BY: HAYLEY KELLETT
As improvisers, we practice getting better at giving and receiving offers. We strive to be specific and keep our scene partner in mind. With the holidays right around the corner, we want those skills to transfer into your daily life! Even if you’re a seasoned improviser, we know the holidays can still induce a ho-ho-heart attack when it comes to finding the perfect gift. Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle - we’re here to help so you can sleep in heavenly peace - at least when it comes to giving something to the improviser in your life. Here is a (completely unsponsored) list of gift ideas we at The Making-Box think folks in our community would enjoy:
#1: Board Games Baby
There are lots of awesome board games out there that feel like they were designed for improvisers. M-B alumni and board game expert Josh Anderson-Coats recommends Snake Oil, Superfight, Balderdash, Secret Hitler and Gloom are great picks. Adapt the rules once you learn them for even more fun. For those who wrap up Superfight change the argument to be for best kisser, best chef or best friend instead of who would win in a battle.
Passionate about supporting local business? Friends of ours designed the game FINISHIT! You can even catch some friendly M-B faces in their how-to-play video.
#2: A Hello Fresh Subscription
Sometimes that starving artist stereotype feels all too real. Often we’re too busy with rehearsal and other creative endeavors to think about shopping then making a meal.
#3: Get Stitcher Premium to binge on comedy podcasts
Whether you are looking to learn or looking to laugh, there are some awesome improvised podcasts. This subscription gives you access to a whole whack of them - ad free! Download the app and check out some of our favourite podcasts.
Teacher’s Lounge, The Backline, improv4humans, Illusionoid, Off Book, Hello from the Magic Tavern, Mission to Zyxx, SPONTANEANATION
This coffee table book is chalked full of inspiration. Let your gift recipient stare at their heroes from the safety of their own home. Who knows, maybe one day their photo will be in the next edition! Heck - for bonus point, glue in a photo of them!
#5: DIY Stand-Up Stage
Hook up your aspiring comic with a classic comedy playground by pairing this brick wallpaper with this microphone & stand package. They’ll be ready to host shows in their living room in no time! Just as a heads up, you’ll need an amp too.
On a budget? Here is a tutorial for 5 different ways for a DIY brick wall. Top it off with one one of these $6 beauties and you’re golden.
#6: Type “improv” into the Etsy Search Bar
#7: The Christopher Guest Collection
Christopher Guest is the hero who brought us Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, Waiting for Guffman (included in this set) and many other fabulous mockumentaries. These films feature all-star casts and largely improvised scripts. This box set has special bonus features, deleted scenes and hilariously dry commentary by Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy. Why not build a complete set and get copies of This is Spinal Tap, Mascots and For Your Consideration as well. You’ll have your pal feeling like their terrier just won best in show!
#8: The Yes And Journal
The Making-Box Brigade strongly believes that improv can change your life, but Matt Beard is the only one with YES tattooed on to his forearm. Matt has created The Yes And Journal: An Improviser’s Guide to Life to practice improv outside of the classroom and bring it forward into your everyday life. Either that or go get an AND tattoo so you can be BFF’s with Matt.
Can’t decide? Take the pressure off yourself and give the gift of choice! This gift certificate can be spent on live comedy shows, improv classes and merch.
#10: An Adventure
Take them on an adventure of your own design! Build a scavenger hunt! Go on a hike in a place you’ve never been! When Hayley was living in Toronto, she would play Subway Adventure with her friends. They’d pick a random stop, get off there and explore for an hour. As our lovely improv friend Becky Johnson of The Sufferettes once said, “we need to stop buying so much crap.The climate report was extremely clear on this.” Check out her post for sustainable suggestions for the holidays for more inspiration.
This list, coupled with the fact that improvisers are a species of loving and accepting people, your holiday shopping should be a breeze.
Have a holly, jolly, McCauley holiday!