I started these Jams as a way to learn about managing and facilitating improv exercises for a remote audience. This was a selfish act, as on May 14th, I facilitated a Collaborative Improv workshop for the IA Conference.
So when I started, I was worried. How do I translate in person exercises to the digital realm? I had to start somewhere. I chose the Jams.
What is a Jam you ask? An improv jam is basically a musical jam session, but for improv. Players assemble and just have fun for an hour or two. No shows, no formula, just some activities and exercises. And NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE REQUIRED.
Wait, I keep missing these!
June 11, Jam Recap
We had 6 attendees and a mix of participants and active observers. More on that below. We played:
- Sentence Waterfall
- Red Ball, Thank You
- Knife, Baby, Angry Cat
- *7-Line Story
- Premise Lawyer
- Work That Brain Out
- Soundball (for order)
- Third Thought
- Crazy Eights
*Indicates a new activity
Low Key and High Energy
This jam we played more “talking” games and fewer movement or energy games. We focussed, somewhat organically, on focus, narrative, and storytelling with word association and monologue exercises.
This was a nice break with everything going on in the world. I support the protests and agree change is needed. We are all trying to contribute in our own ways while taking care of our own mental health. Improv is for the latter. So rather than try and force high energy games, we acknowledged the collective drain and spent the hour playing lower key games.
Some participants were eager to play games. Others came for an escape and were our audience. Even as the audience, I encourage active observation – chatting with the group during breaks and, most importantly, providing single-word suggestions to build our games from.
Improv is all about comfort level. Playing at the level you are comfortable at, event as an audience member.
Want to Jam?
Our next session will be Thursday, July 9 at 8PM EDT. You can register here.
If you are part of a team, contact me and we can discuss a 30-45 minute session for your team. I want to offer Improv Jams for free (as much as that is feasible).
Be safe. Practice self care. We are in this together. Reach out to friends and colleagues if you are struggling.
And please, wash your hands.