Mick Napier – Improv at home by yourself (5/5: Miscellaneous bonus exercises)

Continued from the past few days, last in a series of five. Find an actual copy of Mick Napier’s Improvise, it’s way awesomer than my summaries.


Miscellaneous Bonus Exercises

(18) Write an Improvised Scene

Write a two-person scene like this:

  • Set a timer for 5 minutes.
  • Never EVER stop typing. Your fingers will get tired. Power through it.
  • Don’t self-edit or worry about grammar/punctuation/spelling. Just keep typing as fast as you can.

Name your characters A and B to speed things along.

Do not worry if the scene is bad or doesn’t make sense. You can go back and apply structure later (LATER), if you like.

If you truly do not stop typing, you’ll find channels of creativity that would normally be closed to you. And with practice, you’ll be able to differentiate and heighten the characters’ points of view.


(19) Songs

Improvise a song while walking down the street. Or in your shower. Whatever. Just start singing.

Don’t worry too much about rhymes at first, but rhyming is the eventual goal.

If you improvise for any length of time, there is no way in hell you will escape having to improvise a song on stage. Start preparing now.


(20) Counting to One Hundred

You are a great speaker giving a speech to a room of 5000 people. But instead of words, say numbers. Ask questions, make declarations, provide variety, count to 100. It’ll help you work on your performance skills without worrying about exactly what you’re going to say next.


(21) Dance

Turn on some music and dance. That’s it. It’ll help you get in touch with your body.


(22) Notes on Good Acting

Watch a good film with good acting (one you’ve seen before, so you don’t get caught up in the plot). Take notes on what makes the lead actor’s acting so good (to you). Do this for a few movies and compare notes. You’ll be able to isolate what techniques speak to you, and apply those notes to improve your own acting.


(23) Non-Fiction Summary

Read a piece of nonfiction, at least chapter or so. (I think Wikipedia articles would do nicely.) Then, as a character and without taking time to gather your thoughts, summarize the concept to an imaginary person.

This is an all-around good exercise to improve your reference level and incorporate specific non-improv ideas into your improv.


(24) Exercise

Exercise. It’s good for you.




Here’s links to all of ’em:


Part 1: Exercises for thinking faster

Part 2: Exercises for unthinking character creation

Part 3: Exercises for physical body and space

Part 4: Exercises to improve scenic improvisation

Part 5: Miscellaneous bonus exercises [You are here]



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