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Dolphin training - Roy Janik [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Roy Janik

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Dolphin training [Nov. 28th, 2007|01:18 pm]
Roy Janik
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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.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: jefpeanutbutter
2007-11-28 08:47 pm (UTC)
I think that if the two contestants were both on stage at the same time, audience-right could ding for one, and audience-left could ding for the other. They'd both have to do the same action, but one of them would inevitably do it first.
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[User Picture]From: zinereem
2007-11-28 10:27 pm (UTC)
hmm, I wonder how confusing that would be. We'll have to experiment.
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[User Picture]From: jefpeanutbutter
2007-11-28 11:31 pm (UTC)
Yes, clearly there is potential for confusion with that technique, but I'd like to see how it goes in a jam experiment. Imagining it, I was thinking it also has the potential to be a really fun dual contest (right-audience/player 1, left-audience/player 2), but that's possibly an ideal scenario where confusion doesn't take over.
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[User Picture]From: orangepaisley
2007-11-28 09:05 pm (UTC)
I love this game! One of best things we did in Andy's Improv class.
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[User Picture]From: zinereem
2007-11-28 10:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's amazingly simple, yet stupidly fun.
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[User Picture]From: fattony
2007-11-28 09:19 pm (UTC)
its awesome that there were so many people there.
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[User Picture]From: zinereem
2007-11-28 10:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I was totally surprised. We totally need to take better care of the jam, and figure out ways to route those people into classes and shows more efficiently.
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[User Picture]From: bellatrixamici
2007-11-28 10:37 pm (UTC)
I kinda like that game, except when I'm the "dolphin", then I kinda hate it.
Like the King game.
BS.
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[User Picture]From: zinereem
2007-11-30 06:44 pm (UTC)
The only merit I see in teaching the king game is to drive home the point that if you're confident and commit, people will watch you do stuff for 30 seconds. And there's the lesson that if you're telling a joke, once it's over, you're done.
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[User Picture]From: fiercecupcake
2007-11-29 01:51 am (UTC)
I've played that! In non-improv settings. We always called it "dog trainer," though.
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[User Picture]From: zinereem
2007-11-30 06:42 pm (UTC)
I couldn't remember what it was called when I ran it. I think I just called it "DING".
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