Improv & Comedy

Buzz

Actors 2-4

Suggestions location, conflict, characters

Premise A scene is built from the given suggestions, but at any point, either following a line of dialogue or action, the judge may call "Buzz!" or briefly ring the buzzer to indicate that the most recent dialogue/action must be changed. For example, if one character says to another, "I just got out of the hospital," then the judge says "buzz!" the line might be changed to "I just got out of jail," and after another buzz, "I just had my legs waxed." And so on. Additionally, actions can be changed. If one character hits another, a buzz might cause him to hug the other instead.

Tips Do not merely reverse what was just said after a buzz. I.e., do not do this: "I just got out of jail" buzz "I've never been to jail." It's not very clever and doesn't advance the scene. For the first buzz on a line, keep the concept similar but the elements different, in other words, maintain "I just got out…" but change jail to work, the zoo, the White House, or any other location. After subsequent buzzes, change it completely, the more off the wall, the better. Also important for the judge: the buzzer is not a power trip. Do not over-buzz the actors. It may be funny to you, but if it does not advance the scene it will only annoy the actors, hurt the scene, and bore the audience. Limit lengthy strings of buzzes (that is, 5 or more) to once per game, if at all.

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updated: 2017-09-12 by Guido Boyke

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