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  • Writer's pictureLauren Morris

Improv Toolbox: Initiation Hacks

It's happened to all of us. We see a scene in motion, we know it needs to be edited and a new one started but instead, we freeze! Fear has taken over because we need to initiate, make a move, bring something, anything and we have NOTHING.

The initiation can feel scary and hard. It doesn't have to be though. Here are some tips on putting yourself out there!

Movie Genre

When you're on the wings, think about a movie genre (Western, Sci-fi, Action, Rom-Com, Thriller, etc) and then pull a character archetype from that genre and use that to propel you into a scene. You can inhabit the tropes from this to get a character or line of dialogue started. Remember that you aren't playing a movie but building a scene with your partner so make sure to adjust and pivot as the scene unfolds in front of you.

You can also practice on your own. Make a list of movie genres, archetypes, movies, characters, and then say a line of dialogue as the character you choose. This helps get your reps in and make decisions quickly in real-time during scenes.

Physical Choice

Jump into that scene with a physical choice! There are many ways to go about this concept. Lead with a body part, using something from your environment (example, walk on while eating a bowl of cereal), or even the tempo of your walk on. A physical choice can propel you into active decisions and get you supporting the team!

Emotional Point of View

Start with a basic emotion. Sad, happy, afraid, or angry. From here you can dig deeper into your character's POV because your partner will be working with you but it at least gets you out of your head and into the scene!

Walking through the door

This initiation hack is thinking about different kinds of doors (the door to a kitchen, the door to an underground cave, door to another dimension) and as you walk onto stage act as if you are coming from that door. This simple choice propels you into a state of mind that again helps you make active decisions and support the scene!

These are just a few ideas to get you to initiate scenes more, get out of your head, and have some fun.

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