Virtual Improv Jam, April 30, IA Conference Edition

I started these Jams as a way to learn about managing and facilitating improv exercises for a remote audience. This was a selfish act, as in two weeks I am facilitating a Collaborative Improv workshop for the IA Conference. You should attend by the way.

So when I started, I was worried. How do I translate in person exercises to the digital realm? I had to start somewhere. I chose the Jams.

What is a Jam you ask? An improv jam is basically a musical jam session, but for improv. Players assemble and just have fun for an hour or two. No shows, no formula, just some activities and exercises. And NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE REQUIRED.

Wait, I keep missing these!

So the Jams are held weekly on Thursdays at 8PM EDT. Our next session will is Thursday, May 7 at 8PM EDT. Register Here.

April 30 Jam Recap

So, the quick recap of what we played:

Playing Soundball, I continually had (improvised) water balloons tossed at me

How to Clap

We’ve all been on those conference calls where someone sneezes, is a mouthbreather, or is typing on their bespoke mechanical keyboard. The ambient noise is killer.

So how do we support our fellow players and express delight without a slew of claps causing our headphones to peak?

Enter Jazz Hands. Jazz hands have been borrowed by the Applied Improv community to express delight, laughter, and praise in a visual-and-ear-friendly manner.

When running a scene with 3-4 people, laughter is OK, we can move away from the microphone. We have nearly 10 players yesterday and we got loud in the best possible way.

So to express our upvotes and delights, we used Jazz Hands.

Friends vs Strangers

A lot of my previous Jams have been a mix of friends and strangers. As this Jam was focussed on the IA Conference community, everyone had a shared identity. As the Jams are a mix of a social connection and introduction to improv, this is great. We get to see our friends.

Players during World’s Worst Disco

Still, I wanted to maintain focus and follow a (loose) agenda of activities. Being clear when it is time to talk, and when it is time to work (or play) is critical in an in-person workshop and paramount with remote sessions.

Want to Jam?

I plan to host a virtual Jam weekly as long as this social distancing is happening. To be the first to know, follow @Collab_Improv or @Dafark8 to see the announcements when registration goes live!

Our next session will be Thursday, May 7 at 8PM EDTYou can register here.

If you are part of a team, contact me and we can discuss a 30-45 minute session for your team. I want to offer Improv Jams for free (as much as that is feasible).

Be safe. Practice self care. We are in this together. Reach out to friends and colleagues if you are struggling.

And please, wash your hands.

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