One Word Story-Letting go of your ideas and practicing long-term, medium-term, and short-term listening. Handling curveballs and making them work. Being cool with making a small contribution to the group mind (saying “and” or “the” or “of”) while also being assertive when you have to make a choice for the group (labeling something clearly with a noun).
Freeze Tag(s)-It’s an exercise in getting into scene…how quickly can you know what’s going on and what you’re exploiting for comedy? Make choices, give gifts, name each other, react emotionally and physically, provide meaning and context. As above, go in when they need an edit. Listen for the scene to hit a beat. Ride the wave of energy and success rather than let the energy drop. In Pimp Freeze, you’re forced to go in, enjoy that scary ride and blurt out the first thing that occurs to you…effort is more important than execution! Don’t try to protect yourself by doing it weekly, do it with confidence instead! The faster you act and make choices, the less pressure that those choices have to be “good”. In Blind Freeze, you’re listening for the beats and don’t have the visual cue to lead you, so your initiations are really organic and instinctual. In Singing Freeze, you and your partner are working together to agree on a particular pace, tone, and volume. Embrace the queerness and commit, you’ll look far cooler by making yourself look silly than you will by trying to make yourself look cool.
Time and place-Where you are and when you are is a huge factor in how you behave in your daily life, so why shouldn’t it be a factor in your improv? Having a sense of where you are and why you’re there will help you with behavior, and help you find objects that support your game. You’ll never run out of things to talk about, because life keeps going on. That’s the key to this exercise: you’re trying to infuse your scenes with a sense of life. Scenes that don’t have some sort of routine that the characters are engaged in inevitably hit a point where the improvisors say “So….anyway…” There’s literally nothing to say because you don’t know where you are or what you’re supposed to be doing there!
Armando-Be willing to drop ideas if someone else initiates first! Play the game of the scene and heighten it…don’t prolong the scene by following story. Variety is key with this form…of subject matter, scene length, cast size, style, volume, pace, etc. Don’t be afraid to yank a scene quickly if it’s served its purpose! Be patient…don’t anticipate or impose the game. Wait for it to develop, then come in and support it. Wrangle those opening moments…figure out who’s in the scene and what their roles are.