||[Nov. 28th, 2007|01:18 pm]
There's a game in improv called dolphin training. It's as simple as can be. You send someone out of the room and everyone else as a group picks something for them to do, like lay under a bench or touch their nose. When the person comes back in they have to figure out the activity by listening for 'dings'. Whenever they're doing something right, everyone will say 'ding'. Ideally, all the dings are kept at the same monotone level. The dings guide the person gradually towards the activity, and when they succeed, everyone claps wildly. That's it.
Last night when I was running/guiding the jam, we did dolphin training. It KILLED. There was uproarious applause whenever someone succeeded, and all 25+ people there (some of them just there to observe) participated in the dinging.
I'm not really sure why it was so enjoyable. I've done it with smaller groups of people before, and it was entertaining, but not overwhelmingly so. I think part of the appeal is just that some of the stuff seems impossible. How will we ever convey to the person that they need to take their shoe off just by dinging? But then the power of the group makes short work of it. Plus, it's just fun watching a person repeatedly misunderstanding what they're supposed to do when IT'S SO SIMPLE. And part of it is that it's about the least stressful way to get involved in improv for everyone involved. The pressure's totally off.
If we could figure out a way to make it a Maestro game, we'd be golden. Maybe as a tie breaker... send both contestents out of the room, choose one activity and time them both in turn to see how long it takes them to do it.