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101 Improv Games for Children and Adults by Bob Bedore
101 Improv Games for Children and Adults by Utah Improviser and Quick Wits owner Bob Bedore



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Bob Bedore

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Secrets of Improv...  
  Started at Thu Jul 3 10:16:18 2003
I thought it would be interesting to give out some of the very little known secrets of improv and have everyone add to them.

One of my favs is when you're playing with someone who isn't offering very much and really bugging you on stage, you kill them off in the scene.

I love seeing that. Sure it's cruel in it's own little way, but it's a good teaching tool. If you don't want to be killed in a scene, stop what you were doing.

It's good for new people working with the "vets" to know that this is a less than subtle hint that they aren't doing something right. After the scene you might want to just ask if there was anything else you could have done to "stay alive".

Of course, killing one's self is a means to get out of a scene as well. I won't mention names (Johnny No No) but some actors live (die) by this method.

I just thought I'd start a thread where actors discussed the hidden language of improv. It's fun to see how troupes develop their own language, often times without knowing it.

Please share any times you've noticed it and maybe we can put it into one improv language for all to know and love...

Bob

 
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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #1 Posted at Thu Jul 3 10:38:26 2003
If I want to bring a scene back to a relationship instead of droning on and on about some bloody thing no one cares about, I use "I think", "I feel", and "I want" statements.

Here's the trick: use them to talk about what is going on between you and your partner. "I think we should go to the dentist" doesn't cut it. It just gets more crap that isn't really interesting out there.

Here's another one: if you are doing some perilous game, accentuate the peril. For instance, in Mouse Trap, if you are on the other team and are setting up the traps, set some off on purpose and feign being hurt. This helps reinforce how dangerous this is (or could be).

-Jesster


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Bob Bedore

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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #2 Posted at Thu Jul 3 10:41:04 2003
Yes...

It's the key words that let the actors know that you want them to "join" you on something, and not just be dragged along on some whim of yours.

Dragging someone is just as bad as pimping to me.

The journey should be taken together.

Way to point that out Jesse!

Bob

 
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Scronny Ronny Lichfield

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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #3 Posted at Thu Jul 3 10:58:46 2003
I am relatively new, but one of my more praised techniques (though only I do any praising) is in physical pantomime. The key to good pantomime is doing everything slow and specific. Sometimes when improvers get frusterated they speed up and get sloppy. Make sure to keep your cool and do everything with props that you would if they were really there. The more specific you can be (taking into account weight size, color, even the center of gravity,) the easier it will be for the other improvers to understand what you are doing. I am sure we have all been in a situation where the person pantomiming, just plain couldn't to save their life. DON"T LET YOURSELF BE A BAD PANTOMIMER! Josh Nufrio is very excellent if you have ever seen him. Taught me all I knowwink


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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #4 Posted at Thu Jul 3 11:54:37 2003
I enjoy watching your pantomime, Ronny. It's very distinct.
-Jake


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Scronny Ronny Lichfield

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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #5 Posted at Thu Jul 3 14:11:12 2003
Why thank youcheesy


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ryloc
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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #6 Posted at Mon Jul 7 14:08:55 2003
Last Modified at Mon Jul 7 14:10:48 2003 by ryloc


On Thu Jul 3 10:16:18 2003, Bob Bedore wrote: (read quoted post)
One of my favs is when you're playing with someone who isn't offering very much and really bugging you on stage, you kill them off in the scene.

I love seeing that. Sure it's cruel in it's own little way, but it's a good teaching tool. If you don't want to be killed in a scene, stop what you were doing.

It's good for new people working with the "vets" to know that this is a less than subtle hint that they aren't doing something right. After the scene you might want to just ask if there was anything else you could have done to "stay alive".

i am confused by this post. i don't understand how not allowing someone to contribute will teach someone how to contribute.

if you're killing someone for the sole reason of them not "doing something right", you have ceased to be a support player. how can a beginner learn to trust the "vets" if they don't make him or her look good.

that's my secret: make the other player look good. be emotionally affected by what they say. listen to them and go line for line. i would rather put all my focus on that player, rather than a trigger.

everything the other person says is brilliant. not just some of what they say.


 
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Jonny No No

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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #7 Posted at Mon Jul 7 16:03:54 2003
Good thing this is the "secrets of improv" and not the "what you should do with new people" thread. happy

SSEEEEEEEECRETS...........

I believe Bob was teaching people about the "treat your other actors as if they were brilliant" stuff years before any of us ever started. Except the already brilliant actors from Laughing Stock of course!

So I wouldn't be so hard on him. happy



Jonny NOOOOOOOOOOOO! ...err okay.

 
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ryloc
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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #8 Posted at Mon Jul 7 16:10:47 2003
i'm getting a reminder about straying off-topic from johnny no no? what has this world come to?

i'd actually like to hear bob's response on this and not just someone who thinks bob is great.


 
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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #9 Posted at Mon Jul 7 16:11:41 2003
While I am not a fan of the "shoot the newbie" practice either, let's let people get their opinions out there without too much bashing, shall we? Take what you like and leave behind what you don't agree with. That's hopefully what this board is about.

-Jesster


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Stitch

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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #10 Posted at Mon Jul 7 17:09:48 2003
Comming from one who has died many times...
Though sometimes it hurts, I know instantly I was hindering the scene from progressing. Does it hurt my fragile little ego? Sure however I learn. Isn't that why we're here? I've been playing for a while and I'm dying less and less...I assume that means one of two things either a)I'm getting better or b)my troupe is running out of bullets.

Let's keep in mind we are here not only to have fun but to entertain. Being killed is a way to convey a message quietly that you need to work on something, get a laugh and continue the scene.


I like Pie
 
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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #11 Posted at Mon Jul 7 17:12:14 2003
i also guess it depends on what kind of improv we do.


 
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Austin Nava

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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #12 Posted at Mon Jul 7 18:21:52 2003
I agree with ryloc's original post with supporting your fellow players.

My "secret" is to get an emotional reaction from the other player/s, if they aren't giving me one, I bring one out of myself.

Emotion adds so much power to every scene...


Jonny no no, why put down ryloc's words?

Perhaps he wants to know what changed bob's mind from what he was teaching "years ago"....

Can we discuss this without fighting?


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Stitch

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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #13 Posted at Mon Jul 7 18:38:00 2003
No NO I like fighting! Let's see I want a good clean fight, no shot's below the belt there will be 12 four minute rounds ready *DING* *DING*


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Sanchez Puerto Rico

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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #14 Posted at Mon Jul 7 20:46:49 2003
Last Modified at Mon Jul 7 20:50:05 2003 by Sanchez Puerto Rico

I have a really good secret about improv. Perform with your friends, and have fun!!

Those are the two biggest secrets of improv.

The third biggest secret of Improv would have to be support. Not to step on anyones toes, but I don't see how killing someone to teach them a lesson is a very good method of support. I would like to know the theory behind that? I hope nobody is offended. I just really want to know how that helps!!

Thanks.......and

I'm Out!

- Adam -



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steve uribe

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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #15 Posted at Mon Jul 7 21:06:25 2003
i know pimping is old school but my secret to get someone new or scared or bugging me is to pimp them to do something. like make them feed the dawg, or do the dishes. that way they stay in the scene plus they get some new attetion. then we can build from there. it keeps me in the scene, it keeps them in the scene, and now we have direction. if it seems lame sorry, but it works and its fun that way.



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Jonny No No

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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #16 Posted at Mon Jul 7 23:32:30 2003
Last Modified at Wed Jul 9 15:02:32 2003 by Jonny No No

I had to modify this post. It was too long.

I will just say that some people take this stuff too seriously. Improv is something that's fun for me to do on the weekends. I also have fun on this message board too! I will now contunue to have my fun.

Jonny No No

 
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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #17 Posted at Mon Jul 7 23:40:35 2003
Thank you for clarifying that....it does make sense now. Although I do like Steve U. idea a lot better than killing people....what bob wrote does make sense. For those of you who don't know....jon smith is Steve U.

Rack Steve....

I'm Out!

- Adam -



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Phirechild

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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #18 Posted at Tue Jul 8 08:16:29 2003
Ok so I'm gonna sit the fence on this.
yes I agree if you are polaying with newbies, they might need a little help. Support them pimp them help them work throught it.
BUT
I have killed a number of people on stage for something like this. They have all been playing for quite some time. In one instance playing Shakeapeare I ended up killing someone in the scene becuase they might as well have been performing solo improv. It worked for the scene, we justified and all, but it just had to be done.


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ryloc
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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #19 Posted at Tue Jul 8 08:30:35 2003
i still don't understand what you mean, bob. i'm not saying it's a bad way to do it. i just don't agree. we're allowed to disagree, aren't we? but, like i said before, i don't understand. how does your method help beginners?

exactly what is the theory behong "killing=helping"?

that's all i wanna know.


 
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Andrew

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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #20 Posted at Tue Jul 8 09:25:10 2003
It's funny?


Dude, you just killed a goat...and he had a family.
 
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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #21 Posted at Tue Jul 8 09:37:30 2003
Last Modified at Tue Jul 8 09:37:53 2003 by jesster

*shoots Andrew*

Hey! You're right!

-Jesster


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Andrew

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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #22 Posted at Tue Jul 8 09:51:14 2003
see told ya grin


Dude, you just killed a goat...and he had a family.
 
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who?

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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #23 Posted at Tue Jul 8 22:27:40 2003
EnKAy. This is my favorite secret, and I hate to let it go, but in the interest of information circulation, I must release it (I know it's nothing new actually)

Sometimes, if you know it's good, but it might be a little racy, or base, you have to "let it slip out." You have to say it as if you didn't mean it that way. Then you get two great moments. The moment where you said it and the moment where what you said hits you and you get to be embarassed by it. The audience loves this.

Yes it is manipulating the audience, and no I don't feel bad about it.


Whoa! Where was I when that thing went off?
 
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Wildethang

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Re: Secrets of Improv...  
  Reply #24 Posted at Tue Jul 8 23:36:24 2003
Okay this is my secret.

I think that things based in truth are funny. 90% of what I do on stage, i.e. characters, situations, initiations are actually taken from real events in my life. The audience then of course laughs hilariously never knowing that they are laughing at my pain.

And naturally, I wouldn't have it any other way.

BTW, I too would like to know how killing someone is helping. I used to use this method a lot which makes a lot of sense since my formative training came from SLCQW, but since I have let up on this method. To me it is just telling the person that I am on stage with that I don't trust them and that I need to have total control over the scene. That isn't teamwork now is it?

anyway, that is just my 50 cents.

love you all.


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