Sometimes in improv you don’t have to say anything for it to be effective and stand out to an audience – sometimes actions can speak a lot more to an audience then words. This sort of scene work predominantly happens in long form but it can spiral into short form as well. There are a few exercises that can be used to get used to focussing on actions.
The Television Effect
The first exercise take place wen two people on stage pretend they are on a sofa looking at a television screen in silence and seeing what comes out of that. It is a very powerful thing to watch as an audience member because you really focus on the movements and actions of the players and how they interact with each other.
Even though there are no words there are many relationships that can be created in the scenes such as two people having an argument or two people in love etc.
The Magic Bag
Ok so this doesn’t have to be a bag it can be any prop but the key of the prop is that you are only allowed to talk if you are holding said item.
This is a trick that is used to condition yourself to not fill every gap of the scene and to take the time to build the atmosphere. It can also turn into a game in the scene as well because you can end up fighting for The said prop or hide it from the other player. So a lot to play with.
2 Minutes, 2 Lines
This game is another one that is great for letting a scene breath. Someone puts a timer on for two minutes and the scene partners act out a scene – the only rule is that each player is only allowed to say one line of dialogue.
It’s a really good game to train with because it’s all about finding the right moment to say your one line of dialogue!
So the next time you do some improv think to yourself – are words needed or are my actions more powerful then anything else?