We're going to play some improv games today, an even lower stakes version of Whose Line Is It Anyway. And the tricks to make the games funnier to play (and funnier to watch) will secretly make real life situations better and funnier too.
Let's come up with a brand new As Seen On TV product, building off of each detail previously shared. Even if it's a weird thing that doesn't seem to fit, go with it and add something new to embellish it. I promise we'll create a cohesive vision, and once we do, we'll also script out the commercial in the same way.
In partners, face each other and decide who will be person A and who will be person B. For a minute or so, person A is going to silently pantomime doing a household chore and person B will be their mirror image. Even if person B guesses what it is, follow person A's movements like a mirror. Then switch roles and do it again with a new activity. And then a third time with neither designated as the leader nor the mirror, therefore neither knowing what you're doing! Without speaking, how do you seamlessly switch from one role to the other? Is there a flow to the "movement" conversation? Are there beats, breaths, or other body language cues where the mirror can "take control" if they want? Look for these in other conversations too, whether they happen in a conference room or a coffee shop.
Now we're going to make up a fairy tale together, and I'm going to conduct the telling of it like you're an orchestra. Only the person I point to is the one who can talk, and when I point to someone else, they have to pick up exactly where the last person left off. Even if it's in the middle of a sentence or middle of a word. The key here is not to write the story in your head or prepare to share your own ideas when you're up. Listen to the story being told in real time and you'll be better equipped to add to it.
This is the next level of not thinking ahead too much. Let's finally do some improvised scenes in pairs. Every once in a while, I'll freeze the scene and ask for a new choice to replace something you just said. I might ask for a couple new choices before accepting one, and then the scene continues from there. Don't think ahead too much because things change and you'll need to react to them.