Archive for the ‘improv articles’ Category

Unscripted Learning

August 18, 2007

This is the first time Amazon’s recommendation system has turned up something interesting.

Unscripted Learning: Using Improv Activities Across the K-8 Curriculum

Using improv to teach other things is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. So I may have to look into this one.

I found the chapter on improvising maths here (PDF).


Full KJ interview

August 7, 2007

Following on from this post.

Here is the full interview.

There’s some wonderful stuff in there.

KJ: …I think the fear has to be gotten rid of. In a Swedish theatre an old actor said to me – Sweden’s got lots of money for theatre and they have all kinds of foreign directors come in and teach them things – he said, “You’re the first person in my career in the Swedish theatre who ever mentioned fear.” It’s just taboo. People are not supposed to be afraid. And they’re petrified. I’m amazed that I was the only person he’d ever met who mentioned it. He said, “And I’m very happy now because I knew I was afraid but I thought the others weren’t. Now you’ve arrived here and I know they’re all just as scared as I am.”

GM: And it’s okay?
KJ: It’s ridiculous. If you’re an office worker or a a wood cutter or something and you were scared going to work every day, and you had to have a drink before you started work, which is quite common. Actors are at the very top of lists of alcoholics, you know? Travelling salesmen and actors are always at the top. And it’s partly because of the terror and partly because they’re adrift in foreign cities quite often and there’s always a pub next to the theatre. So what do you do during the day? It’s a great temptation.

GM: How do you get rid of the fear, other than drinking? Or do you just embrace it?
KJ: Well, you admit it, first of all. That’s a help. You’re negative to protect yourself, really. People try to force against the negativity and say yes to everything, but they should do it by getting rid of the fear and then it wouldn’t matter. People put rules in. There are so many rules, like you mustn’t ask a question. That’s a rule that’s being propagated. Some teacher had a student who obviously would ask questions and hardly contribute anything. In which case, for that student, you should stop them asking questions. But if somebody asks a question you should say, “Did you ask that question because you were afraid?”, in which case they shouldn’t have asked it. Or you could say, “Why did you do that?” and they could say, “It’d be fun for my partner”, in which case, yes, you should do it. So the imposition of rules is ridiculous. It’s a question of what you’re trying to do at the time. Did you kill the idea because you’re a coward or did you kill it because it’s more fun? If it’s more fun, kill the idea.

Compiled Improv Wisdom

June 24, 2007

David Wahl (of Creative Creativity fame) sent me this link;

Purple Crayon’s Improv Wisdom

It’s a list of about 150 bits of  improv advice.  It’s all good stuff, but I find it impossible to read so much condensed knowledge in one sitting.

Here’s something that’s well worth saying;

On getting suggestions: 1) put the audience at ease, don’t put them to a test, or on the spot. 2) define what you want. 3) encourage them to be creative and at the top of their intelligence to suggest what they want to see.

Chivalry and the Knights of Improv

May 17, 2007


One of the great things I’m getting out if doing this blog is it’s reminding me to go back and read over old improv articles that have helped me in the past.

This is a great article, that talks about a lot of the same things I’ve described previously (but, you know, better).

Chivalry and the Knights of Improv
by Tom Tollenaere

I guess that any improv player or improv trainer would agree that a good improv player is -among ‘other things’ – a player that is fun to play with. We all know tons of exercises to train players on these ‘other things’: accepting offers, advancing stories, building characters and tilting status, but how do we teach players to be fun-to-play-with? We use a vocabulary that includes terms like yes-anding, reincorporating, raising the stakes, tilting, pimping, waffling, you name it, but do we have a word for being-fun-to-play-with? I think that word should be ‘Chivalry’.

Read the rest