Getting the hang of Harold takes time, and third beats tend to be trickiest. Really, it’s about mashing up characters and making connections in the world you just invented. It’s that second part – making connections – that can seem scary, leading to hesitation on the sidelines.
Here’s a way to help get past the fear. This warm-up shows how putting two things together is just plain fun, however it turns out.
Photo © New York Musical Improv Festival
Part One: Freak Tag
First, play a regular game of Freak Tag. Someone is “It” and they try to tag people. Once you’re tagged, you maintain whatever physicality you were in at the time you were tagged, until you tag someone else. Then you can resume your regular posture.
This continues until the Coach calls it.
Part Two: Zombie Tag
Again, just a regular ol’ game of Zombie Tag. One person is a Zombie, and they slowly lumber around trying to tag people. Once you’re tagged, you too are a Zombie. Unlike Freak Tag, everyone stays a Zombie until the last person is undead.
Part Three: Freaks & Zombies
Now let’s connect them.
One person is designated a Zombie to start. When they touch someone, that person stays in whatever physicality they were in (and makes any sound they were making) at the time they were tagged.
They’re now part of the Freak-Zombie Army, as it were, and must tag others in their lumbering freakish way until everyone is a brain-eating superfreak.
Take your own two favourite warm-ups and put ‘em together.
Love Big Booty? Got a fondness for Beastie Rap? Combine the two and see what happens. It’ll probably be a total headfuck, but that’s half the fun of warm-ups. Try it at your next rehearsal.
Hey gang, it’s time for our most popular posts from the archives, 2017 edition. It’s raining cats and dogs here in Toronto, so grab a blanky and snuggle up indoors with our best of.
Eight Ways To Be Good With The Improv
Eight More Ways To Be Good With The Improv
How To Succeed At Anything by Being Yourself
Audition Tips From The Other Side Of The Table
How To Write A Kickass Performer Bio
Performance Anxiety: How To Dissolve Pre-show Nerves
How Cameron Got Over His Anxiety (And So Can You!)
Harold/Long Form & Scene Work
Openings: The Good, The Bad & The Funny
Somebody Edit This, Please
John Lutz on Keeping It Simple
Enjoy The Silence: Improvising Without Dialogue Part One and Part Two
On Coaches, Chemistry, And Finding Your Dream Team
Specificity: Why Pabst Blue Ribbon Beats Whatever You’re Drinking
All By Myself: Solo Improv
How I Lost Interest In Game Of The Scene And Found Something Way More Fun
Great Guest Posts
12 Tips For Festival Organizers by Amy Shostak
12 Tips For Improvisers Attending Comedy Festivals by Matt Folliott
7 Tips For Surviving An Improv Jam by Laura Bailey
Now’s The Time To Know The New by David Razowsky
How Not To Get Sued (A Guide for Canadian Comedians) by Rob Norman
Never Give Up by Jimmy Carrane
How To Avoid Being A Creep by Conor Bradbury
Improv Community & Insight
For The Love of Art, Pay People
Why Improv Is Good For Business
The Art of Comedy
When “Yes, And” Becomes No
Comedians, Don’t Sell Yourself Short
Random Fun Stuff
Improv Explained In Venn Diagrams
What’s Your Improv Persona?
It’s An Improv Thing
When Improvisers Date
An Illustrated Guide To Improvisers
Improv Forms That Don’t Exist (But Should)
When Ralph Met Becky
Web Series: Inside The Master Class
Stick This In Your Ear: The Improv Podcast Round-up
Video: How To Spot An Improviser