Walt Frasier has now logged 3000+ hours of teaching Improv Comedy online since March 2020. This is his go to lesson plan for new students as well as workshops with both corporate teams and K12 schools. The messaging and packaging vary – the how and the why we are playing these games as per your team/class needs- but the outcome is universally successful.
- Check menu links for upcoming public programming – shows and classes – in Times Square NYC, touring nationwide and virtually via Zoom
- EMAIL for more info regarding in person and online private events – corporate team building, office parties, college comedy and K12 educational outreach.
Simply playing these games builds individual skills and team dynamic. And once you learn from the pros, you can lead in your own meetings and classes to break the ice and create a collaboration focused atmosphere.
Virtual Improv Comedy Workshop Game Descriptions
Improv on Zoom is now available for free via KindleUnlimited as a supplement to classes, workshops and residencies.
Teacher or Player One starts by saying. “I HAVE A KNIFE”. Hold your hand up as if grabbing an imaginary knife by the blade. Make eye contact (OR Call out another’s name if on ZOOM). Make sure you have their attention before throwing. Throw the knife. That player will catch the knife by clapping hand in front of their face. Both players should feel the weight of the knife as well as the emotional weight – the anxiety, fear, adrenaline rush of danger, etc. Repeat and pass the imaginary knife around the room. When two performers “YES! And…” the pantomime, the object becomes real to the audience. VARIATIONS & ADVANCED LEVEL PLAY: After a point, the teacher can change the knife into a baby, a snake or other object, simply by using their imagination. Imagine molding the air like clay. Handle and pass each new object in a way appropriate to its nature. Eventually, let the class mold the object anew for every pass. MOST IMPORTANT, before throwing/passing, communicate what the object is and to whom you intend to throw it. CATCH the object your teammates pass, reflecting the amount/quality of energy in the passing, and the object’s size and weight.
ONE WORD STORY
One word at time, the team tells a story. Stand in a circle. Follow the story with your eyes. LISTEN and RESPOND without thinking ahead or behind. Simply say the first word that comes to mind when the story comes to you. ONLINE, name an order (good practice to place that in the chat). Consider characters and settings. Every word is important. TRICK TO COMEDY and TEAMWORK – don’t TRY to be funny or clever. TRUST yourself ands your team to be funny together. Stay IN THE MOMENT.
YES And…. ONE SENTENCE STORY
Now, each player in the room will add one sentence at a time to the story. The first player establishes our story. Introduce a WHO (Character/Relationship) and WHERE (Setting) choice. Each player following will start with the words: “YES! And…” Then continue to add details. With every statement (Avoid Question sin Improv) add a WHO, WHERE and/or WHAT (Action, Plot) choice.
Let’s tell one more story. Except this time, we will each be a different character. Player one starts the story by introducing their character. Pass the plate (the story) to the next player by introducing their character. Every time you talk in turn, add something new about your own character and then the next player’s character. Make a new choice about relationships, personality, mood, job, physical status, props, costume etc. When someone mentions something new about your character immediately adapt that into your portrayal of the character.
With all the above games LISTENING is the #1 skill we employ. We cannot follow the #1 rule in Improv – “YES! And…” – if we do not listen. Listen to every word of every teammate. Make your job easy by staying focused. Then upon your turn, simply say the first things that come to mind. Don’t focus on thinking something funny to say. Simply respond in the moment and make SIMPLE choices.
Walt Frasier has one of the leading schools in New York City (EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH – AKA Improv 4 Kids, Improv 4 Teens) for kids & teens learning both stand-up and improv comedy.. His student, 12yo Carolyn White, was named the “Funniest kid in America” by Kenan Thompson, after winning the SNL star’s national talent search.. Mr. Frasier also directs numerous programs in residency at NYC area schools and camps. TV credits include Billions, Royal Pains, Blue Bloods, Lilyhammer, Letterman and NICK.