"What Are You Doing?" is one of the most popular games in all of ComedySportz. It is often used to open the first half of matches, and it played extensively in both the High School League and in professional performances. It is often referred to as the opposite of "Try That On For Size."
"What Are You Doing" begins with a player from each team facing-off. The game is supposed to set the competitive nature of the match off correctly, so players should be encouraged to actually "face off" against their opponents. They can do this by shaking hands seriously, standing in an active, prepared position, or simply engaging in the competition with their facial expressions.
One player initiates the game by doing a random motion. It can be anything: waving your arms around wildly or miming a vaccuum. The opposing player then asks the first player, "what are you doing?" This is an aspect of the game that is often played poorly in the High School League. The question of "what are you doing?" is a challenge to an opposing improviser. It should be quick, energetic, and spirited. The competition is always light-hearted, but it's more enjoyable for the audience when players appear invested in the games they're playing.
The first player then respondes to this question with an activity or feeling that has nothing to do with whatever he/she was just doing. For example, if Player 1 was miming a vaccuum, he/she would have to say that she was "milking a cow," or "flying a kite." It can be anything but "vaccumming." It is very important than Player 1 only says he/she is milking a cow. He/She shouldn't do it as he says it. Player 1 can simply stop his/her action and respond with his/her answer.
Player 2 will then begin doing the action that Player 1 claimed to be doing. Important notes to remember for this aspect of the game are the following:
- Everything should be both physical and vertical. It's as if you're doing your own mini-scene.
- Everything should be big. This game is setting the tone for an energetic, upbeat match, so it should be really entertaining and big. Take your emotions to a 10.
- Don't hesitate. The goofier you look up there, the better it is for the audience.
After Player 2 has done this action for a short while, Player 1 returns the question of "what are you doing?" Player 2 respondes with something other than what he/she is doing, and the game goes on.
How you get outEdit
- Hesistating on your response or action. (See Disallowing "I'm" below)
- Repeating anything that another player has already said. (Ex: eating a sandwich, then making a sandwich).
- Giving a response that corresponds with the action a player is doing.
- Speaking incoherently (Ex: "Me go to house..." Tarzan-esque)
- As always, the Reffie-No-Likey call
There are several additions that can be played with this game.
Everything in the round must relate to a specific category. Examples are "barnyard," "Seaworld," or "Doctor's Office." This can also be played with movie plots. A ref will ask that everything in the round relate to the plot of a movie.
One word spoken by the player must rhyme with a suggestion from the audience. Easy, one-syllable words are often used.
A letter of the alphabet is suggested by the audience, and players must use one word in their answers that starts with that letter. Multiple letters can be taken as well. A variation of this round involves using the alphabet. Players scroll through the alphabet with their responses. The first player could say "eating an apple," and then the second player could say "fighting a bear."
The word "I'm" is often used as a hesistation by players in this game. Instead of jumping straight into their response, players often pause with "Iiiiiiii'mmmm.... milking a cow" so they can have enough time to think of an answer. Refs will sometimes prohibit this in the game, and call players out for hesitating this way. This is a more advanced version of the game.