One thing that is important about improv is that you have to have trust in your scene partners. If you are part of a improv troupe this is a vitally important part of working well as a group because you need to constantly look after the person you are on stage with and be there ready to fall or fill in whenever you can to create either the best scene ever or to help them when everything starts to take a turn for the worse.
When you are starting out or on courses, it can be hard to find true trust with someone but hey, that is natural because you are still new to improvising with each other and that trust comes over time. Whether you are still getting to know your group or you are firm friends, here are a few warm up exercises you can use to get to trust your Improv Buddy that little bit more.
This game requires people to be in pairs – I am sure there are many ways to play this game but I am going with the theme that I played it. You go into pairs and one of you is blindfolded – the the person who is blindfolded with link arms with their ‘leader’ and then they will be guided around the room making sure that they don’t bump into anyone else. You then reverse the roles and then lead the other partner. This game is not for everyone it is really one of those games where it depends on the person. I personally am not a fan as I like to be in control, however people I have been in the same room as this exercise have been so comfortable with their scene partners that i have seen them physically leap around the room. It definitely builds up trust but it can be daunting to be the one blindfolded.
Even though this game isn’t specifically built as a trust game, it can be used as a trust exercise because you are ‘trusting’ your partner to accept what you give them. This is a game that can be used as a scene game or as a warm game. The main aim of this warm up is for one person to be in charge of opening the scene and when they do they explain what mood the other person is in. For example – ‘Hello Lewis you look so sexy today’ (connoting that the person is in a great mood or lustful) or something like ‘Hello Peggy you look so bad today what happened to your hair it looks like it was dragged through a bush’ (connoting a negative or bad day).
This will then lead to a scene where you are trusting your scene partner to accept and work with the emotion you have given them.
There are many trust exercises out there and a loootttt of them include a blindfold, whilst this is a good way to train ‘trust’ sometimes it’s nice to have other options.