Sometimes I play a game with myself before an improv scene. Akin to the childhood classic “The Floor Is Lava” or the Jimmy Fallon-inspired warm-up “Celebrity Impressions in 5 Seconds,” it could essentially be called:
Commit or the Puppy Gets It!
The idea is simple:
If I don’t commit 100%, somewhere in America a puppy—-usually a fat Basset Hound puppy—-will have its skull smooshed flat by a steamroller. Or cracked apart by a jackhammer. Or perhaps it’s packed with dynamite and exploded all over!
Doesn’t matter how the pup gets it, but his survival is tied directly to my ability to commit to my character for this one improv scene. Any ironic laugh, any meta-commentary on the scene, anything less than full commitment results, directly, in the death of at least one gorgeous, healthy, mewing puppy.
I mean, heck, it worked for National Lampoon magazine back in the 70s:
The trick is to believe it’s true!
(Full Confession: I haven’t really played this game with myself. To do so would place me somewhere on the Serial Killer Spectrum. But I’m gonna give it a shot tonight, and I’ll let you know how it goes! For you people I do these things.)