Thursday, March 11, 2010

Getting Unstuck, Part II

Okay, here's some exercises that you can do with your group to help get unstuck. The best thing to do is always make sure you're warmed up. Yes, that means doing all those team-building exercises that don't seem to have a point. But, they do, and the point is to get people on the same page, in the present moment, and paying attention instead of judging. Here's 6 quick exercises. There's tons more, but these are a good start!

  • Suicide Freeze--This game is a version of freeze tag where instead of yelling freeze yourself, you stand in a line. The first person turns around so they can't see what's happening, and the director yells freeze, signaling the first person in line to go in and start creating a new scene. In another version which I call "Anything Goes Freeze," anyone can yell freeze, but has to shout out somebody else's name. Also, they can order them to do things, and this version can also include long-form techniques such as time-jumping, and wiping entire scenes out.
  • Da, da, da, da--In a circle, one person says a word. Any word. The next person says that word and immediately following the first word that pops in their head. Then everybody says, da-da-da-da. This is done in rhythm and speeds up. You can also do elimination if people hesitate.
  • Gibberish scene--words trip people up, so do an entire scene in gibberish. If you want to involve more people, let freeze tag be part of this.
  • What are you doing? Two people face off. The first person says, "what are you doing?" The second person answers, something like, "washing my car." The first person mimes what the 2nd person said. Then, the 2nd person asks the person, "what are you doing?" and the 1st person has to say anything other than what she is miming, e.g. "painting my nails." The 2nd person then starts miming painting her nails, and the game repeats until people hesitate.
  • No you didn't-- This game gets people to rapidly think of new offers/not get stuck with typical offers. Two people start a scene. Whenever anyone says something, the director says, "no you didn't." The person has to think of a different offer. The director can keep bugging them if they're getting stuck, or she can let them continue. It's up to her.
  • Third offer, Darn Bell--a two person scene. The director rings the bell after a line of dialogue he chooses. The actor responds by saying another offer. The director rings the bell again, and the actor responds with another offer. The director rings the bell a third time. New offer. Scene continues until the director does it again, and again, and again...

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