We’re really into character exercises these days. We often perform with just 4 members and will play multiple people in a show, so it’s important to project dynamic characters that are clearly different from what you were doing before. This is a great exercise for getting outside your comfort zone of “stock” characters by mimicking what your fellow improvisers bring to the table.
This is a variation of “3 Things,” a classic warmup game for getting outside of your head and saying whatever comes to mind.
Time: 5-7 minutes
Player 1 addresses Player 2 as a character (for example, a crotchety old prospector) and as that character asks them for three things, such as “Give me three things that you can use to pan for gold!”
Player 2 mimics that character and answers back with the first three things that come to mind, such as “An old cat, my grandaddy’s shoe, and my hat!”
All the players in the circle shout, in the same character, “Three things!”
Player 2 then assumed a new character (for example, a drill sergeant) and asks Player 3 for three things, such as “What are three things that you should not have in your bunk, Private?”
The exercise continues until you feel warmed up and your ideas are free-flowing.