The Improv Diaries – Part 20 – Donald O’Connor /Lip Sync Battle / Ru Paul

Apologies for the lateness of this post but hey better late then never! last week on the Tuesday was the return to lessons after that whirlwind of a Rat Race show and you know what I Shook everything Off (metaphorically of course!) and went back in with a positive attitude and excited to be working with these awesome friends again.

This week was an uber fun one because we started to try out games that we hadn’t done before and a lot of them were games i have always wanted to try in Improv as they are some of the games that are my favourite on the Television show Whose Line Is It Anyway?

The first game that we tried was the puppet game which is one that I have always wanted to have a go at! This consists of two people standing still and not doing anything until two other people direct and dictate what they do. It was so fun to play and really was everything i thought the game would be.

Another game that we played was a dubbing game – this included three people and each of them would voice dub the other. It was so fun to play and hilarious to watch – seeing the improvisers reactions to their voices that were made up or remembering who they were meant to be lip syncing, it was so fun!

We played a game which was similar to the puppet game but instead of the two people being puppets they were actually the props in the scene. This was also entertaining to watch as well as be a part of it as you had to think about how you were going to present the prop to the improvisers.

It was a really fun week to do improv and really looking forward to hopefully trying out more games this week.

Donald O’Connor 

I felt that Donald was a great case study for part of this blog post as he is a fantastic dancer with props and also can bring comedy into his routines, the most popular one of course being Make ‘Em Laugh. He is a a great person to become influenced with in relation to improv because he is such a flexible character and utilisies what he is given. Whilst a lot of his stuff was staged by the studios to get more viewers to the cinema, it is obvious from his performances that he takes everything to the next level.

Lip Sync Battle / Ru Pauls Drag Race

I decided to write about both of these because to me its a bit of a who came first the chicken or the egg situation. Ru Paul has always had a section at the end of the show where two people are up for nomination have to ‘lip sync for your life’ then the drag queens will give it their all. This sort of happens with Lip Sync Battle as well – which actually came from an idea Stephan Merchant, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt had one evening them played it on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Their version is a ‘lip sync off’ between two different celebrities and it got so big it lead to it’s own show with it’s own with international version.

I think these are a great case study for these type of improv games because the emphasis and effort that goes into the songs is a fantastic case study as to what level the dub games could be taken to.


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