Stand-up comedy has evolved a lot over time. A few years ago most stand-up comedians used to learn or practice their bit and perform it on the stage but things have changed now. Instead of memorizing their bits and performing them, stand-up comedians have started indulging in ‘crowd work’, which requires them to interact with the audience. Such interactions are not always easy as they require comedians to have certain skills. In this post, we are going to talk about some of the best improv games that an artist can try.
Improv games are some exercises with the help of which an actor can react to certain situations in real-time instead of following a script. Let us now take a look at the top 5 improv games you can try as an artist:
1-minute life stories:
One of the best things you can do to interact with your audience is listening to their life stories. In this exercise, you have to form pairs of people. One person from each pair has to tell their life story in the shortest manner possible. The story could be about anything the person wants to share. It could even be a specific incident that they feel is an important part of their life. The other person has to listen to the entire story carefully. In the end, the listener has to repeat everything they heard. This allows the audience to mix up with each other and creates a friendly environment.
You can consider this as an extension or modification of 1-minute life stories. In story swap, a person starts narrating a story just like the previous exercise. However, there’s a catch! When the artist on stage claps, the person narrating the story has to stop in between. The next person has to continue the story from the point where the last person left. The cycle can be continued endlessly.
This exercise allows the audience to stay active and listen to another person’s story. Moreover, it gives them creative freedom because they have to continue a story started by the person before them.
Copy dance needs the active participation of the audience. In this activity, you divide the audience into different groups of 4-5 people each. After this, the groups have around 5 minutes within which they have to decide a song of their choice and perform a dance routine. Once the 5 minutes are over, each group performs their dance routine.
However, there’s a small catch here. After the performances are over, one group has to copy the routine of another group and perform it. Through this exercise, you can teach the audience the importance of spontaneity.
Oracle is another great exercise that requires active participation from the audience. In oracle, you form a group of 4 members each. These 4 members have to sit behind each other in a manner that their faces are visible. The first person sits on the ground and the person behind them sits on a chair. Whereas, the third person stands while the fourth one stands on a chair. In this manner, their faces are visible to everyone.
Now, you ask them certain questions and the oracle has to answer them. But, one person is only allowed to speak one word. Thus, the answer is combined by using the four words only.
In this exercise, the audience is roaming freely inside the auditorium or the room. You have to shout something and count till 5. For instance, you shout ‘Chair’. After this, you start counting till 5.
In those 5 seconds, the audience has to physically form the thing that you have mentioned. So, if you shouted ‘chair’, the audience will start forming a chair.
This activity allows the audience to respond instantaneously. Moreover, they learn to build upon the ideas of other people. The audience thus learns to collaborate with each other. Through this, they can blend in nicely which makes it easier for you to interact with them.
Through this blog, we hope we were able to tell you about some of the best improv games. If you want to learn comedy online, we have something that might be of great help.
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Also read about: How video games can help improve your real life skills