Students take part in GIPS workshop

Tania Olivas

Diana Ing was not part of the Generic Improvisation Peep Show, also known as GIPS, class, yet she participated in the on the spot-made performances workshop held inside the Burnight Theatre Center on Wednesday.

“I saw them (GIPS) performing at my high school (Bell Gardens High) during my sophomore year. I just came to Cerritos (College) to become a GIP,” said Ing, who is an undecided major.

The workshop was led by Faculty Member Forrest Hartl, who currently teaches the GIPS class.

The GIPS is a traveling improvisation troop.

“It has been a class almost twenty years, so students can take it to get experience performing improv for audiences. It goes to local high schools and perform all day on Fridays, and get real life experience improvising for an audience. So all the things that it learns during improvisation class it is put to the test,” said Hartl.

Fun-filled exercises consisted of the attendees acting out random scenes directed by Hartl and students at the workshop.

The workshop was intended to “shake off the rust to get back into the rhythm of improvising,” Hartl said.

Those who made it through the audition travel to local high schools and perform for the students and faculty.

According to Hart, improvising is a skill constantly needs to be exercised regularly.

GIPS student Melissa Legespi said, “There is no such thing as the wrong thing,” when it comes to acting for GIPS.

Film major Brian Mejia said, “We (GIPS) are a team. If you go up by yourself, we are there to support you. You feed off each other and you’re not scared to just go up there because you know someone is going to have your back.”

Mejia has been involved with improv since he was in Paramount High School.

Though most of students might have been prepared and aware of what was going to happen, “Improv is one of those mucles that you use them or lose them basically,” said Hartl.

With improv being another style of acting, students have expressed if they preferred a type of acting over another.

Mejia said, “Improvising is really fun, it’s different like from theathre acting, With improv you make stuff up on the spot you really have to be on your toes with it. You can just go with it, there is really no mistake you just go along with it. It’s way more intense because is more fast paste.”

Freedom and creativity are the two most popular words used when describing what students like the most about acting GIPS.

If you are interested in developing these kind of skills but might be skeptical of having potential, don’t be. It’s something that you learn that takes time, dedication and practice.

“If you stick to it, you will get better at it,” Hartl said.