Improv Exercises & Sharing Control : Improv Exercises: Word at a Time Expert

Improv Exercises & Sharing Control : Improv Exercises: Word at a Time Expert


This is an improv exercise, or a performance
game, called Word at a Time Expert. It’s a great activity for working on listening, being
in the moment, and sharing control. How it works is, you get four people up, or three
people up, right now, we have two, so we’ll work with that. One of them is going to be
the interviewer. It’s going to be like an expert talk show. So you need a interviewer,
and then, you’re going to have two people, me and Shannon over here, are going to be
the expert. It’s kind of like you’re a two headed, or a three head monster. So, you’re
going to communicate a word at a time. So, the person, I’ll start with the first word,
Shannon will have the second word, and we’ll go back and forth until we answer the questions
that the interviewer asks us. It’s an expert game, so we always have the answer to everything.
The answer is never “I don’t know” or “I don’t want to say”. And I usually say that, because
usually people try and chicken out of answering. I don’t know. So, we try and set that up that
way. So oftentimes, we’ll get a suggestion from the audience for a topic, someone might
be an expert at. Maybe something ridiculous, like maybe they’re an expert at balloons,
okay? And so I’ll get everybody to give a round of applause, and we’ll start the interview.
So, how did you get interested in balloons? I. Always. Liked. Balloons. Because. They.
Keep. My. Head. Warm. In. Winter. Very interesting, keep your head warm in winter. Can you tell
us about some of the new shapes that balloons are coming out in? Sure. Some. Balloons. Are.
Shaped. Like. A. Doughnut. Some. Balloons. Are. Shaped. Like. Pyramids. Many. Of. Those.
Balloons. Are. Expensive. So. You. Should. Keep. Your. Wallet. Closed. Good advice, good
advice. So, that’s a little sample of how this Word at a Time Expert game might go.
A fun variation is to ask audience members to ask questions to the expert, and you can
play with, again, with a two person expert, a three person expert, four, and five, and
on up. The challenge for the multiple-headed expert is really to make sense, and work together,
and listen. Share control, and not try and force your ideas on the group, but instead,
try and support other peoples’ ideas, and give them a good time. So that’s a little
bit about Word at a Time Expert, a fun exercise for class, or for an improv performance.

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