New exercise day! (Except it’s almost certainly not new, so if you know who I subconsciously poached it from, please let me know so I can credit them for inspiring me.)
One of the hardest mountains to get over as an improviser is to keep both things. You enter a scene with an idea in your head, and before you can get it communicated to your partner they say something that seems to destroy that idea. Your first instinct is to abandon your own thing, but it can be so much cooler if you manage to incorporate both your brick and your partner’s.
Jill Bernard tells about a time this happened to her in her Small Cute Book: she went out onstage and did a bunch of silent object work. Her partner entered the scene and said “Honey, I’m home!” Jill had thought she was doing mad science — adjusting Van de Graaf generators, pouring eldritch chemicals, all that stuff — and her partner saw her object work and thought she was making dinner. She decided tokeep both things and put on her best mad scientist voice to say “Come in, come in, it’s almost ready!” It killed.
So here is Doctor Mechanic, a super simple exercise to introduce the idea of keeping both things! Two people are up. Person A secretly decides for themselves on a profession — lawyer, astronaut, whatever. Person B has the first line in the scene, and endows person A with a job to do. Now all A has to do is to play the scene through the lens of their secret profession.
B: Thank you for seeing me. Little Muffles just hasn’t been eating his kibble for the past few days.
A: No problem, sir! Let’s just pop the hood on this baby and check his oil.
These scenes are just the easiest thing in the world and are hilarious to watch. After you do a run with the endowing line telling person A their job, you can have a round where instead of being told what they’re doing, they’re told where they are or what event is happening. Every profession is fun at a funeral!