Head Home Previous Next Last
  Creative Improv Prompts
I recently joined an online group at the Hart Center in Sacramento that's doing Creative Improv Promps — over Zoom.

I recently joined an online group at the Hart Center in Sacramento that's doing Creative Improv Prompts — over Zoom.

The leader suggested several prompts and asked us to write a brief article about each.

Here's my first try. If this interests you, let me know.

Prompt 1: You are getting a tattoo on your back.  What is the design and why did you pick it?  Note: you must pick a tattoo.

I'm Jewish and there is a longstanding Tattoo Taboo in Judaism. Rabbis have interpreted Leviticus 19.28, which states: "You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves" and has been interpreted to include any kind of permanent, un-erasable writing engraved on the skin.

It is further problematic because of the use of tattooing of concentration camp inmates during Holocaust.

Nonetheless, since our assignment was that we "must" pick a tattoo to be placed upon my back—I will respond.

I shall choose the image of a large old dump truck, taking up an entire lane, and shown to be meandering at about 15 mph. Surrounding the image, in a circle are the words. "I may be slow, but I'm ahead of you."


Prompt 2:What is the one mistake you keep repeating, or would do again?

The one mistake, one that I do over and over again — is eat. Not so much eat, as overeat. Like so many people, I grew up in a family that were unofficial members of the clean plate club. Our adage was, "Eat your food, people are starving in Europe." This was after WWII and there probably was still food rationing in England — and we had relatives in England. So, I guess, I did my best to save them by finishing my dinner — even when I wasn't hungry.

And especially when I didn't care for the dinner. My mom was a wonderful person — which is code for — a lousy cook. But I ate all that was given to me, and now that I think of it — food was never given to me, it was put out on a platter and we had to fend for ourselves. I used to call this method — the quick and the hungry. Sort of like a lion feasting before the pride.


So, I was conditioned to eat lots, and to eat fast. My dad never put on any weight. He worked as a truck mechanic and was a heavy smoker. But I've lived more of a sedentary life and I never smoked. But I eat.

I've tried to lose weight — not that I really need to — it's just at each annual check up, the doctors are always making that pitch. So, I've elected to approach it several ways. First — avoid annual check-ups. Second, use an app to calorie count, and third, avoid seconds. Avoiding the doctor seems to work best. The other two require more work. Any way, in 2021, I can set my Zoom camera high up on my body, and I look terrific. What more can I ask for?


Prompt 3:If you were a storm, what kind would you be - rain, snow, tornado, hurricane, tsunami and why?

I'm leaning towards rain. Kind of like "Raindrops keep Falling on My Head." Here, in California, we need rain — mostly because we don't get much. I guess, if we got too much, it would tend towards mudslides and floods.

Here, in West Sacramento, we are basically on an island near the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers, Our island has a perimeter of levees to hold back the river, and drainage ponds and a massive array of sump pumps to move the floodwaters back over the levees. I've heard that we are the second most flood prone area in the U.S. — just behind New Orleans. Fortunately, we haven't been prone to hurricanes — but then again, with climate change, who knows.

Rain is so important to California. It helps the state's abundant fruits grow — as well as the weeds. It cleans the air from the pollution of the automobiles, the forest fires and the toxins and nuclear particles in the atmosphere. Probably, the rain clouds reduce the greenhouse effect, thus lessening global warming.

And besides, there are so many songs about rain. I'm singing in the rain.

~ Al Zagofsky








Last page
Next page
Previous page
Home page