High Fives

By | January 31, 2019


Name Game, Shriner Warm-up


This warm up will help us all get moving, listening and learning some names. Let’s form a large circle.


High Fives is the same warm up as Cross Circle. The difference is that there are two player names (and hence two players) being called at the same time. As the players cross the circle they high five each other in the middle. After the high five the two players call on two more players and take their place in the circle.

In this warm up players will be crossing the circle to occupy another player’s spot across the circle. They signal who’s spot they are going to occupy by calling our the player’s name. After a player’s name has been called out that player call’s out another players name and moves toward their spot.

If the above explanation worked there will always be a player walking across the circle to a new spot. If the above explanation did not work try the painfully detailed one below.

All the players are arranged in a large circle facing inwards. A player named Eh will randomly pick a player across the circle and call out their name. Let’s presume the player across the circle is named Bee. Player Eh will make eye contact, point towards and then call out “Bee.” Hopefully this will have gotten Bee’s attention.

Player Eh will start to move across the circle towards Bee. Player’s do not run across the circle. Player Eh is going to occupy player Bee’s spot so player Bee has to get moving.

Now player Bee will make eye contact with, point towards and call the name of another player in the circle. Surprisingly this new player’s name is Cee. Bee will start casually moving towards Cee in the circle. Player Eh will now occupy the empty space in the circle left by Bee as she has now started walking towards Cee.

This can continue endlessly until fatigue or hunger sets in

This is a great warm up for learning names. Encourage players to say the names loud and clear so that others can learn names as well. However learning names barely scratches the surface of what this warm up offers. Every aspect of LACE, and more, is demonstrated in cross circle.

Listening. Clearly players must be listening for their names. That is clear enough. There is a lot more to listen for in cross circle. Players can work in listening with their eyes for the initial eye contact. Players can work on listening to the whole stage by learning names of players as others cross the circle. Emotional and subtext listening can be picked up when a player is projecting the angst of not knowing the other player’s name.

Commitment. There is tremendous social pressure to get things right, especially names. Getting players to publicly take risks regarding other players names helps build risk taking behaviour. There is not wrong. Your fellow players will support you. In improv you never know what is next. So stick to your choice loud and proud. If Nancy turns out to be Norma you will be forgiven and we all will learn as a group.

Support. We feel our names are important to us. If someone messes our name up in cross circle we will be supportive. This trains being supportive at all times. Supportive players makes cross circle work better as well.

Focus. Taking it. We deserve the attention of others. If we don’t get it with eye contact we point, and then we call out the player’s name. Focus is also about giving focus. Every player must throw focus to the player

Rules Not Goals. Errors are not corrected they are supported. A successful cross circle is about intent and messing it up is funny. Eventually the group of players will self correct cross circle especially once


  • Cross Circle
  • Subtle Crossings – remove pointing and player naming rely on just eye contact.
  • Word at a Time – replace the player’s name with a word to create a word at a time story.