Playing Freeze Tag was a 180 from our set in the last round of Thunderdome—a stylized Twilight Zone-inspired piece. Steve set it up in hard-core ComedyCity mode—establishing that we'd play it as a rapid-fire one-liner game (they call it Body Freeze). We did a few rounds of one-liners, justifying the position and moving on, then kicked into longer, relationship-driven scenes.
Improvisers I have known give me relentless shit about my love of Freeze Tag. It kills me to see it played as a one-liner game—Freeze! Say something funny to justify the position! Barely move at all and freeze again! Repeat!—because if you play it right, it can get you completely out of your head and inspire great scenes with rich characters, emotional relationships and detailed object and environment work.
Here's how: Read up on Viewpoints.
- The distance between you and your scene partner is your spacial relationship. It tells you your status...who you are to each other...what kind of tension exists in your relationship.
- Your partner's position is her shape. It can tell you her emotion and her status and so much more. We usually name the activity—which is the least important piece of information of all. (Annoyance theory: How you do what you do is who you are.)
- Your own shape can also inspire your gesture—and the start of what you're doing. Instead of naming your own activity right at the start, begin it. Figure out why you're doing it.
- Dancing, martial arts and exercise
- Teaching anyone to do anything
- Super-gluing anything to anything
- Quotes from TV, movies or other pop-culture references
Freeze Tag is a microcosm of all improv teaching. Freeze Tag can be used for good or evil. Freeze Tag can save your soul.