A warm-up often used to generate spontaneity and bypass self-consciousness in an improvisation-based workshop is called "What Are You Doing?" The exercise goes like this: The first player steps into the circle and starts miming an activity. As soon as the activity is clear, player 2 asks `What are you doing?” The first player answers something that has nothing to do with what he`s actually doing. E.g. if player 1 is cutting someone`s hair, when asked what he`s doing he might say "I`m reading the newspaper". The second player starts miming the activity stated by the previous player. A third player comes up to player 2, asks what he is doing, and so on. Play until everyone has mimed something, and has answered the question. In subsequent rounds the idea is to pick up the pace so there is very little lag time between question, answer and new behavior. Simple, right? Silly too. It is harder than it sounds and smarter than you might think
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