Surprising Improv Game/Exercise/Warmup Name Variations?

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Surprising Improv Game/Exercise/Warmup Name Variations?

Postby jose » September 10th, 2013, 3:46 am

I just started working with a high school improv club (superpsyched about it!) and today, I decided to wrap up with a rousing round of Freeze Tag.

Their faculty advisor (who is sweet and awesome) has been running things for the past few weeks according to what she's been reading out of books (which is partially why she got a hold of me). It's cool, though; they have some basics down.

In any case, I asked if they'd ever played Freeze Tag before; they said no.

I start to explain Freeze Tag — "Oh, we've played that! We call it Park Bench!"

I chuckled to myself because I had never really encountered a different name for Freeze Tag. I think, subconsciously, I must have thought that Freeze Tag was pretty name-variation-proof: people holler out "freeze!" and tag someone out.

What have been the most surprising naming variations of improv games, exercise, and warmups you've encountered?

Is there somewhere where Beastie Rap is called Mountainberry Cascade?
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Re: Surprising Improv Game/Exercise/Warmup Name Variations?

Postby Pdyx » September 10th, 2013, 3:18 pm

I feel like the game "Movement Evolution" has the highest number of name variants.

Sometimes it's not so much the name difference that throws me off as the slight variation of play. Such as "Five Things," when I'm oh so used to "Seven Things."

I also have heard "Convergence" called lots of things, and I played it for some time without knowing what to call it. The game where you try to say the same thing at the same time.
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Re: Surprising Improv Game/Exercise/Warmup Name Variations?

Postby Jon Bolden » September 11th, 2013, 12:15 pm

Gigglepants has some adorably different names for warmups that are structurally the exact warmup, which I find awesome and charming. I cant remember any of them precisely, but Whoosh Bang Pow was something like Vroom Honk Beep (car themed). I think this is where the variation of "oil slick" may have come from.
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Re: Surprising Improv Game/Exercise/Warmup Name Variations?

Postby jillybee72 » September 11th, 2013, 12:23 pm

I learned "Bang!" in Norway where it was "Pan..." with some sort of almost G sound at the end that I can't master. And then it varies whether the person in the middle says "Draw!" or "Bang!" and I forget where I am sometimes.
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Re: Surprising Improv Game/Exercise/Warmup Name Variations?

Postby Spots » September 11th, 2013, 2:07 pm

I love that, Jill.

Do you ever ponder the implications of the internet on these awesome tribal variations of improv games & conventions?

For instance: one day every game will get standardized through the use of facebook and "definitive" books on improv games?

"Hey dude, your original improv game is too similar to this convention we came up with in 1992. Change it back to 'Cooter Ball' so it's more like the actual improv I got all my friends to agree to."


Makes me wistful.
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Re: Surprising Improv Game/Exercise/Warmup Name Variations?

Postby jillybee72 » September 11th, 2013, 2:46 pm

I like sharing, it's my main favorite thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing!!!

Will it ever get standardized? No, for the reason my friend lynne says.

Think of a dog.

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the dog in your head by Jill Bernard, on Flickr
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Re: Surprising Improv Game/Exercise/Warmup Name Variations?

Postby Spots » September 11th, 2013, 2:51 pm

Love the sentiment behind the example.

But the power of the word "dog" is indeed its very utility within our language, is it not? If we take an example that is slightly more specific such as the phrase "Scoobie Doo" what would happen?

Perhaps we would all think of different TV episodes or sticker designs of the same reference point. Or a scene where Jay & Silent Bob joke around about a friend of Scoobie Doo. Or perhaps... maybe... a friend's dog that was named after the tv show. Or perhaps perhaps perhaps named miraculously before the TV show.


Once the convention of Scoobie Doo is cemented into culture, it becomes unique from the word "dog." Very unique in fact. Agreed?


But I get you! And hope what you propose remains true!
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Re: Surprising Improv Game/Exercise/Warmup Name Variations?

Postby valetoile » September 14th, 2013, 10:26 pm

Pgraph has a few names for games that I think only we use. We call Movement Evolution "Jacques Chirac." I can't think of any others right now.
Parallelogramophonographpargonohpomargolellarap: It's a palindrome!
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Re: Surprising Improv Game/Exercise/Warmup Name Variations?

Postby EAC » September 15th, 2013, 1:02 am

When I taught improv in Cairo, I had to change "Hey, Fred Schneider" to something else. I asked the class if there was a famous Egyptian pop culture figure whose voice everyone could do. So over there, the game is "Ya Adel Adham, bti3mal eeh?"
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Re: Surprising Improv Game/Exercise/Warmup Name Variations?

Postby mitchmills » September 16th, 2013, 8:29 pm

EAC wrote:When I taught improv in Cairo, I had to change "Hey, Fred Schneider" to something else. I asked the class if there was a famous Egyptian pop culture figure whose voice everyone could do. So over there, the game is "Ya Adel Adham, bti3mal eeh?"


That's awesome!

I wonder who's going to be the next Fred Schneider here in the States once too many people no longer understand the reference?
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