I recorded the session of my Patterns & Games class at The Coalition Theater in which we tackled the My 3 Rules game I’ve previously presented as a warm-up.
One, the camera’s distance makes it hard for the viewer to really track the game in play.
Two, oh, man, looking for a drinking game? Watch me teach and drink every time I say, “Right.”
Three, My 3 Rules – like Kick The Duck, Red Rover – is a game played through iterations. With each iteration, students “get it” more and by the end are fully engaged in the mechanics and they’re laughing.
In the following post, I’m going to share some clips from that night’s video showing the iterative learning process. My hope is that it’ll serve as a teaching lesson, both through how I provide instruction between iterations and how students loosen up and learn as a result of the iterations. Continue reading
Watch this. Keep watching. Wait for it. Stay with it. There it is.
Following the simplest pattern saves the day. And gets a nice big laugh. Continue reading
Oh, man, this organic group game made me laugh.
It’s simple and fun. All Chapman has to do accept each addition with his character’s garbled, “That’s my thing…” The audience loves him for it! They know he’s getting put upon by his fellow players (literally by the end!) and they reward his acceptance and commitment with laughter.
Check out this fun, loose Hey Everybody game from The Coalition‘s Detective.
The team isn’t behold to the sequence of contributions – they allow their characters to react in-the-moment as inspired – but you can see the sequence is loosely maintained and it helps the overall flow. Improvisers clearly stick their character’s silos – Sarah’s corrections, Taylor’s obsession with killing Voldemort with a stick, etc. Improvisers play emotional characters – like Jesse’s gruff-voiced reactor. And the stage picture isn’t just a line or “bandshell of death.”
It’s a great example of a game that uses the tools of the Hey Everybody game but isn’t confined by them. Continue reading
Detective, a house team at The Coalition Theater, created an Opening inspired by this scene from Black Dynamite where wild associative leaps serve to solve a crime.
The Opening generates a lot of Details for them to inspire future scenes. The big jumps showcase individual’s humor and building on one another showcases their ensemble. It’s high energy and frenetic with focus still being shared. Continue reading
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!” Continue reading
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? Continue reading
Whatever we have to say on an improv stage can be spun into gold with enthusiastic agreement.
So we shouldn’t feel like we have to deliver some killer creative line to start a scene.
We should remember, in fact, that what we bring authenticity – what we care about – however mundane – is rich fodder for an improv scene.
So, looking for a warm-up that has players accessing and caring about their daily minutiae that also highlights the fun of immediate enthusiastic support? Continue reading
This was my favorite Organic game from my Spring 2018 Patterns & Games Class. There’s just so much to love. This one could never be rewritten as a sketch, and that’s an asset to me here.
It was born collaboratively in-the-moment with an ending no one set out to see but felt too entirely perfect in retrospect. We’re talking Improv As Improv Does Best here, folks. Continue reading
Aaron Grant once took the stage across from me, making eye contact but planting his feet firmly just beyond the stage right wing. I mirrored him on stage left. He mimed the classic flirtatious fishing move. I played his fish but broke his line bashfully, the stage’s distance remaining between us. I danced as someone with a club; he played my seal. He loaded his heart into a gun and shot it at me. I loaded my heart into a mortar and launched it at him. He shot me with a bazooka of love. I put love in a centrifuge and then in a bomb that erupted in a mushroom cloud of hearts. He built and climbed into a B-52 bomber than rained love upon me. We both stood up from the rubble and traced out hearts to one another. Never a word was spoken.
How does one teach Silent Games? Read on! Continue reading