This game is inspired by the bit in the film When Harry Met Sally where various couples sit on a couch and tell us about how they met. You don’t have to have seen the film to play the game.
It’s a great game for discovering character in the moment by listening to changes in body language and agreeing with offers that pop up in the moment.
How the exercise works
Two improvisers stood behind a sofa (or a couple of chairs) as themselves.
They walk around as themselves and then sit down.
When they sit down they will discover that their body language has slightly changed, and find meaning from what their body language is like with the person. The characters know each other really well.
The teacher asks them a couple of questions to get them going and they start telling us about how they met and more. Each offer leads to a further anecdote.
They say yes to what pops up as they gradually find more depth and backstory to their characters.
The teacher and rest of class can ask them more questions, especially about their relationship.
- Be specific. For instance if asked your name instead of just “Dave” say “Hi, I’m David Bartholomew Simpkins, from Chicago but now living here in London.”
- Tell anecdotes. Every offer is an inspiration to tell a story.
- Coming in with an emotion at the start.
- Changing voice.
- Any other character change, it’s a helpful exercise for first exploring characters.
We first learnt a similar exercise from John Cremer at The Maydays and then adapted it with inspiration from the film When Harry Met Sally.