New Year, New Curriculum | Improv As Improv Does Best

With its focus on characters interacting, Help Desk games are perhaps the rubric most conducive to Zoom. As such, I found myself hewing much more closely to my typical Help Desk curriculum this class. The biggest hurdle came in navigating Pivots and Split Screens. Appearing on a Zoom screen it’s certainly not easy to “tag…

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Zoom In On To The Ether

The Patterns & Games class where we go over To The Ether games is always my favorite. This time was virtually no different. Understanding the atomic structure of patterns can help a group collaboratively build evolving molecules which combine into complex compounds.  Patterns that facilitate game play can be defined by three “moves.”  A “move”…

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New Year, New Curriculum | Improv As Improv Does Best

“Hey, Everybody,” we say as our initiation in some form. Maybe it’s “Team, take a knee,” “Soldiers. Attention!,” or the Zhubin Parang special, “People, people, [important person] is ready for your questions.” The potential for trouble in a “Hey Everybody, get out here” initiation is high. Players may rush out on stage to support the…

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Zoom In On Organic Games

Students were taught the 4 Key Lessons for building collaborative improv games on Day One. In subsequent weeks focused one of 4 rubric group games designed to explore the power of each of those key lessons. At the end of the day – which really is the class showcase – the audience isn’t looking to…

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Zoom In On Patterns & Games

I taught my first Patterns & Games class through Zoom. I had been nervous going into it assuming I’d have to tweak my teaching materials significantly to work within this new world. But as I learned when approaching Silent Games, the mechanics of collaborative pattern play are applicable however Group Games are attempted. Need proof?…

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Zoom In On One Person Scenes

Agreement is awesome. Don’t you think. In class number two, we focus on that first of our 4 Key Lessons: Seek Symmetries. Bringing characters into group games brings new opportunities for chaos.  Simplifying character-based group scenes with balanced stage pictures and shared emotional perspectives can help a team confidently navigate the chaos.  Here’s how we…

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Fun Times | Improv As Improv Does Best

Remember this Simpsons bit with Krusty about hemorrhoids and riding bikes? That “I can ride a bike again!” idea jumps into my head a lot (more often than a person should really think about hemorrhoids…probably). I think about it in conjunction with that “It’s just like riding a bike” expression used to refer to an…

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New Year, New Curriculum | Improv As Improv Does Best

It’s 2020, my friends. And my curriculum needed to get with the times. Goodbye, Dukes Of Hazzard. Goodbye, s/he, his/her, him/her, etc. 2020 brings new exercises, new insights, and new clarifications for teaching. Links have been updated on the Class Materials page, but they’re also here. Enjoy! Intro to Improv Curriculum 2020 (PDF)Character & Relationship Curriculum 2020 (PDF)Patterns…

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A Terrific Tag-Out video example

“Who do you tag out?” I’ve asked improvisers. “Keep the Crazy,” some reply. Have more fun with a fun character. It’s a fine thought. “Change the catalyst,” I say. The audience loves watching improvisers affected by imagined reality. When we heighten the reality we force the affected character into a heightened reaction. So when choosing…

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