This warm-up is very physical and a lot of fun. It requires a good-sized floor space for maximum efficacy. It also requires an odd number of players.
Begin by walking around the room, imagining you are all ants, walking on the top of a giant graham cracker that’s floating in a glass of milk.
The object is to keep the cracker balanced at all times. In order to do this, players must try to fill the negative spaces between them evenly.
Start by walking slowly at first, then gradually get faster. The Director may coach people “There’s a space! Somebody fill it!” etc., to keep the cracker from tipping over.
When everyone is almost running across the surface of the graham cracker, the Director tells players to partner up.
One person will be left without a partner. The group is then told to move away from that person and look at them.
The Director asks the lone person how they feel. The answer may be “bad,” “lonely,” “left out,” “stupid,” or something along those lines.
The group then runs the exercise again. This time when the Director says “Grab a partner,” people will tend to do so faster, because they don’t want to be left alone.
The third time around, everything will be faster still, and people will practically claw each other to get a partner.
• We begin to become more aware as the game progresses – there is no phoning it in.
• Despite silly circumstances or rules, we begin to play the game (scene) more seriously and with real emotional attachment, both to the balance of the cracker, and to not being left alone.
• Because we started to feel something real (tired, frustrated, giddy, joy, etc.) during this, we then have to trust we can do the same things on stage if we take the scene and let it affect us.
(Thanks to Greg Hess for his help with this post, and to 500 Clown for the exercise.)