Improvisation class 2 – 9 Feb 2010

The focus of the second improv class was to introduce the participants to improv basics.  We started the class with two warm-ups (Hero’s and Pattern circle) to get everyone playful and focused.   The gifts game followed to illustrate accepting a blind offer.  We played Yes but and Yes and to illustrate the difference between blocking and accepting.  The questions game showed how asking questions can be a way of accepting without adding new information.   In Improv this is called wimping.  Then we played Blind offers to illustrate how physical movement can also be an offer.  The class was ended with everyone doing two person scenes.

Key concepts

Blocking – Not accepting another player’s offer.

Accepting – Embracing each offer made by other players to advance the scene (Yes and).

Wimping – accepting offers but refusing to do anything with them.
Examples are:
Asking open questions , thus leaving the action to be decided by the other player.
Waffling, babbling without accomplishing any action.

Talking heads – When players talk about what they are doing or want to do instead of actually doing it.  Too much talk, too little action.

Thanks for everyone stepping up and doing your first scenes in front of others.   Some of you commented to me after the class that you have learned a lot but that it was difficult.  Applying these basic improv principles are difficult at first because we have to break through our defence mechanisms that makes us want to block and not take the risk of taking action.  I also think it is because we are not used to being in a space where our partner is there to make us look good.  As we get to know each other better and build more trust it will become easier.  Please share your comment…

4 Replies to “Improvisation class 2 – 9 Feb 2010”

  1. It was an awesome first time experience. Thank you to everyone who made it so enjoyable! The games were a lot of fun, so much so that you forget your nerves and forget that you are actually in the process of jumping over your own shadow. Learnt some valuable lessons in terms of communicating in everyday life as well… interesting how your response can influence a conversation negatively or positively. Was great!

  2. Last night was again a lot of fun and pushing me a bit further to respond to situations and be present in what’s happening around me.

    In the exercise where you make an offer to someone else and that person has to accept it and build on it, I found it was easier for me to accept someone’s offer than to make an offer from scratch. It’s almost as if I’m scared to take such a bold step with the risk of being rejected / blocked. I think that’s also true for when I meet new people or interact with people I don’t know that well.

    Thanks! Enjoyed it!

  3. It was once again so prominent how the improv principles can be applied to our everyday lives. A great exercise in letting go, enjoying the moment and really listening and responding to the people around us. See you next week!

  4. The highlight was realising my friends are super cool performers and free spirits. Cool to experience new people without their defence mechanisms in place.
    I look forward to next week.

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