One of the delightful improv games I learned at the Applied Improv Network Conference was Portkey. I found it to be a simple way to tap into the storyteller in each of us and I can see it fitting in beautifully in ‘getting to know you/relationship building’ intro activities. Gratitude to Chris Sams for sharing this game.
For any Harry Potter fans they will recognize the name ‘Portkey’. In the book series, a portkey is an entranced everyday object that transports folks to another place. With people it’s a great way to connect with each other.
Here’s how we played it. We got into groups of four and one person tossed a word to a person in our group. That person started with “_________ brings me to” and told a true, personal story about that word. By the end of the story that storyteller found a word from their story and threw it to someone else in our foursome. How did you throw the word? You simply made eye contact and said the word to the person you were throwing to. And it begins again, and continues as everyone eventually receives a word to tell their story.
The trick is to just start when you get your word. Start immediately with “______ takes me to….” and amazingly a story will come to your mind. Little stories, funny stories, insightful stories – the storyteller chooses what they want to share. I told little stories about an adventurous ferry ride, my favourite picture of my gramma, my sister’s swimsuit malfunction at the pool one day and more.
It was so good we spontaneously played it again later that evening in a break from the dancing. Round and round we went with our Portkeys, laughing and learning together.