What are good exercises to practice alone?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Sheer Idiocy : One Thread

What are good exercises to practice improv skills alone? Any game? Do you recommend something?

PS: No 'find a friend' replies please

-- Fernando (nando.oliveira01@bol.com.br), March 25, 2002


go find a friend.

yeah... yeah. I'm funny and I know (clap my hands).

Hrm... seriuosly though, most improv we do is done with two or more people... thats most of the point of it... you do something, and then the other person (people) do something you didn't expect, and then you have to react to that through using improvisation. Improv is really a team sport. In the same way that you can train yourself to do sports through conditioning and stretching, etc., you can do stuff like... practice singing, or making weird faces, both of which are rather useful while doing improv (although not explicitly improv skills). At the same time though, you cant really practice plays of team sports without teammates, and playing chess games against yourself is always boring because you always know your next move, unless you're Guy Pearce (baZING). Improv is the same.

The only thing that I can think of that really helps you improv is staying on top of pop culture... the more you know about famous people, the more you can make fun of them while acting, or if you get a suggestion to be a certain person, you know who that person is. Thats not really what you're looking for though.

Thusly, I'm an awful person.

-- Bob McDob (idiots@sheeridiocy.net), March 27, 2002.

One of the best things you can do to become one with improv comedy is to integrate it into your otherwise normal life. For example, take this common scenario: your calculus TA professor asks you the integral of x^2 from 2 to 3. Now the OLD, humorless you would've simply said, "19 over 3". But the NEW YOU can choose from any one of a number of spontaneously hilarious answers, including:

1) "That's not an integral, it's your mother!" 2) "What's with these integrals anyhow? And why is there no such thing as an outegral?" 3) "Australia!"

And so on! The effects of such wild and unexpected comedy are amazing. They will endear you to your professors, cover up for the times when you don't actually know the answer, and earn you more "close friends" than Heidi Fleiss. Best of luck to you!

-- Justin Eugene Skliar nee Schiffman de Brea (skliaj@rpi.edu), April 08, 2002.

Well, I am getting ready to jump into improv and I have been asking a lot of people what they think I can do to practice. There have not been a great deal of answers so far. But, one piece of advice I received seemed to hit home. You do not bring yourself onstage. You have to leave your pride and ego behind in order to be spontaneous enough to achieve hilarity.

I am certainly going to give it a try.

Good Luck.

-- Larock (warriorpoet@grammatique.net), July 01, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ