Have you heard of Rule 34? Let me cut and paste the official description from Urban Dictionary:Rule 34: Generally accepted internet rule that states that pornography or sexually related material exists for any conceivable subject.
Everything has been porn-ified. And, after years of using iOS and Android devices, everything has been app-ified as well. Rule 35 should state, An app exists for any conceivable subject.
There are apps for everything. Thousands and thousands of apps to wade through. Many of them can help an improviser. Should you get to searching and discover them yourself? NO! You don't have time for that. You're a busy improviser who has "yes, anding," to get to.
Let us help. Here are five apps we find indispensable throughout the week. These are Android Apps. I will create an iOS post soon. They're all free too, so put away your credit card.
1. Desk Bell
So simple. So helpful. There are lots of improv games that involve bells. If you want to stop scrambling for a bell, and muttering, "I thought I left it over here," do yourself a favor and download Desk Bell. Tap the screen and enjoy that sweet bell sound. It offers a continues looped bell sound when you want to signal the end of a game. WARNING: the looped bell sound can drive you crazy after 10 seconds. (imagine a toddler hyped up on 3 Red Bulls relentlessly ringing a bell. Sounds like that. It's can get annoying. Also, don't give toddlers Red Bull.)
2. Improv Toolbox The app was created by the Gainesville Improv Festival. If you're running a short form improv games show, you'll want this app. This is your one stop shop for timers, suggestions, and a soundboard that includes a knock, airhorn, and "yay" sound effect (I hope you have people in the audience and don't have to use this). I particularly love the suggestions, as it gives you options like genre, emotion, event and occupation.
3. Improv Hoedown Remember Whose Line is it Anyway with Drew Carey? He sure loved the Hoedown. The audience loved it too. Heck, audiences still love it. You can stop searching for the music. Just download the app. It can offer suggestions, play the music, and record your masterpiece. The creators offer a Paypal button if you'd like to donate, but the app is free.
4. SimpleMind Free Mind Mapping It's efficient, and effective. Even the name is efficient! Is it simple? Yes. Is it free? Yes. Does it offer Mind Mapping? Yes. SimpleMind Free Mind Mapping! When you need to just let your mind wander, but trace all the brilliant ideas you had along that wandering, this is the app for you. It's a great way to see how you and the team got from one place to another. I use it with the teams I'm teaching or coaching to show the progression from idea to idea, and how it influenced the scene.
Sometimes, you just want to discover new improv games. Improv Game Dictionary offers up a collection of 40+ improv games. While many of them, Freeze, New Choice, and World's Worst are improv classics, you might find some new gems for your improv show.
I hope this article helps you out when you're preparing and performing your shows. Like I said, there are hundreds of apps out there. What are some of your favorite? What have you been able to use for improv? We can help the improv community discover new and exciting apps.