Try These Five Improvisation Games

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(By Jeff McHugh) There are not many scripts for a drive-time entertainment radio show or podcast. Usually, one person leads and a partner or partners react to move the conversation forward, much like improvisational theatre.

Inexperienced players sometimes shut down the conversation with one-word answers, “Really?” “That is crazy.” Sometimes they merely parrot what was already said.

Great presenters practice “yes, and…” to accept what their partner said and build on it. It is like a soccer player taking a pass from a teammate and kicking the ball forward toward the goal, instead of backward or sideways.

I recommend improvisation classes to build on your reacting skills. But until you find a group and get signed up, here are some games to play off-air with your team.

That Reminds Me Of The Time: A partner mentions a random experience, and the other partner must react to their story with another story, starting each time with the phrase, “That reminds me of the time…”

“Yes, And…” Respond to whatever your player says with a sentence beginning, “Yes, and…” Player 1 starts with a random statement, “This coffee tastes terrible.” Player 2 responds, “Yes, and I bought it for you.” Player 1 responds, “Yes, and you overpaid for it.”  See how long you can go.

The Two-Headed Expert: Stand side-by-side next to a partner with your shoulders touching. Someone shouts a question on any subject and the partners attempt to answer as a team, each speaking only one word of the answer at a time.

Directed Story: A team of 2-5 players is given a one-sentence story idea and a director points to each player randomly to tell the next part of the story. For a fun twist, the director can suddenly yell “DIE” and that player improvises a death for the character. The end.

Last word response. A partner begins with a sentence and the next partners have to respond with their own sentence which begins with the last word spoken in the previous sentence. “My flight had an early arrival.” “Arrival was a great movie.” “Movie theaters have sticky floors.” “Floors can be covered with carpet or rugs….”

Jeff McHugh is known for developing remarkable talent for both morning and afternoon drive. He brings an uncommon mix of positivity, creativity, and strategy to the shows that he coaches. He is a member of the team at the Randy Lane Company.

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Jeff McHugh
Jeff McHugh is known for developing remarkable talent for both morning and afternoon drive. He brings an uncommon mix of positivity, creativity, and strategy to the shows that he coaches. He is a member of the team at the Randy Lane Company.

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