Space Jump – a warm-up for memory and transformations

One Person Scene. Two Person Scene. Three Person Scene. Four Person Scene. Five Person Scene. Six Person Scene. Five Person Scene. Four Person Scene. Three Person Scene. Two Person Scene. One Person Scene.

Or…

One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene. One Person Scene.

Or…

One Person Scene. Two Person Scene. Two Person Scene. One Person Scene. Two Person Scene. One Person Scene. Two Person Scene. One Person Scene. Two Person Scene. Two Person Scene. One Person Scene.

Space Jump is a crowd pleasing short-form improv game and a great tool for learning memory, focus, pacing and transformation edits

Performers are: David Adams, Guy Chapman, Patrice Deveaux, Micah Head, Alan Hopkinson, Nick Lawton, Megan Lemay, Jillian MacDougall, Tim Magier, Curtis Nunnally Continue reading

Mirror, Action, Object an exercise in personal active stakes

Nothing bugs me more than a scene where two improvisers meet stage center, stare only at each other and talk only to and about each other.

I get it. Your stage partner is truly the only other active element on stage with you. But, c’mon, show some imagination.

The audience likes to see us interact with things we imagine. The audience loves to see us care about things we imagine. The audience f*#king adores when what we imagine makes us feel.

If you and/or the ensemble you’re in and/or the ensemble you coach are having the tendency to do centerstage talking heads scenes then this warm-up exercise might be right for you.
Continue reading

Magic Clay mime warm-up

MAGIC CLAY – Around a circle, a player builds a mimed object “out of clay” and then hands the object to another player who interacts with it as and then molds the “clay” into a brand new object. And repeat.
Variations:
Weaponized Reactions – form a weapon out of the magic clay, attack another player with it. That player should react to the attack and die if called for.
Weaponized Retractions – form a weapon out of the magic clay, attack another player with it but, before you attack, decide not to and put your weapon away. The key is to feel your desire to attack and then to feel the change of heart.

Separating Speech And Action exercises

You Are Not What You Do: Let your miming inspire a scene but do not let it dictate the scene. When you and a friend engage an activity, how much dialogue goes to discussing that activity? Do you talk about doing the dishes while doing the dishes? Mime gives us something to do so we’re more than talking heads, but it shouldn’t confine us.

Suggested Exercises:

WHAT ARE YOU DOING – Players form two “lay-up” lines. One player mimes an action. The other player asks, “What are you doing?” The asked player says something unrelated to what they are actually doing. The asking player engages in this new activity. Then the first player now asks the second player, “What are you doing?”
Lessons:
Separate mind and body – we need to be able to engage our bodies in an activity/environment without confining our mind to dealing with that activity/environment

 

MIMED SEQUENCE / DIALOGUE SEQUENCE – Two players on stage are given a suggestion of location. Each player, in mime – without interacting or trying to tell a story – must define five objects in the space. Then have players go back to their starting positions. Tell them to go through their sequence of mimed interactions now with dialogue and reacting to one another, BUT without talking about what they are doing.
Progression:
• Players will struggle not to talk about what they’re doing; stage coach quickly to get them re-centered if they go too far down that rabbit hole.
• Players will stop engaging environment and devolve to talking heads once they reach the end of their sequences; encourage them to keep engaged, developing new environmental elements while building on dialogue
Lessons:
Activities gain weight in conjunction with the dialogue – don’t undermine subtext by making it explicit; let the audience make connections between what’s being done and what’s being said.
A stage picture makes scenes more interesting – simply moving around the space and engaging in the environment – even if nothing is explicitly addresses or explicitly drives the scene – will make players engaged in dialogue more interesting to watch.
Engage environment, rest your tongue – if we have something to do, we don’t have to rely so hard on our words