Death and Freeze Tag | Improv Workshop | Week #2


Everybody died today.  Some of us died more than once, some twice, and some died three times.  The purpose of these deaths is to teach you a lesson:  pay attention and to help you stay on your toes.  If you play the game, the improv exercises/games to warm one up. 

My first death, chosen by one of my peers, was death by butterflies.  I misspoke in “Zip, Zap, Zup,” zupping instead of zapping the ball of energy. Yes.  For my death, I then frolicked around, pretending to catch butterflies in a net–before we died, we had to set up the scenario–and as the butterflies caught on, they began to swarm over me, and then eat me.  The next game we played was similar fashion to the first game, but with different words that I cannot spell.  It was said that this was more of a drinking game turned into an improv game.  I screwed up, again.  My second death was drowning.  I tied weights to my shoes and threw on a weighted vest before slowly walking into the watery abyss to my death. 

For the third game, we all stood in a circle.  It was a story game, and each of us had to incorporate one word into the mix in order to keep the story going.  The word and could only be said once; once that dreadful word was uttered twice:  you lose and you die.  Luckily, the last man standing happened to be me. 


The three-lined exercise was the next activity, which went better than last week.  Although, it had been a week–only a week–and even though some/most of us were beginners at this improv thing, Mike was harder on us.  It’s tough love, and I am all for it.  After all, how else are we going to learn? 

My confidence was up from last week, but I was seemingly more nervous due to my wanting to excel.  As many times and you can tell yourself to keep be specific in mind, it’s tough to do so while you are focused on that necessity.  However, sometimes, you don’t know what the hell the other person is doing, acting out some action, so it takes a moment to focus. 

The “Yes, and…” was definitely important today.  The “Yes, and…” is pretty important no matter and whenever, and I accept that after these six sessions are done that this phrase will be more cherished and glorifying than the Holy Grail.

It’s not being a dick.

Of course, this type of communication can be projected to everyday life.  You’re challenging yourself to be specific and communicate more effectively in a setup scenario.  However, you want the conversation to come out as fluidly as possible.  You’re training yourself to be more focused and grounded, but not limiting yourself creatively at the same time.  I am not saying to be creative with your arguemnts or confrontations–althought that wouldn’t be a bad thing–but really listen and think before speaking.


The last game we played was Freeze Tag, but not the game that we are so familiar with.  Two people are on stage, performing the three-lined exercise, but the idea is to keep going with it.  The scenario needs to play out before a person interjects.  One individual then says “Freeze,” and steps in the spot of one of the two individuals.  The new individual needs to take the same position of the former, feet and arm position especially.  The conversation/scene then spins off into a different scenario, which is based on one of the duo’s stances or the last line stated in the last scenario.  Mike was pleased with how well everyone played the game out, and the session ended with us–well, I guess I can only speak for myself–wanting more. 

If next week flies by as fast as this past week–I hope it does–Saturday’s session will break out to be even better than today’s.  We do have homework, and that’s to find and prep an improv game for next week.  It’s a glorified show-and-tell.  Maybe I can creatively come up with a game on my own?  We shall see.


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