I Need Three Things Chain warm-up

Like the 5 Things warm-up? You’ll love this one.

Or so you will if you’re like I was when exposed to this warm-up tonight by Matt Newman.

Looking for a nice in-your-head out-of-your-head patterns-on-patterns warm-up?

Everyone in a circle. Player One is going to engage a Player Two – to the left, to the right, across the circle, whoever. Player One is going to need three things: “I need coffee. I need creamer. And I need a mug.”

The chosen Player Two will choose a Player Three and dictate a list of three needs of his/her own, starting with the final item on Player One’s list: “I need a mug. I need a whole lotta pens. And I need a ‘Hang In There’ kitty poster.”

Player Three does the same to their chosen Player Four. “I need a ‘Hang In There’ kitty poster.” “I need a Motivation Of The Day calendar.” “And I need Dilbert.”

And so on.

There were five of us. And, after the three sets of three needs in the chain, Matt split the chain: After dictating his three needs to a player who then headed off to continue their chain, Matt repeated his three needs to another player.

Play continued with the dictated-to seeking out one of our five not currently engaged to then dictate our next three needs to. Obviously there was a lot of overlapping talk. You wanted to hear it all but you had to focus on the person talking to you. And they had to make sure that you were hearing them over the din.

While on the one hand I was in my head thinking about the sequence of contributions I would make based on – but separate from – the sequence I was given, on the other hand I felt freed – and motivated – to make quick choices following my first associations because other people were in motion and I knew not everyone was listening to me.

As Matt pointed out, the more players you have the more bifurcations you can have. With five or six players, two chains. Seven or eight, three chains. And so on. You just need to ensure that given the pairings there is always at least one player waiting to be engaged.

Note: If you (or your TA) are playing into the warm-up, you can initiate the bifurcation without announcing the possibility first. If you are directing this from the side-lines you’ll either need to introduce the move as a possibility for all players.

I had a lot of fun being a part of this one,

One thought on “I Need Three Things Chain warm-up

  1. Pingback: Warm-Up Exercises | Improv As Improv Does Best

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