Sunday, July 7, 2024


We do best what we do most.

Practice. It's the best way (maybe the only way) to get better.

-- doug smith

Scene Prompt: If Perfection Was Easy

Opening Options: 

Introduce the prompt by announcing it (with one person or several in unison), OR by walking across the space carrying a sign that says "If perfection was easy..." OR by writing it on a white board or chalk board.

Build the scene based on the concept: 

If perfection was easy we'd be bored out of our minds.

Develop the scene by preventing boredom by making sure that nothing any of the characters do is easy.

-- doug smith


Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Improv Exercise: Smile Line

What to do:

Form two evenly distributed lines of people facing each other. In silence, practice smiling.

Small smiles, big smiles, devious smiles, friendly smiles...say nothing, simply smile.


If you have a musician, encourage them to improvise quiet music as you all smile.


Practice with hand-mirrors. Hold the mirrors up to your line partner to show them their smile.

End scene when:

If laughter ensues, let it trickle until everyone is laughing. If laughter does not ensue, someone must initiate it until it does spread. Allow everyone to savor the laughter until it slowly (or suddenly) trickles out.

-- doug smith

Some thoughts on smiles:

The best use of a mirror is to practice your smile.

A smile can help your attitude get over itself.

Practicing your smile is not only good for you, it's good for everyone around you, too.

It's harder to be mad at someone who likes you enough to smile for you.

Even a curious smile is better than no smile at all.

It's easier to face the future if you embrace the present with a smile.

-- doug smith

Monday, July 1, 2024

Scene Prompt: Ego

Here is a prompt for a silent improv sketch:

The ego is lonely until it discovers others.


 -- doug smith

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Scene Prompt: Lessons Later...


Sometimes we learn a lesson too late to help us while we're learning it...we have to use it later.


Improvise a scene where that premise becomes clear. Characters should struggle with at least three obstacles and vanquish none of them, yet bring the scene to a close with their realizations.

Suggested Obstacles (but you can decide):

Your point of view could be wrong.

You may have created an enemy who will harm you.

Throwing money at a problem may not solve it.

Monday, June 24, 2024

Everything We Do

When we learn to improvise we dramatically increase and improve our possibilities -- not just in improv, but also in everything we do.

-- doug smith


Sunday, May 26, 2024

What will you do?

The more random things become the more likely that an order will emerge. From the broadest possible view everything is organized.

What can you do with that?

-- doug smith

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Paradox #21


Maybe it's not a paradox. Maybe it just feels counter-intuitive. Still, it seems to be true:

To get more done, practice creating times when you get nothing done.

Schedule down-town. Focus on not focusing. Let your mind wander and explore.

Creative artists know that this works. It might feel disorienting at first, yet it does work. To get more done, sometimes you've got to do less.

-- doug smith


Saturday, March 30, 2024

Scene Prompt: Life and Emergency

A patient in the emergency room presents with the emergency that suddenly life is not real and if we're not all careful we will all melt away.


Other players catch the condition.


Friday, March 29, 2024

Scene Prompt: The Curious Mail Person

A curious mail deliverer asks detailed and endless questions of the receivers of the mail. 


Not only answer the questions, but take it to another level of "nobody needs to know" detail.

Reverse the flow and interrogate the mail person.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Scene Prompt: Surreal Carpenter

A carpenter, who firmly believes that "there are no absolutes" builds a house for someone who thinks that perhaps 12 inches IS a foot and a right angle IS 90 degrees and walls should hold up.


Levitating tools.


Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Scene Prompt: Difficult Server

Two people in a restaurant attempt to order their meals and run into difficulty with a server who refuses to acknowledge the existence of vegetables or water.


Other customers enter who each refuse to acknowledge the existence of something commonly believed to exist (like proteins, knives and forks, napkins, money.)

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Scene Prompt: The Spot

 A cleaning person discovers a spot that won't come out, but is determined to prevail.

Monday, March 25, 2024

Scene Prompt: Unexpected Twins


are dali and stone twins?

Have you ever found someone who looks enough like you to be your twin? How would it make you feel?

In this scene prompt, all of the people at a party slowing realize that they have a twin at the party. As implausible as they know it is, they come to realize that everyone at the party has at least one twin.

...and scene!

Scene Prompt: Distressed Driver

The driver of a bus stops the bus and refuses to continue because "life doesn't mean anything anymore." The passengers must decide what to do.


No escape. Inexplicably all the exit doors are also locked.


Sunday, March 24, 2024

Scene Prompt: Life Boat

The life boat can handle one more passenger. Four people are left on a sinking ship and are now faced with dealing with deciding who will be the last person on the lifeboat.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Scene Prompt: Alien Question

An alien has just arrived at your office and asks you to explain God.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Scene Prompt: What's Wrong With This Picture?


What's Wrong With This Picture?

Two workers install a box. A third person objects to the way that it is being installed. They cannot agree on the purpose of the box or the way it is being configured.


The box begins making noise.

The box begins smoking.

The box begins ticking.

Animal sounds emanate from the box.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

What Do You Make of This?


What Do You Make of This?

What Do You Make of This?

Does Bernie want you to draw? Would you rather write a poem?

I think Bernie is about to sing. Do you?

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Writing Prompt: The Magic Table


The magic table


Does the picture above depict a magic table, or a magic broom, and why?

Bonus points if the man using the broom says funny things.