5 impro games you can play by yourself

by Kiran Stanford Ashok Rao on 23 June, 2020 in blog, Workshops

Coming from an Indian family, I’m usually prepared for certain questions at family gatherings – 

“When are you going to meet someone and settle down?”
“Aren’t you tired of being on your own?” 

I was less prepared when Impro Melbourne asked me to write this blog on essentially the same question – how do you improvise by yourself?


Oh that's right I'm alone

So, living up to the bachelor name, here are my 5 favourite impro games to play by myself (because sometimes you have no one else to play with). 

Mill House playing Frisbee in the park alone  

#5  High Status, Low Status (with a toaster)

Missing those watercooler chats? You can always talk to your toaster!

Toaster saying Good Morning Handsome
Better yet, try talking to your toaster like its your boss. And you’ve missed the deadline, and they’re FUMING. There…now you’re playing high status, low status.

Set a timer, and every other minute find an excuse to switch from low status to high.  Tell your toaster (Boss) that you’re quitting this stinking job and to find a new bread loader. Say they need to control their hot temper and that you’re tired of getting burned.  Then, after a minute, switch back - beg for forgiveness, offer to take a pay cut, say you’ll load twice as much toast tomorrow to make it up. 

Playing status games with electrical appliances is a great way to distract yourself from the loneliness. 

#4 Activity to Music

This game usually involves miming household chores – vacuuming, cooking, washing dishes etc., but the advantage here is you can actually just do the activity. Got dishes in the sink? Great!

All else that’s required is to play some music – I suggest Vivaldi’s Winter Allegro “Four Seasons” – and let the music control how you do the activity. When the music’s fast, go fast, when it slows down, slow down. You are not in control, the music is.

Mrs Doubtfire Vacuuming

You’ll find this is a quick way to make washing your dishes even more fun, even if it’s just a single bowl of ramen!

#3 Put on Hats

If you’re anything like me you’ve got a lot of hats. Put ‘em on, give each hat a different voice, a different physicality. Is this the hat of a pilot? Or a baseball coach? Put two hats on! Who wears two hats, I don’t know! Find out!

Have the different hats talk to each other. Maybe one hat is the long lost twin brother of the other hat? And he’s come back. For Revenge?

Hats are so fun! Trust me!

#2 Mouth Full of Fruit

Who doesn’t like doing silly voices?

One easy way to play around with voices is to imagine your mouth is full of a type of fruit. Start with something small, two grapes. See what that does to your voice, do you suddenly sound British? Probably not.

What about bigger fruit? Pear, watermelon, pineapple. See how this changes your mouth shape.

I suggest doing this in front of a mirror as you tell yourself everything is going to be okay.

Jim O'Heir Mirror GIF By Take Me

#1 Storytelling

Impro is all about stories, and you don’t need an audience to tell a story. 

Tell yourself a story about your day. And make the characters important, because they are.

A man telling a story to children and yelling at them