Friday, August 31, 2007

Everything I Need to Know About Improv I Learned in Camp

Recently BIG held our first summer improv camp for kids. For their final showcase performance, our instructors, Bridget Cavaiola and Chris Enoch, created two posters of hints posted on the wings of the stage. I thought they were pretty funny but also very apt.

Some of these tips are specific to working with kids in theater, and some are not as useful for adult improvisors (because you're often trying to get adults to be MORE like kids, while the teachers were trying to get the kids to be a bit more focused), but overall I think they are great advice. Sort of an "Everything I Need to Know About Improv I Learned in Summer Camp":

  • Establish strong characters
  • Support your peers and make _them_ look good: team effort!
  • Allow yourself to be seen & heard
  • Set up your relationships and environment
  • Focus on an activity (but don't talk about it)
  • Stay focused on the show whether you're on _or_ off stage
  • Say "Yes...and..." - add info
  • Use details and specificity
  • Go with your instincts => don't second guess
  • Project your voice
  • Maintain your character (role, accent, etc.)
  • Jump...and the net will catch you
  • Keep up the energy
  • Ask questions...give gifts instead!
  • Talk over people or out of turn
  • Negate your partner
  • Leave the scene or kill partner
  • Pull props out of thin air
  • Talk or distract when off stage
  • Hestitate
  • Say our "list of words" [not a reference to profanity but to bad expository habits]
  • Eat or remove clothing on stage
  • Look at audience members - or Bridget!
  • Forget to hold for laughter

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