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  • katybateson

3 solo improv exercises

We can’t always improvise with other people, sometimes we don’t have time or we live far away from other improvisers, maybe there’s financial or health reasons or maybe you just don’t want to be around other people right now.

So here is some fun improv exercises that you can do on your own!

1) Warehouse

Walk around a room and imagine that you are in a giant warehouse. The warehouse is filled with thousands of object. As you walk around you can point at the objects and say them out loud. Don’t judge yourself, just say the first thing that pops into your head! E.g. Marbles, a bust of Shakespeare, a sponge, a penny whistle, a bag of chocolate coins...

When you’ve done this for a while start to mime picking up the object and imagine you are the curator of the warehouse. Briefly describe the object, try and use different sense to describe it E.g. Here we have a marble bust of Shakespeare. It is incredibly heavy and is made of solid grey marble, the marble feels cold and smooth under your fingers. It smells musty and old and is covered in a thin layer of dust… When you have finished you put the object down and walk around until you find a new object.

When you feel comfortable doing this you can add in information about the history of the object or play different characters interacting with it!

2) Emotional percentages

Write a list of the basic 6 emotions (happy, sad, fear, disgust, anger and surprise) on pieces of paper. Pick an emotion out at random and then starting doing a monologue playing the emotion at 100%. Then reduce the emotion to 80%, then 60%, 40% etc It can be fun to see how we can play the emotions at different levels. When you have played this for a while you can try different aspects of the emotions eg Sad could be melancholy, lonely, despondent.

3) The Phone call

To start have a think about different ways we can play around with our voices to play characters eg. Pitch - high pitch or low pitch

Melody - sing song or monotonous

Speed - fast or slow

Pauses - pauses in the middle of sentences or at the beginning of a sentence

Repetition - Repeat certain words

Accent - regional dialects can be fun to play with

Age - older deeper voice or younger lighter voice

Pick two opposite voices eg fast and high pitched and slow and low pitched. Now improvise a phone call between two characters where you play both characters. If you pick opposite types of voice will make it easier for you change between the two. Keep repeating with two different voices. See how the Vocal choices influences the characters attitude, behaviour etc

I hope you enjoyed the blog!

Hope to improvise with you soon!

Katy x

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