“They call it like they see it!” a warm-up

Gretchen Glaeser introduced me to Zane Adickes‘ “Damn, they call it like they see it!” warm-up tonight. And, well, I see it as a damn fine warm-up.

Looking for an activity to practice individual silo-building through an emotional perspective as well as the pacing between individual contributions and group agreement? Try “They call it like they see it!”

Everyone in a circle. Player One is going to turn their right and present something for Player Two to care about; “Daniel, what do you think about Raffi music?” Player Two then has to feel about what’s been presented and then heighten that emotionally fueled rant; “Raffi is the greatest musician ever. The man knows how to craft an ear worm. Plus he’s an active Progressive on Twitter.” In between those statements from Player Two the rest of the circle agrees with the emotional perspective gospel-church-style; so it goes like this:

PLAYER ONE: “Daniel, what do you think about Raffi music?”

PLAYER TWO: “Raffi is the greatest musician ever.”

GROUP: “Uh, huh.” “You know that’s right.” “Greatest musician ever.”

PLAYER TWO: “The man knows how to craft an ear worm.”

GROUP: “Amen.” “Insane with the membrane.” “Down By The Bay on repeat!”

PLAYER TWO: “Plus he’s an active Progressive on Twitter.”

GROUP: “Yep.” “Twitter y’all!” “Uh, huh.”

When the emoting player has really heightened their emotional perspective then the Group yells, “[DAMN], They call it like they see it!” throwing in some physicality/ musicality like clapping [“They (clap) call it like they (clap) see it!”]. And then they repeat, so that EVERYONE is on the same page, “They (clap) call it like they (clap) see it!.” And THEN Player Two turns to their right to ask Player Three how they feel about [something]. And repeat.


  • Feel ANYTHING about SOMETHING. When we make a decision to feel about a topic, an object, and activity, we excite the audience by being adults who care about something made up in-the-moment. Choosing to feel is the most exciting choice we can make in an improv scene.
  • It can be fun to commit to feeling other than YOU would typically feel – and fun to pimp our fellow players into supporting those feelings. “Daniel, how do you feel about dogs?” “They are delicious.” “Amen.” “You said it.” “Yum, yum.”
  • Heighten through your silo. Just “stick your bit.” If you feel one way about something, continue to feel more about that something. That’s the core of our Two Person Scene work, but also the mechanic we rely on during Hey Everybody games when we’re each siloed – just feel more through your individual filter when it’s your turn in the sequence to speak.
  • Emotional Noises are awesome! A great discovery for improvisers through One Person Scenes, is how funny just “Yep” can be when it’s heightening a shared emotional perspective.
  • Once we (re)discover who awesome Emotional Noises are we tend to overdo them and we need to find the balance. Our “yep,” “Amen,” “uh, huh,” and other annunciations of agreement are fun, but we must always remember “they’re serving the scene” so as to never let them become “the scene itself.” You don’t want the “Amen” to silence the prayer. Share the air and remember if it’s 8 Players on 1 Player in a Two Person Scene, the 8 players should seek no more than one eighth of one half of the scene’s dialogue.
  • Raffi is dope.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.