Recently I received this submission from a long time reader of my blog. I pass this on to you without comment.
In the beginning, there was the Schnozzle, the perfect improv thing. It was created by the great improv master Viodel Closestone. If you practiced and performed the Schnozzle, you would become a great improvisor, a great comedian and a great person. I myself learned the Schozzle directly from Viodel Closestone and I know exactly how it’s supposed to be done. That is because I transcribed Viodel Closestone’s precise words perfectly, just as they flowed from Viodel Closestone’s mouth during those famous workshops when the Schnozzle became a perfect improv thing.
For many years, I’ve taught the Schnozzle and while my understanding of the Schnozzle has deepened, everything I teach is exactly the same as it was, because it was perfect when I learned it. However after many years, I recently returned to the once great theatre where I learned the Schnozzle and I am loathe to report that the Schnozzle has changed! It’s not what it used to be!
The Schnozzle has become looser and less defined, almost as if the rules that the great Viodel Closestone laid down were mere suggestions and not natural laws that applied to all art, all theatre and all comedy. This is true of all Schnozzles performed there except for the Schnozzles that have become overly rigid. These Schnozzles not only follow the original structure, but add new persnickety rules to be slavishly followed. These rigid Schnozzles have sucked all the life out of Viodel Closestone’s work, turning what was an expression of spontaneity and creativity into a paint by numbers exercise.
To top things off, I’ve realized that in different theatres in different cities, they teach different versions of the Schnozzle. And yet they all call it the Schnozzle. And they all claim that they teach it in the same way as Viodel Closestone did. But I know for a fact that when I spent 6 whole weeks studying with Viodel Closestone, he taught the Schnozzle differently. He taught it the right way and that’s the only way it should be taught.
Why don’t these different theatres call the Schnozzle different things. If they aren’t teaching and performing Schnozzles the right way, they should call them something else. Maybe it should be called the Woozle in one place and the Schnotter in another. Then at least the students would not be confused.
And that is who I truly care about, the students. I only wish that today’s students could learn the Schnozzle in the same perfected way that I learned it. But alas, that will not likely happen, if only because all the practitioners of the Schnozzle are too stubborn to simply follow the rules that Viodel Closestone established and that were written down by me, on my tumblr called “The Official Rules of the Schnozzle.” Please follow me there for daily posts about the Schnozzle.
– Malachai B. Farnspern
P.S. I will be teaching a 3 week intensive on the Schnozzle at The Nasalarium Theatre in Burbank California. If interested, please send me a $1500 deposit (checks only please) and I will eventually get back to you with dates and times.