All this month we are looking at how board games can help us with exercises or development with our improv every week. We will be looking at the game that we talked about on Sundays and reflecting on it in Improv Corner on Monday evenings to see just what you can do with these and transfer the skills learned in these games into Improv skills.
This week we looked at the board game Game of Life, which actually is a very good game when it comes to improv because it’s all about making decisions. There are many improv acts that rely on decisions as a core parts of the actual show a great example is being the Banana Hut Gang and if you want to see them in action, you can on Wednesday nights online from 8p.m.
However, as improvisers the Game of Life allows us to think about the decisions that we make on stage when it comes to the suggestions. So often after a show, I will sit there and think about the suggestions that we were given and the ones that we did not take and what we could have made of those suggestions if we had chosen to go with that instead of the original. I think about what you could have done with them at the time.
You shouldn’t really go thinking about that when you’re an improviser because it’s all about living in the moment and accepting the decisions you made. However is quite a fun thing to think about sometimes and in the rehearsals with Punderstandably we used to use some of the suggestions we didn’t choose in the show as an exercise to see what would of happened and also as a suggestion we may not of thought of before. It was a really fun way of seeing what could have happened and also a great way to develop as a team.
Game of Life is all about making decisions and deciding which route you would go down in your so to speak in life in the game. This is why it’s quite an interesting one to think of it in a proper perspective because there were many choices when it comes to improv scenes.
First of all, lets look at decisions on stage – the suggestion that you take can lead to what you depict on stage. Second of all you have to make a decision of what style of improv you want to do for that suggestion.
How To Incorporate It Into Improv
Give this a go the next time you’re in rehearsal when you need suggestions for a scene. Ask for suggestions from a scene and choose one and do that scene and improv style with that suggestion. Then when that scene is ended use the suggestion you didn’t choose to replay that style of improv again.
You’re doing the other just to see what the outcome would have been in that scene. This is not a great habit to get into but is a good way in rehearsals to understand and maybe think about whether you are choosing the most effective.
Sometimes we always decide to go with the easy option and not a difficult. Maybe this is not always a great choice and doing this exercise in rehearsals means you can find out whether you should have gone with a more difficult option that you were given.