In my first installment about warm ups I mentioned where the idea came from to warm up your audiences. Fairs, television, and live performances all used this great idea, so why not vents? Being a children’s ventriloquist specialist I found this to be exactly what I needed to get the younger generation to react instead of treating my show like a passive video game. Here’s a couple of warm ups I’ve used and maybe you can try them too!
People like to compete, especially kids, so here is a warm up designed for that purpose, the “Applause Contest”. The premise is to ask all the boys to help first by having only the guys clap their hands as loud as they can, and then stop immediately when you ask them to. Count to 3 and have them clap and then say “stop” after about a minute or two of clapping. They will stop abruptly, which brings a laugh. Then ask the girls to do the same thing, and they too will stop immediately when you ask. Now you say “The boys did a great job, the girls did a great job, but to work together at school (or where ever you are performing) it takes more than boys, it takes more than girls, it takes EVERYBODY working together to make things happen, so on the count of three everybody clap your hands and don’t forget to stop (snap fingers) this quickly when I ask you to stop!”. The kids will follow this like before and then you will have them ready to laugh and clap at your show !
HAND RAISING WARM UP
This is an old warm up but one that still gets the audience laughing and participating. Say to your audience “How many people here THINK they like ice cream? Hands up, hand down: how many people here THINK they like pizza ?, hands up , hands down; how many people here THINK they like recess?, hands up , hands down! How many people her DON”T THINK ? Hands up, and hands down.” Look at yourself and your hand is up on the last one and then say “I guess I’m with you, we all don’t think at times, but today we ARE going to give you something to think about, so let’s get on with the show!”
As you can see, this warm gets the kids laughing with the hand motion, and when you’ve “got them” on the last hand request, it’s funny! Work on some warm ups for yourself and see if your shows don’t go better and better!