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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Horn

Creating a Human Machine

A human machine in action!

I need a brave volunteer to come to the middle of the circle...great, now I need for you to come up with a simple movement and sound that you can repeat over and over again. Sounds easy enough right? This simple and easy instruction is used to start each group's unique human machine! The direction that follows is for all members one by one to come up and add their own unique movement and sound to what the first person started. Through this exercise (and debrief) groups are able to see the value in their individual role. They are able to see when one person stops or gets off beat, that it effects the rest of the group. They are also able to experience the power of every single person participating, even those who are outside of their comfort zone, coming together to create something loud, fun and funny together. The improv exercise human machine, exemplifies the improvisation ideal of "yes, and" . This means accepting an offer that is given to you and then contributing to that offer to make it even better. A participant looks at the movement and sound that is offered to them and they think YES, AND I am going to add this! After participating in this exercise through the debrief participants are able to start to consider applying this value in the work their group is doing. What would it mean to say yes to an idea and contribute to that, rather than saying no and refusing an idea. It was as a participant in the improv game human machine that the initial idea of Improv to Improve started to formulate. I was able to see the benefits of applying these ideals into my every day work life and interactions. Improv gave me a place to play and practice these skills in a safe and fun environment. At Improv to Improve we hope to be able to provide groups with this same opportunity. We can not wait to see what your human machine looks like!

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