Physicalization is the method used by improv players to create imaginary locations, objects, and events. For a warm-up we played a circle clap game. Then we played I’m going to the moon. Each player must say and show what object he/she will take to the moon as well as all the objects that the players before him picked. We then passed imaginary objects to each other. It was funny to see how the used tissue turned into a dead fish, the bowling ball turned into a granite block and the hot cup of coffee turned into a hamster. An important note that Mike made was that it is important to hold the object like you would hold it in real life. For the next exercise everyone had to reach under their chairs and pull out an object without thinking beforehand what it was going to be. They had to discover something and then explore it until they got an emotional reaction from it. It is difficult not to think ahead and just discover something. However when you allow yourself just to discover, your discovery is much more interesting and your emotional reaction much more authentic. I then took the class on a guided fantasy from the beach to a secondhand store, into a forest, into a castle with a table with all of their favorite food, into a garden with statues of the most significant moments in their lives. It is amazing to see how your imagination and your past experiences work together to create this dream like experience. The final exercise was an environment exercise. For this exercise a location is determined and then one by one each character must enter the location and use all the objects that all the previous players used and then add another object. It is important to remember where each object was placed.
Liezel made an important comment about following through when you use an object. Don’t just let an object disappear in mid air when you pick up another object first put down the one before you pick up another. A good way to practice your physicalization is to notice in everyday life how you hold different objects. Doing this will help you to be more present in your day to day actions. Something that Stef illustrated very beautiful is to use each object in character. This way you find a lot more interesting things to do with the object. Choosing a character and acting and reacting from that character are probably one of the most important improv practices. For me it is also one of the best applications of improv in everyday life. Who you are, is more important than what you do, because who you are determines what you do. Therefore it is more important to figure out who you are than what it is that you are suppose to do.