4. Replace one of the props from the example gag or your own chosen gag(hint: for this example its probably easiest to replace the coat hanger. On the other hand, your imagination may stretch more if you replace the coat. After some practice with this game, try replacing both props).
5. Act out the gag using the new prop or props. If you dont have the props or its technically impossible to pull a clock out of a banana, for example, pantomime the object or objects. If you dont have the space or privacy to act out the gag, visualize yourself performing it.
6. This improvisation session is akin to a game I played when I was a kid where I would quickly doodle an abstract squiggle, look at it, and add to the squiggle, trying to make it into something concrete: maybe it suggested a face or an airplane by its shape. By taking the gag out of its context, the new situation now needs a justification that can be achieved by physical doodlingBarry Lubin calls this action noodling.
7. Whenever an idea occurs to you, or just happens, write the idea down on the ideas page of your notebook. Sometimes the ideas will be flowing so fast that youll only have time to jot a keyword or two. Hopefully youll remember what the keyword meant. You might also want to have some kind of shorthand code for the question/exercise/prop this idea is related to. I personally like to number my ideas so I can reach a certain quota. The more ideas you list, the greater the chance youll come up with something useful.
What follows is a description of me playing this game using the example gag. You get to vicariously observe my process with all its repetitiveness, laziness, and blocks. I make no claims that great ideas were produced, but I did get ideas that I would like to build upon.
Next: Sample Improv
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