I've been searching all over the internet looking for Groundlings exercises because I like that they improvise with the intent on developing finished performance work.
I can't find any exercises that they do, except "5 through a door", which is coming in to a store with an emotion and asking for an item, then quickly going out and coming in with a different emotion and asking for the same item.
The idea is to keep switching emotions. That's all I could find.
Has anyone here taken any classes at the groundlings and do they know any exercises they use?
I don't live in the U.S. so I can't take classes there.
A scenic exercise I use is Three Handed Euchre. The scene is best played with 3 players, although 4 will work, more than this becomes too chaotic.
A location is chosen, and three characters are established. At one point one of the characters goes off-stage, with a justified reason, and then the comes back onto the stage as a new 4th character. After some time another character leaves the stage, leaves his character off-stage and re-enters as the character who had been previously left off-stage. And so on, with the players playing up to 4 characters.
It is a great way to play different character types.
Just went through all ten pages - what a wonderful thread. I signed up just to leave something here, maybe in hopes of reviving this
This is a warm-up/team building game - very elementary. Not sure where I got it from, but it's always wonderful when it works. It's like sound and movement but more deliberate/more suited for beginners.
The entire group takes part. One person announces their intent to start an action - "Let's row a boat!" The entire group repeats after them - "Yes, let's row a boat", and everyone starts rowing. After a few seconds, anyone can step forward with another suggestion. Everyone must agree and follow suit, no matter how ridiculous the action is.
A very simple warm-up: Everyone stands in a circle. A player comes up with a gibberish word and the person next to them comes up with a definition for it. The more specific and outlandish the definition, the better.
Sit, Stand, Lean
This is from Whose Line, and we've played it many times in Pakistan with varying degrees of success.
Three player game. Start an open scene based on a suggestion/ask for. At all times, one player in the scene must be standing, one must be sitting and one must be leaning. If one changes their position from sitting to standing, the rest must adjust automatically. The trick is - each shift must be motivated by something going on in the scene.
My favorite improv exercise is called “You Look/You Seem”. It’s all about using your scene partner’s natural facial expressions to inspire and enrich your scene work together.When I teach this I first have the improvisers pair off and face each other. You can do this part with one pair or multiple pairs at a time. Next I have one person decide to be Person A and the other Person B. I have Person A close their eyes, and I ask Person B to try and make a neutral facial expression. I tell Person A that when they open their eyes, they will say exactly what Person B’s expression looks like. Ex. “You look happy.” “You look scared.” “You seem upset.”
Next I have the two people switch roles, and Person B closes their eyes and then opens them to make a call of exactly what they see on Person A’s face (Person A is still trying to keep a neutral facial expression). I have the pairs do this for a few times back and forth and then share observations with each other.
It’s important that the improvisers get a quick and immediate read on their partner’s face and say exactly what they see or think they see. There is no room for second-guessing or trying to be funny. It’s simple. Say what you see.Now that we’ve practiced reading each other, we can move onto a more scenic, though still a bit exaggerated, on-stage exercise.Two improvisers are needed for this. One of them is randomly assigned to be the “teller” first, and all they can say in the scene are observational “you look” or “you seem” statements. They can’t say anything else, even though they’ll feel a bit stifled. The other improviser can talk as much as they like.
It’s very important that the improviser who is being “read” by their scene partner take on the endowments given to them. If they’re told they look angry, then dammit, they’re angry and they’re gonna say why! Basically, you “yes, and” the statements given to you. They’re gifts!
Ex: Set up: Two friends outside.
Person A: Wow, it sure is sunny out here today.
Person B: You look excited!
Person A: I am excited! I can’t believe the big golf tournament is today!
Person B: You seem relaxed.
Person A: I am! I know I have this game in the bag.
Person B: You seem a little unsure.
Person A: Well…I haven’t played golf in a few months, so I’m a little afraid I’ve lost my edge.
When the director of the exercise feels the time is right, say “switch!” and have Person A and Person B switch roles in the scene (not characters). Now Person A is giving the observational statements about Person B while Person B can say and do anything they like. The same scene is still going.
Ex. Same Set Up – Scene Continued
Person A: You look nervous.
Person B: I’ve never watched you play a big tournament before, I’m worried about you!
Person A: You seem sad.
Person B: Well, I am. If you win, I’m afraid you’ll become famous and never want to talk to me again.
And so on and so forth, switching the roles until the scene has reached a satisfying ending or stopping point. You can do this with several pairs and a variety of set-ups. You can even make the set-ups more emotionally charged from the beginning by giving the improvisers instructions like, “one of you is packing a suitcase” or “one of you is tied to a chair”.
Interesting things I love about this exercise:
1. By making these simple observations about your scene partners, you instantly connect to the relationship and emotions within the scene, and avoid tricky plot-talk or meaningless prattle. It’s almost impossible to avoid making the moment about each other once your scene partner has given you an emotional read on your character. It ties both characters together to have this interaction.2. You make each other look like amazing actors. Chances are, the audience saw that Person B seemed a bit nervous too, and now they look like a genius capable of complex acting techniques. This works especially well when someone says they’re happy in a scene but their facial expression actually makes them look sad (or uncomfortable, jealous, etc). Subtext! Subtly! Seriously, all the person has to do is “yes and” the emotional read and the scene keeps moving forward with all kinds of delicious new details.3. This is an amazing tool for your improv toolbelt. Your scene partner doesn’t even need to know about “You Look/You Seem” for you to use it in a scene (and have it work wonderfully). Now, you don’t have to say only You Look/You Seem statements (that’s just the extreme version for the above exercise), but you can sprinkle in as many as makes sense. If you’re ever at a loss for what to do or say next in a scene, just turn, look at your partner and say exactly what you see. In my experience, if the person takes this as a gift (and honestly, we all want to be feed more details about our characters) the scene will take an inspiring turn at this point. So easy, it almost feels like cheating (But it’s not! I swear!).
Things to avoid during this exercise:
1. An improviser trying to drive the scene within the position of the “teller”. People will often try to say things like, “You look like someone who is dumb.” or “You seem like you want to go get your wallet and give me all your money.”
These are not the observational statements we are looking to get to in this exercise. The thing to do is get a read on your scene partner’s actual emotional state, as far as you can tell from their face. Say what you actually see in real life. If I see this fake-reading happening, I usually pause the scene and ask the teller to say what they actually see on the person’s face. If the improviser looks angry but they aren’t actually angry (or didn’t think that was the face they were making), who cares? There was something in their face that gave that impression, and now it’s time to commit to that and see where it leads.2. Sometimes improvisers in this exercise worry about giving the same read twice (i.e.: Person A: You still look nervous). It’s totally fine to give the same read twice, as long as it’s honest. As the improvisers get more used to reading their partners, the more nuanced the observations will become.This is such a fun exercise to play out with each other and to try out in regular scenework or in other shows. Seriously, it’s never failed me and I now have a keener sense of reading my scene partners thanks to this technique.
*I first learned You Look/You Seem from the fantastic improvisers in 3 For All, an improv group based out of San Francisco, CA. Part of this exercise also comes from David Razowsky, an improviser and teacher in Los Angeles, CA.
[QUOTE = "MarkH, post: 18062, member: 38"] Une variante de l'exercice de Rachel
Joe Bill avait l'habitude de faire un exercice similaire à celui que vous avez mentionné, Rachel, à la différence qu'il mettait des temps divers sur des bouts de papier, allant de 5 secondes à 5 minutes. Les bouts de papier sont allés dans un chapeau. Ensuite, Joe dessinait les temps morts, sans dire les deux sur scène.
Le but? Ils devaient commencer comme un féticheur, car ils ne savaient pas s'ils seraient édités immédiatement, mais ils devaient être prêts à intensifier et à prêter continuellement attention aux déclarations initiales, car ils risquaient de perdre 5 minutes.
Je pense que cela pourrait être l’un des meilleurs exercices sur le marché.
Mark Henderson: ver: [/ QUOTE]
hello i'am French and news in this blog I d'on't not understand it's the time that is drawn ? Why the dead time?