Elephant, Bunny, Bippity Bippity Bop
Everyone form a circle with one player in the centre. This warm-up breaks the ice, gets people listening and gets the blood flowing.
The player in the centre of the circle starts to spin madly. They may close their eyes, they may count to ten, they may be silent. The goal of the player in the center is to “surprise” one of the players in the circle. The player in the center must make a strong and clear choice about which player in the circle has been “surprised.”
Three players in the circle must quickly form a three part elephant character. The player pointed at must mime the trunk, and the two players on either side of the trunk mime big floppy ears. All three must trumpet like a happy elephant together. This is the simplest description of the elephant. There will be many house variations on how to create the 3 part elephant.
The challenge is to create the 3 part elephant character very quickly. There is not room for indecision. The player in the center of the circle is going to be yelling “bippity bippity bopaphant” as fast as possible. If the 3 part elephant character is not trumpeting (fully created) before the player in the center finishes yelling “bippity bippity bopaphant” someone from the elephant character will be moved to the center.
Typically some part of the elephant will be slow to react. It may be missing a right or left ear, it’s trunk may be flaccid, or someone forgets to trumpet. Whichever player is responsible for this travesty of character development replaces the player in the circle. The circle of life is continued until someone vomits.
Players that jump the gun and create extra ears, or extra trunks or some other mutated elephant appendage also replace the player in the center of the circle. If for some reason there is a tie or it is unclear which player messed up the 3 part elephant character the player in the center decides immediately who replaces her in the center of the circle. If the player in the center is too slow to call out their replacement they will stay in the center.
This is a great listening and commitment warm up. Players must be listening to the cue of being pointed at, as well as listening for when their neighbour has been “surprised.” It is definitely an example of listening with one’s eyes and brain instead of the usual listening for words with your ears. Players must respond so fast to build their 3 part elephant character that there is no room for hesitation. Folks who overthink and worry about how they appear can get some relief with this warm up.
Move from an elephant to a more complicated multi part character. For example a dragon with flaming mouth, two wings and a long tail. Making it asymmetric heightens the level of listening and attention to detail required.
Make up your own house characters: Charlies Angels, Church, Car, Tank, Snake, etc.
- Bippity Bippity BunnyBop – Players create a chewing bunny with two tall ears and make a carrot chewing noise. While these variations are endless bunny is very common.
- Bippity Bippity Bop – No characters involved at all. Just fast talking deceit.
Summer camps throughout the ages. I also took the liberty of renaming the elephant and bunny subs of Bippity Bippity Bop.