So with that in mind, here is a quick warm-up you and your improv team can use to get the brain sap flowing. Gross.
I’m sure there are a million names for it, but I call this one Don’t Break The Chain! The exercise focuses on lightning-fast free-association.
Don’t Break The Chain:
-Stand in a circle! (Or right across from one another if there are only two of you, OR a triangle if there are three of you … Look you get it: MAKE A “CHAIN”!).
-One person chooses a word and says it aloud. (Any word is fine! The more generic the better!)
-Then, the person to left of the first person says the first word that comes to his or her mind. (ANYTHING! SERIOUSLY! EVEN THE SAME WORD, IF YOU HAVE TO – but try not to! JUST FREE ASSOCIATE!)
-Now, the next person in the chain says the first word that comes to his or her mind. (After hearing the second person’s word said. Don’t break the chain!)
-Feel free to get as far away from the first word as possible!
-Continue until the group naturally comes back to the first word said. (I stress naturally, because it is very tempting to jump from “pineapple” to “apartheid” just to get back on track. I’m sure there is an argument for the connection, but trust me: it feels better when you don’t force it.
-Now, start again with a new word and continue until you’re speeding through it! (DON’T BREAK THIS AWESOME CHAIN!)
-FOR BONUS POINTS: Play the game elimination style! If someone pauses before speaking or repeats a word they are eliminated. Play until all but two players are eliminated!)
And that’s it.
So, get out of your head and onto the stage!
Until next time, DON’T BREAK THE CHAIN!