BY SARA PALMER
If you’ve seen live improv recently, you probably know how the show gets started. The concept is simple enough — the performer asks the audience for a word (real or made up) or phrase, at the top of the show to inspire the performers on stage. What follows is an unrehearsed collaborative creation of imaginative worlds and characters. There are no rules and no wrong answers. Just complete faith that everyone’s ideas, including your own, are brilliant. On stage engaged in such hilarity is where you’ll find me most evenings and where you, the readers, will soon come in.
But before we get into that let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am an improviser/writer/storyteller. Full disclosure — I am also completely terrified of rollercoasters. Now, I know what you’ll say: But what about the thrill, the adrenaline? To that I say, what about the heights? What about my nervousness while standing in line listening to others eagerly proclaiming the ride’s features as if they were toppings on an ice cream sundae? Features that just happen to be each and every one of my fears.
Which brings me to the losing of the lunch — how mortifying? Not to mention, what if my safety bar isn’t working properly? It is usually at this point that I nobly bow out of line, take the belongings of those I’m with and head for the closest bench. Needless to say, I’ve ditched the amusement park scene and instead, I’ve found a different kind of thrill ride. One where I step out on stage, comfortably just a few feet off the ground, not knowing what’s going to be thrown my way, armed with nothing but the knowledge that anything can happen.
So, here’s the deal — I want to create a collaborative storytelling experience by combining my improv background and my storytelling background. The collaborative part is where you come in. What I’m going to need from you all are suggestions. It can be anything — a word or phrase, real or made up, whatever comes to mind. From there, I am going to take a single suggestion and build a story based on my interpretation of that suggestion. At the end of the each story, I will let you know which suggestion was the basis for the story and I’ll solicit input for the next new story.
So, without further ado, may I get a suggestion please? Just leave your ideas in the “Leave a Reply” section below and let the frivolity begin!
Sara Palmer is a an improviser/writer/storyteller based in the Phoenix, Arizona, area.