Learning to be spontaneous at an improv weekend – Christopher John Payne

Learning to be spontaneous at an improv weekend

A few years ago I attended an improv weekend with my mate Adam Harris who is in the same business mastermind group. If you have seen Whose Line Is It Anyway? on TV in the 1990s in the UK, you’ll know what to expect. Fifty of us attended workshops to learn how to do improv, or do it better. We had a lot of fun.

On the Saturday night we all had a go at performing in front of everyone else. I was invited up with a lovely guy called Alex. We got a suggestion from the audience, Alex knelt down and started polishing, and then I said the first thing that came into my head, and we went on from there. I recorded the audio on my iPhone and dropped in some photos…

Tom played the keyboards all weekend. He is amazingly skilled. He added emotion to a scene we were making up, or coming up with a reggae, operatic, rap, disco, pop, etc tune for us to make up lyrics to on the spot!…

Tom the pianist 640

For one exercise I was paired with a guy called Owen. He was to perform a simple mime, then I had to say “I ____ you” and he was to respond with “I know”. We’d repeat this then develop the scene from there. Watching what Owen was doing, I said, “I forgive you.”…

Chris and Owen improv- I forgive you 640

I recognised one of the other participants, Neil Ben, a TV producer, who I got to know many years ago, but had seen in a long time…

Chris talks with Neil Ben 640

Hothorpe Hall 640

Improv circle panorama 640

Improv weekend first night 640

Improv weekend group 640

Improv weekend group hands in air 640


Lunchtime 640

Singing improv workshop 2 640

Singing improv workshop group 640

The Saturday night party…

Improv party night 2

Improv party night

The singing workshop…

Singing improv 1

Singing improv 1a

Singing improv 2

Jim Shields, far right, the guy who took most of the photos on this page, takes a selfie as Matt, Kirsty and I make up a song on the spot…

Singing improv 2a

Singing improv 3

Singing improv 5

Singing improv 6

Singing improv applauding

Dancing in Kayleigh’s workshop…

Singing improv dancing 1

Singing improv dancing 2

Singing improv dancing 3

Singing improv dancing 4

Singing improv enjoying

Singing improv Tom explains

Tom pointed to each person in turn for them to sing the next line of the tune Tom played on his keyboard – without missing a beat! 🙂 …

Singing improv Tom points

I hope the above photos inspire you to find an improv group in your town and pop along, or to search for some great improv on YouTube. 🙂


Chris Payne helps clients design winning products, designs sales funnels, rewrites all sales copy, provides webinar critiques, designs high-end mastermind programs, and more.