This is useful as a warm-up and it is also useful in performance even.
The exercise forces you to be spontaneous and it also helps you practice being a good sport when you mess up in front of people; especially during the "Die" part. One player is the conductor.
4 or 5 people get lined up shoulder to shoulder (it could be more up to 10-12).
The conductor asks the audience (or any remaining players) for a category i.e. vegetables or brands of cars. Then the conductor starts pointing to the people that are lined up. When the conductor points to them they have to say something that is in that category; so for the brands of cars, it would be: Porsche, Toyota; Ferrari and so on and so forth.
If the player pointed at makes a mistake then the rest of the group or the audience is going to yell "Die" and eliminates them from the game.
A mistake would be:
- if the player says something that is not in that category: i.e. segway,
- If the player says something that has been already said: Porsche,
- or if the player hesitates, says ah or hmm or nothing at all
The conductor then gets a suggestion for the next category, for example, monsters. And then the conductor starts pointing at the players and they go: "KingKong", "Frankenstein", "Nessie", "your mom". And that is when all get to yell "Die" again. If the player gets a "Die", what he/she is coached to do is to smile, to stay happy, enjoy the failure and let the audience know they are fine and let everybody else know they are fine.
So it's ok, to laugh at them and have fun. If the players get eliminated from the game, they do have a seat on the side. Then another round starts until one player is left who will be the winner of "Category Die".
The game can go terribly wrong if people have the wrong attitude. This is about that fundamental essence of the improv attitude that makes it fun to watch people whether they are new players or experienced players. It is that they are really good sports and willing to try anything.
by Guido Boyke