Improv, short for improvisation, is the act of thinking of things on the spot! It’s very helpful to play improv games to hone your confidence, feel comfortable speaking loudly, and strengthen your ability to act on impulse! Usually improv games are played in teams, so you can also work on acting with another person. There are five specific things to keep in mind when doing improv. 

  1. Agree. Being part of a team means listening to your teammates with an open mind.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re always going to agree with everything everyone says, but it does mean that you should respect what someone has suggested and consider how what they’re saying could work! Start with a YES and see where that takes you!
  2. Say “YES AND.” It’s not enough to just say yes to everything.  You have to add to the scene at hand.  Don’t be afraid to contribute.  Everyone’s contributions are worthwhile.  There are no bad ideas. The final outcome will be much more fun to watch if it springs from everyone’s thoughts and ideas.
  3. Make Statements. This rule has a lot to do with a mindset of being part of the solution, not part of the problem. When you ask questions in improv, you run into obstacles. Offer ideas, share facts, and work on the solution with your team.
  4. There are no mistakes, only opportunities. Some of the best ideas come from accidents.! Of course, mistakes are made all the time – it’s just a matter of how you look at it and what you do with the mistake. If you make one mistake and learn a lesson, that creates a solution to future problems you didn’t even know you might face.
  5. Make sure you play with people who have your back.  Trust is huge!  Take the time to build the type of team that will have each other’s back. You need to know that your team will pull together, focus on finding solutions, not placing blame, and make the adjustments necessary to keep your plan on track. 

A game you can try out with some friends or siblings is called Panel of Experts! Come up with the name of a made up TV Show.  2 or so players will be the “experts” on the show and one person will be the host. Work together to think of a topic suggestion that the experts will be experts in. It can be anything! Ice cubes, space, can be real or fake! The experts can also come up with made up names. Example) Professor ___ or Dr. ___  Experts teach the studio audience about this topic, after all you are an expert. The host of the show asks questions. Remember, there are no bad ideas. Say yes as often as you can. Offer ideas, and trust each other!