Fizgig is a studio for the Physical Comedy, Clown & Commedia,
Why the name Fizgig?
Fizgig is a laughing, wanton woman gallivanting and gadding about.
Fizgig is a sparkler or firework of some kind.
Fizgig starts with Fiz or "phys" as in physical.
Fizgig is some puppet from a 1980's cult fantasy movie I haven't seen - but that thing's spelled with two Z's and from what I've caught on the youtube, it's a cute but viscous muppet, which, as someone said to me, is in terms of reference points "not bad."
Fizgig reminds me of Mr. Fezziwig who I love and who said, "It's not just for money alone that one spends a lifetime building up a business…." and Fezzik from the Princess Bride who I love and who said, "I just want you to feel you're doing well."
The Fizgig Way
The Fizgig way into the physical comedy arts is particular. For one thing, everything is made contemporary. It's not about doing it the way we imagine they did it in the Renaissance or the Middle Ages or in silent movies even. As artists, let's say something about right now and take on the themes, whether poetic or political, that are important to us. The forms are elastic and made to take place in the moment so it makes all the sense in the world to find them in the contemporary. And let's see you in the art. I want to put the actor at the center of the work. In class we mostly work improvisationally, so we can discover something from the actor and from the moment. Whenever I get a fancy idea and try to impose it on the actor, it's a big disaster or at least vaguely dissatisfying because it has become about how much I can get you to do some thing I think is funny or beautiful or both, rather than being about discovering the hilarious and gorgeous you together in the moment. This work is essentially physical because the actor's body and presence is the fundamental element with which the actor has to work. The words are important. There's lots of talking. But we make up the words in the moment from the impulse in the body! If we pursue the words first, up in our heads, we're really just acting as writers standing up (which is not a natural state for writers as I have been told that writing generally involves more sitting and the eating of potato chips.)
We're starting with me and building the training around my approaches to the physical comedy arts, which I didn't make up out of whole cloth but in collaboration with what I have learned from my many extraordinary teachers, colleagues, collaborators and students! I hope to add teachers as we get this thing cooking with gas. I don't want it to be about coming to sit at my feet, like I'm some kind of guru. I'm a kickass teacher, but I'm no messiah. One little added boon is that I am a woman who is founding this sucker. I would not say that I have a "woman's approach" but in some way or another all my approaches are a woman's... so I am excited to add that voice to the mix! My aspiration is for you to fall in love with the work and the fun to be had in class and onstage and in the audience and that you spread the word and keep coming back for more so that we can bring on more and more teachers to teach at Fizgig!
Virginia Scott co-founded the Funny School of Good Acting where she taught clown, commedia and bouffon. She is on the faculty of Movement Theatre Studio and the Michael Howard Studio. In 2018 Virginia created The Commedia Company, which performs contemporary, original commedia shows regularly. She also founded and directed Les Enfant Maudit, a bouffon troupe which raised hell and stirred upon trouble all around Los Angeles in the wake of the 2016 election. Virginia has devised new commedia, clown and bouffon shows with several super talented performers around NYC since returning to live in NYC (mostly) full time 2 years ago. Other recent commedia projects include an original commedia performance in concert with a full orchestra (kinda weird but super fun!) for Symphony in the Glen at the Griffith Park stage and another commedia show for the Fowler museum at UCLA. Also in Los Angeles she did some movement direction and devising for Disney (despite not being able to name a single princess beyond Cinderella and never ever visiting the park! Don't tell 'em!)
She teaches/taught clown, commedia, bouffon, play, treteau, or melodrama, and all that kind of wiggling it around at schools such as The Juilliard School, Tisch School of the Arts at NYU: International Theatre Workshop in Amsterdam; Meisner Studio; Stella Adler Studio; and Open Arts Studio, CAP 21, Bard College, Pace University, Marymount Manhattan College, USC (MFA), ACT (MFA), the Clown School, the Idiot Workshops and Berg Studios. Shows Virginia has directed and/or devised have appeared at Ars Nova Mainstage, 59E59, The Irish Repertory Theatre, The Zipper Theatre, UCB, The PIT, Nuyorican Poet’s Café, Jack, The Shakespeare Forum, The Tank, The New York Fringe Festival and the International Clown Festival; The US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, The Comedy Central Theatre, the Hollywood Fringe, and UCBLA in Los Angeles, and internationally at The Guilded Balloon in Edinburgh, The Centaur Theatre in Montreal and the Grahamstown International Festival in South Africa. TCG just published Discovering the Clown: the Funny Book of Good Acting. Go and get it at any bookstore you like! Or click here