The game Zip Zap Zop is a focusing activity often found in acting or improvisational theater classes. It is a warm up. It is the choir equivalent of warming up by singing “Many mumbling mice are making midnight music in the moonlight, mighty nice.”
Here’s what it looks like. Actors stand in a circle. One person, Actor A, starts with a clap and says, “Zip,” followed by extending an arm in the direction of Actor B. That actor claps and says, “Zap,” followed by extending an arm in the direction of Actor C. That actor claps and says, “Zop,” followed by extending an arm in the direction of yet another actor. The cycle continues around the circle in a random order. Each actor sending a zip, a zap, or a zop in the direction of someone else.
Here’s why. The warm up emphasizes focus, since each person must receive and give back to the group. It also emphasizes group energy, as demonstrated by the extension of the arm and hand pointed in the direction of another. Actors share energy. They mirror each other. The zips, zaps, zops may start slow, then get faster or vice-versa. The zip, zap, zops can be passed from one person to another with the same absent-minded focus given to ironing a shirt or with the same enthusiastic focus given to winning a tennis match. Actors bring their own intention to the warm up.
I’ve played this game as an actor. I’ve led students in this game as a teacher. It’s easy to learn. And easy to “fake it ’til you make it” if the day has not been good. Pretending happy zip, zap, zops can shift a mood from drab to fabulous. It is good practice in changing focus.
And you can do this, too. Whether we think about it or not, we play Zip, Zap, Zop each time we encounter another person. My smile tells the person at the deli I appreciate her service. My cranky-pants face tells my child not to ask for another chocolate bunny.
Each time we are in the same room with another human being we are playing Zip, Zap, Zop. We are bouncing energy off each other. We can choose to come to the circle with an absent-minded focus or an enthusiastic one.
What say you? What energy do you plan to bring to the circle today? You can comment below.
Participating in the blogosphere and the world of social media is a lot like Zip, Zap, Zop. Bloggers/Writers send words (energy) out into the world and wonder how they will be received. Readers send energy back via comments and like buttons.
Trying on the A to Z Challenge this month has been an exercise in putting out a lot of words in a short amount of time. And my intention has been to send positive energy out there. I appreciate all of you who followed along as I presented post after post.
I’m sending out a Zip–a big, toothy smile; a Zap–a big thanks to all you readers; a Zop–a thanks to those A to Z Participants who offered merriment by returning to this blog with likes and comments again and again.
Cheers! And happy May.