The pattern game is an improv exercise and an opening for Harold. Use it to map out a network of words and ideas which all connect to the suggestion.
A pattern game is an improv exercise. Take a suggestion and through associations, map out a web of words, ideas, memories & thoughts which all connect back to the original word. Historically it has been used as the primary opening for Harold. The pattern game has evolved and changed over the years. Here is how it was taught to me, 25 years ago, and how I’ve taught it ever since.
Karen Graci is a coach and performer at iO West. She is also a writer for Girlboss, a new Netflix show in production. We talk about about coaching Harold teams, openings, group games, short form, and Vertical Harolds.
Karen Graci is a coach and performer at iO West. We talk about about coaching Harold teams, openings, group games, short form, and Vertical Harolds. She can be seen performing with King Ten at iO West. Special thanks to Camp Improv Utopia East where this podcast was recorded.
I’ve posted a new episode of the IRC Podcast. Rachael Mason, Second City teacher, talks about giving gifts, emotional responses vs. clever lines, 10 minute scenes, playing against type, deconstructions, invocations, bad habits and stage combat.
I’ve posted a new episode of the IRC Podcast. The guest is Paul Grondy who has been teaching at iO in Chicago since 1997. He teaches students how to do the Harold and so we talk about Harold structure, the principles of group work, being tender and heartfelt, knowing what you know, and group things.
Last week a friend of mine called. He was someone I used to coach in Chicago. He now lives in Minneapolis and wanted some advice about coaching a group who wanted to learn the Invocation. It’s an improv exercise that is sometimes used as an opening for improv forms like Harold. We talked for an hour about the Invocation, about Del Close (the guy who came up with the exercise) and about other similar exercises.
I thought it might make a good journal entry to write down a lot of the things that we went over in the conversation. But before I got too far into the entry, I decided to look it up on the IRC Improv Wiki to see if anyone had written anything about it. It turns out I had already written a pretty comprehensive explanation of the exercise there.
So instead of rewriting that, I’ll first show you this video I found on youtube. It’s an animation by Shaun Clayton of a song writtend and performed by Michelle Edwards. I think they did a great job of capturing the spirit of what Del what was after. If you want to learn more about them after you watch the video, go over to the IRC Improv Wiki and read about the Invocation there.