Have we beaten the first beat?

Sticks Author: Steve

Sticks member Jesse, eager to get to monologizing.  Suggestion from the rest of The Sticks… Nightmares.  Go.

A journey from childhood, dark nights, unable to scream.  Parents in the next room, but he can’t alert them to his fears.  A fearful adolescence, teen years, high school, even college where he practiced bad pickup lines with his frat brothers.  Still, the nightmares are constant.. and only amateur immersion therapy brings relief.  Hours and hours of horror films.  One after another and he is cured.  Or is he?

And we’re off.  1A is Chris M unable to speak, the product of a rowdy night.  How will he do his job as a radio DJ?  What will his wife think?  Job is lost, wife is gone.  1B, first seven minutes in heaven, both kids scared to do much, but the boy has some horrible pickup lines that she laughingly shares with her friends later.  1C, a famous horror movie director who has a terrible secret.. he is afraid of things like… the cold.

Group game.

Group game… ummmm….

Come on!  Group game time!

Ah! Yes.. the interview.  Talk show host with horror movie fans.

And here we sit, struggling a bit with group games.  Probably the thing that we should be better at given our experience with short form, but it’s definitely been the hardest part.  We are working quite well on our scenes, edits, heightenings.  Character work and relationships are getting better.  It’s just the darn group games!

With some poking, some posting on the improv resource center forums, some asking of another Connecticut improv group Sea Tea Improv (good advice from their twitter… 1) Everyone participates 2) One unique, rest peas-in-a-pod 3) Keep it short 4) Do something physical #quickgroupgamestips) and I think that we are going to do better.  We’ve been overthinking.

From the Improv Resource Center, an earlier forum discussion on group games and a wiki .  Here’s what I’m thinking after reading all of that information from so many helpful people:

  1. You pull the idea of the group game from the suggestion and probably shouldn’t pull it from one of the scenes.
  2. Involve everybody.
  3. Use a template like The Interview, or The Advertising Game.
  4. One person leads, the rest join in and find patterns.

Next rehearsal, we move beyond the first beat.  We’re going to kill with a great group game and move on to the second beat.

Bonus material.  Also from the Improv Resource Center forum.  A really funny video of a group game. What could be better than gardening?

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1 Comment

  1. jen

     /  October 25, 2010

    Loved all the suggestions for the group games. I was thinking about the purpose, structure and material for group games all wrong! I can’t believe all the generous feedback we received from the Improve Resource Center!


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