…OR IMPROV FOR SHORT.
So what is Improv? Improv is only THE best event there is. You get to
create your storyline yourself, and the topics are creative and interesting. You
never know what topic you’ll draw.
Some sample Improv topics:
And that’s why I’m banned from the zoo.
I only tango on Tuesdays.
An UNlucky clover
The gummi bears invade
The true meaning of ‘turtle’
My boyfriend/girlfriend isn’t real?
RULES TO REMEMBER
Don’t panic, okay? These are just some simple guidelines to help you excel at
Find a partner that you TRUST. This is extremely important. This person doesn’t have to be
your BFF, just someone you work with well.
Several weeks before tournament, start creating ‘stock characters’ complete with personas and
Practice spontaneous acting EVERYWHERE.
Try to practice different voices and accents, and practice facial expressions in the mirror.
Learn to be hilarious without laughing about it.
Get to know your partner. Start to understand their strengths as well as your own, and how
they complement each other.
Remember that Improv is a team effort. You and your partner need to work together on as
much as possible.
Finally, get over yourself. No matter what you might think, people ARE NOT laughing at you
because they’re making fun of you, they’re laughing because you’re hilarious. If you live your
character, there’s nothing that can stop you.
WHAT TO DO AT TOURNAMENT
As soon as you arrive, check to see when you’re performing. Improv is typically
in the second group of events, so you will usually perform at nine o’clock.
The ‘Improv Draw’ where you pick your topic, is always half an hour before you
perform. Lots of people do Improv, and the lines are usually long, so try to get there a
few minutes early to insure you have the maximum time to prepare.
When it’s your turn, you and your partner will draw three topics and choose the
one you feel the most capable of performing. GO IMMEDIATELY to a quiet place to work
on your act. In your Improv portfolio is a plot diagram. Use it. I can tell you from
personal experience that it really helps.
Be sure to work a bit on blocking out your space, as well as how you’re going to
use your chairs and the basic personalities of your characters. The more extreme the
personality type, the better. Engaging characters tend to have strong personalities.
When you’re ready, take a nice, deep breath and go to your room. Be sure not
to go in if a judge is absent or if someone is performing.
Remember to smile. It’s been proven to boost confidence and performance.
WHAT ELSE TO DO AT TOURNAMENT
You’ll be at tournament for most of the day on Saturday, so you’ll probably get
a bit hungry. You should bring money with you, since most schools will have a pretty
impressive concession stand set up. Remember that the proceeds benefit that school’s
Forensics team, so it’s better to buy something there than to have someone bring you
food. You’ll probably spend about ten dollars total.
Be polite to everyone. You never know who might be a judge, plus it’s common
No matter what, remember to have fun. Forensics is cool. You get to visit
other schools, meet people from around the state and you’ll probably wind up making
quite a few friends along the way.
Whether you’re at a tournament, in class, or just out in the regular
world, nervousness is an issue you’ll have to confront on a daily basis. Below
are some tricks I find helpful for conquering your jitters and performing with
o Take a deep breath in through your nose and let it out slowly through your mouth. This may seem like common sense,
but you’d be surprised how many people forget to breathe when they’re panicking.
o Remember how well you know your script. You can do this!
o Make sure you’re well hydrated. A dry mouth never helps.
o Talk to walls. Rehearse over and over using them as a practice audience.
o Finally, use your fear. Channel it into your performance, and you’ll be surprised at how well you do.
o Talk to older performers who’ve been doing this for a few years.
Link to Mrs. Valentine’s Page
As a new Forensics member, you will be
competing against HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS. This
may seem daunting, but remember why you got
this far in Forensics. You tried out, you made it,
and now you have the benefit of having read this
powerpoint. You are AWESOME! Bye now.
This powerpoint was created by Sarah Jackson and the Improv Team.
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