The Giving Game

GiftOne of my favorite things to do when I introduce strangers to one another at a party is to make up things they each like just to get a conversation going. For example, something like this: Me: Hey Sam, meet Alex. Alex likes binary numbers, Walt Whitman and making up names for stars. Sam here likes waking up with a rooster alarm clock sound, old postcards and antique nightlights. Discuss. (exit stage right)

I started thinking about this type of introduction the other night while watching some improv scenes. A lot of them started with "I..." While some were good scenes, the ones that were better were the ones that began with "you..." They were the ones in which a performer gifted another performer.

It's a lot easier--and a lot more relaxing--when someone just hands you first how you feel (e.g., "You look nervous" or "You're late again). Then you can react off of that instead of thinking how you're going to start a scene.

I decided to try my own "you..." experiment at a Wednesday jam session. Every scene in which I was able to gift another performer first was a lot more fun to play.

Give it shot. Start your scenes with "you..." and see where it takes, well, you.

What are other ways to gift someone on stage? Please let everyone know in the comments section.