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How to Ask an Audience for a Genre

One of the important performance skills in improv is asking for the 'get' from the audience. It's often neglected, but in shows where the audience is not improv-savvy it is important that the audience knows they are a part of this show and to let them know what it is you want. For example, not everyone understands the word 'genre' or even exactly what an 'adjective' is. This can be easily overcome either by a short explanation ('describing word') and/or examples.
It's always a good idea to give examples, because as well as clearing illustrating exactly what it is you are after, it allows you to burn suggestions. This is where you say a something yourself so that you don't have to accept it from the audience. Do this with genres and other 'gets' you find particularly hard, unchallenging, distasteful or get too much.

Here are a few ways to ask for a Movie Genre:
  • Ask for a movie genre;
  • or a film style;
  • or even a category of movie category;
  • or what about a type of movie?
  • Ask for a section in a movie store.
  • Ask for someone's favourite movie and use the genre of that.
  • Get a fictitious movie title? The answer will usually suggest a genre. For example "Kissing in the Wind" suggests Romance and "Die You Beautiful Thing" suggest Film Noir or perhaps Horror. If it does not, you can then ask the audience what type of movie this sounds like.
  • If you would make a movie, what type of movie would it be? (except porn.)
  • Write movie genres on a numbered list and ask the audience to pick a number.
  • Write movie genres on a list which you give to the audience and ask them to pick from the list.
  • Write movie genres on cards and get a member of the audience to pick a card at random.
  • Ask the audience for a random page number and use this to pick a film (and therefore a genre) from a movie or TV guide .
Examples: Can I have a movie genre or style such as porn or Rap Opera.
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