Dating game improvisation

For example, holding up one, two, or three fingers can indicate which of the items--person, place or thing--is being performed at a given time. It is not necessary to mime clubbing poor Shirley with the churn--and in fact it will probably confuse the issue by making the "churn" look less like a churn.) Music (hummed but not, of course, sung) can be extremely useful here.

The spell reaches your hips, but your knees are still locked together and your feet are still attached to your pedestal. It is a good idea to establish at least a little bit of "Charades Code" to start with. (In the example, you might hum "The Good Ship Lollipop" and mime curly hair for Shirley Temple, eat a pretend hamburger after indicating a crown for Burger King, and then mime churning butter.

This is a small collection of improvisation games and warmup games that can be used to sharpen up your cast if you're a director, or to add energy and originality to your students' acting if you are an acting teacher. The next person in line enters the scene as a hitchhiker.

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"I'm a bum on the bench." "I'm a dog peeing on the tree." "I'm the newspaper the bum is sleeping under." Etc., until the whole group is part of the picture. The answer MUST NOT be what the person is doing, but, for convenience, it should also NOT be something that LOOKS LIKE what the person is actually doing. The person who is left in the middle ("IT") says something like, "Everyone wearing red." or, "Everyone who has a brother," or "Everyone who is left-handed." Any description that is likely to describe some and unlikely to describe all will do. This is a really great way to start a rehearsal on a physical high.

After a while, add to the original formula, "I'm _________." It can become, "I'm _________ with a ________." Eventually it can become, "I'm _________ with a __________ while ___________." (For example, "I'm painting the barn with a codfish while snorkeling." It doesn't have to make sense.) The second person must begin to act as soon as she hears even PART of the answer. Everyone who fits the description must move to a different chair. Usually a different person will be left standing, and become "IT." In addition to being fast-paced and very physical (especially when played with highly competitive, creative adults), this game helps a cast to get to know each other, and it calls for strategy that depends in part on how well "IT" knows the others. It is a physical warmup/stretching exercise with dramatic content to keep it focused. (Sometimes at Christmas I do this with my young students and call it The Nutcracker. The spell moves down slowly until your head down to your eyebrows is flesh and blood.

Then when he does, the next person is allowed to freeze it, and so on. I have no idea who Martha is or how this game got its name. One person runs into the space, forms her body into a statue and announces what she is, as in "I'm a tree." Instantly the next person runs on and forms something else in the same picture. In our example he might say, "I'm washing the car." The moment the second person hears the answer, she must begin to pantomime the mentioned activity.

If you have a reticent student, you can shout "Freeze! "I'm a bench under the tree." The next person further adds to the picture. The first person goes to the end of the line and the third person runs on and says, "What are you doing? The person acting MUST NOT STOP until he or she has answered the question. The new person MUST START IMMEDIATELY when the answer is heard. All your life you've been staring straight ahead, and now you can look to the sides.

In most cases I don't know who invented these games, nor have I made any particular effort to find out. (Until they have picked up the new person, the three in the car continue to play the first hitchhiker's personality.) If you feel the game has gone on long enough, just enter the scene yourself as a hitchhiker who is blind, or a small child, or something else guaranteed to cause a fatal accident once the driver catches it. It is an excellent focusing exercise, and is useful both for getting a cast to function as a unit and for evaluating how well an ensemble is working. When this happens, these two people are "out," and must exclaim to each other, "Dude! Continue in this fashion until only one (or, if there's an even number in the group, two) are left. With young performers, watch carefully so that they don't "cheat." They may fall into a pattern, which will of course prevent anyone from going out, but it defeats the purpose of the game. Gradually the shakes move to a different body part. Hit begins walking directly (but slowly, at first) towards another person in the circle, with his hands out in front of him like a zombie. Hit after the first time.) Again, the only way the victim can save himself is by calling out a name. If "it" can run around and sit where the "goose" was sitting, there is a new "it." If the "goose" catches "it," then he or she must stay "it." All this is just as in regular "Duck Duck Goose." The difference is that both runners must run as whatever animal was mentioned just before "goose." (For example, if "it" had said, "cow, pig, dinosaur, owl, slug, goose," you'd see two slugs slowly chasing each other around the circle. It really is harder than the regular way because hearing all the different animals can make you miss the goose.

If you think you are the inventor of one of these games, and you don't want it on my site, let me know. At first this won't take very long, but after a while a group will get to the point where they can go for a long time without anyone being knocked out. Stress that patterns are not allowed, and enforce it. (For instance, the tremor might travel up the leg until it eventually comes to rest in a hand.) Once the affliction is firmly established in its new location, the victim "throws" it to another person, etc. (It may be necessary, of course, to repeat "foot," but maybe the shakes themselves are different, or it locates in a particular toe or something the second time.) Continue to play until everyone is running out of ideas. If he touches (hits) the person, they are "out" and must leave the circle. Hit is to call out the name of another person in the circle before any contact is made. Once a name is called out, that person instantly becomes Mr. Continue play until all but two people have been eliminated. This is great, if frustrating, fun, and although, as I've said, I think it is great for any group, it is also hands down the most effective "name game" I know. Hit is coming at you and you can't think of a name to say really makes those names stick in your head. Even though it is fun when the teacher plays along, I usually stay out of the game so I can act as a judge. Reach down and see if you can pull your left foot free. The teams switch roles and the process is repeated. When the last person in Group A thinks she has figured out the three items, she announces her conclusion--which is almost never identical to the original information.A new challenger steps in, and so on until all but one person have been eliminated. The three people in the car invent a scenario to explain their traveling together, and mime driving along, improvising a conversation, etc.(Although I don't know why anyone would mind.) I will be adding games as they occur to me or as I learn new ones. Also check out Edwena's Games, a page of improv and concentration games sent to me by a friend. Just about everyone who has ever had an acting class knows this one, so I'll be brief. Two people enter the space and begin to improvise a scene, with dialogue and as much physical action as possible. It takes a real psychic bond--essential also for real ensemble work. I learned this lesson from a colleague in an improv troupe. It gets harder and harder, because as people are "out" the fund of names grows smaller. This avoids disputes about how much hesitation is too much and whether people adequately become their animals.

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