How to practice improv
Today’s shortish blog from an improviser:
“I’d LOVE to read about improv exercises/games/warm ups you can do on your own, without a partner or a team…”
My favourite one to do is from Meisner Technique training. The next time someone says to you “how are you?” in real life, no matter when or where, take a moment to think about it and then answer honestly. It practices emotional honesty in the present moment. Yes, some people will think you’re odd, but you’ll also be surprised at how quickly it also breaks barriers in a nice way.
Other things to practice on own when not in rehearsal:
– Every time you pick up an object in real life, immediately after pick up the mimed version of the object with the same movements and imagine the same weight. It helps to notice how actions work in real life so we can make our object work more believeable. Don’t pick up real guns though, keep them mimed please.
– Send 5 improvisers a message about why you like watching them or improvising them. It keeps you in the mindset of supporting others rather than worrying about how you are doing.
– Start your day by writing 3 pages of freehand notes about anything, the first thing that comes to you, without worrying about it or editing it. Show nobody. This is called Morning Pages and is from the book The Artist’s Way and is a good way of opening up ideas and coming into touch with your thoughts and feelings.
– Go for a run and eat healthily, it means you turn up to shows energised and happy rather than starting every warm up with “guys I’m really tired”.
– In general conversations and meetings practice relaxed open body language, relieving tension from yourself which helps the other people to relieve tension.
– Give someone you don’t know all that well a small present.