took sketch classes at UCB, and the term “beat” was used to explain hitting the game of the scene, I assumed that the etymology of the word was music-based. Comedy sketches are like songs after all. The good ones are 2 to 5 minutes long. A beat, I thought, resembles the hook.
But today I was Googling “Unit of Action,” and I found several accounts claiming that the word “beat” comes from a misunderstanding. Stanislavski was giving a presentation on his acting method to a group of U.S. theatre students. To describe a unit of action in dramatic writing, he used the word “bits.” But due to his thick Russian accent, it sounded like beats.
So the “bits” that you do at McManus are closely related to the “beats” you write in your scenes.
I miss Jay Leno, so I made a collage of him shaking hands with Robert Smith, Stephen Malkmus, Alex Chilton and Beck.
"Get the laughs, but follow the rules," is the 1st thing I say to myself before getting out of bed every morning.
I want to dedicate this post to all my teachers who said I’d never be a footnote in a Mudhoney biography.
I called a real estate agent today to ask about a listing, and she said, “Just come by our office. We’re located on Hillhurst, across the street from where Dumb Starbucks used to be.”
That made my day. R.I.P. Dumb Starbucks.
The NY Times surveyed bartenders to learn their slang. Always wondered why I heard, “The B.I.B. is here” every time I walked into McManus.
Sketchy Advice: A new segment from UCB Comedy. Established sketch writers from the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre offer sketch students advice on being creative, the writing process, and adding to a writer’s room.
This week’s featured writer is Frank Garcia Hejl, a teacher at UCB’s Training…
Very helpful dose of Frank-style wisdom.