Tertiary Moves Drill exercise

Objective: To practice initiating and supporting moves from the bag of tricks players utilize when entering scenes-in-progress as a tertiary addition

Tertiary Moves Drill:Two players take the stage with all other players assuming ready positions on the wings.  The two primary players engage a scene, with a suggestion if needed, but without restriction on content or structure.  The focus is on how those players on the wings can enter the scene with a Tertiary Move and on requiring that subsequent players enter the scene to heighten the initial Tertiary Move.  Regardless of how the two-person scene begins, a player on the wings will choose a Tertiary Move (see list below) to bring into the scene.  Then different players – at least two more – will enter the scene with heightened versions of that same Tertiary Move.

List of Tertiary Moves:
•  Walk On
•  Cut To
•  Tag Out
•  We See


  • Tertiary Player Good Faith Mantra – I will only enter a scene in progress to serve what has already been established. And I will react to those who enter my scene in progress on the assumption they seek to heighten what has already been established.
  • Support moves with more moves – this exercise requires that a player come out and heighten another player’s Tertiary Move, but we should always feel that onus.  One walk-on almost always demands another.  Get out there and make tertiary players look good.  Your second Tertiary Move may not be hilarious, but it will set up yet another player to score one for the team with a third Tertiary Move.
  • Beware of mixing – If the first player to add-on initiates a “We See” and the next player initiates a “Walk On,” in most cases we’ll then have to do a second “We See” followed by a second “Walk On.”  This can be awesome, but be cautious of over-complicating the pattern of Tertiary Moves.
  • Deploy your moves with Polishenhance the impact of Tertiary Moves with a focus on stage picture and base pattern mechanics
    • Pivot, rather that physically “tagging in”
    • Split Scenes, a two-person scene can be heightened with a new two-person scene instead of a tag-out or a formal “cut to”
    • Employ Help Desk pattern mechanics with Tertiary Moves to leverage the power of repeated and heightened dialogue and sequences of interaction
    • Deploy subsequent heightening Tertiary Moves when the Trigger arrives, not just whenever because you’re excited to play.  What was the SOMETHING that occurred before the initial [walk on/tag out/we see]?  Our moves have more power when the audience can see that a team member was compelled to participate in the pattern.

2 thoughts on “Tertiary Moves Drill exercise

  1. Pingback: Walk-on/off with Split Screen video | Improv As Improv Does Best

  2. Pingback: SWOT #15 – Tertiary Additions | Improv As Improv Does Best

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