This week was a different one for improv as I was not at the drop in, instead the troupe met up and we had another practise. This has been a few weeks because we have had issues with room bookings but we finally found a location for the rest of February and it was in the wonderful Canary Wharf in a place called Theatre Delicatessen.
This week was all about getting used to each other again and playing more games to see what works and what doesn’t. It was four of us this week so the first thing we did was loads of warm ups to get us back in the improv frame of mind.
The first game we played was the Eastenders version of Zip Zap Zop that I haven’t played since Newcastle and it was quite fun to bring it to a location that is just off the East End of London.The next warm up game we played was headlines this is where someone says a random headline and then whatever the last word is that is used as the first word in the new headline the next person makes up. The last warm up game we did was the letter game when someone is given a letter and then you have to come up with as many words as you can for that letter in the allotted time you get given.
The next game we played was The app Heads up which ended up being a fun way to get into the mind of improv. This is an app where you put the phone to your head and then the person has to guess what items are coming up on the screen, a bit like charades. Then we started to play some real improv games.
The first one was reccomended by James who also goes to acting drop ins and this was one of the games that they had played recently. Each of the people in the scene get given an animal at the start and then that person has to develop the charactistics of the animal in the scene. The other person doesn’t know what the they persons animal is so you have to play to the scene and then also work out what the other person is.
The next game we played was the home shopping channel game. This is when you have a random prop and the audience give you two words and the you have to sell whatever they tell you the item is. This is becoming a firm favourite with our troupe as it’s fun to play and is funny for the audience.
The next game we played was a game we sort of made up on the spot that night. We used the ideology of the concept of the animal game we first played and then used it as a music based improv game. So each of us were given a specific musician from a genre that we had to then play like in the scene. This was singing in their style of music and also making subtle hints to your co-player which artist that you are. It is a game that worked well but needs development
To finish off the evening we played a few off our old favourites such as the alphabet game, questions only (which I still rule at hooray!) and statements only. This week was a great one progressively and its going well! We also discussed core team related things and we also have a logo now! Our name now is Punderstandably Improv or PS Improv for short. We decided on this as the word understandably kept coming up in one of our practises the other week and it made us all laugh and become an inside joke that we ended up liking it and jiggling it up a bit to have a comical name!
We are also on Twitter so why not follow our journeys at @PS_Improv
Case Study – Ellen Degeneres
This week it only felt right using Miss Ellen as a case study as we had so much fun using her app to train in improv. The app allows you to download many different topics and variety packs to play against friends. It also records your acts of being silly which can be funny to watch back (or cringe) after wards.
If you watch any of the videos on Ellens Youtube page you will see amy different celebrities having fun on her she using the app and you can understand why. Whilst it brings the game of charades in to the twenty first century, it also in some ways allows people to be silly without feeling like an idiot doing so as its a trendy thing to do.
Thats why improv is becoming more and more popular, people are starting to realise its not just a silly thing to play and get to your inner child, its refreshing and actually quite a laugh to do.