Dear 100 Hour Board,
I like to think (or hope) that I'm a man of many talents. However, one talent that I do not have is quick thinking/reactions. For example: I love the games chess and scum, and I'm pretty good at them. I have time to plan and strategize. On the other hand, I'm impressively awful at games like Nertz or Egyptian Ratscrew. They require quick recognition and reactions, and I'm always just too slow.
Now, I'm not too concerned about the board game/card game side of things. But I do love improv acting. I know that in improv, you're really not supposed to "try" to be funny, you just follow the rules and it becomes funny. But in my experience, quick witty comments never hurt. And aside from that, it still requires quick thinking and reactions to move the scenes along and build on them and be successful, and I always feel like my thoughts just move too slowly.
Someone mentioned that looking up Cognitive Exercises or Word Association Games might help. Do you have any ideas or recommendations about which ones might be good or where to look? (I'll be looking too in the meantime.)
And do you have any other ideas that might help me practice and improve in this area?
There's a YouTube channel called Charisma on Demand that does in-depth analyses of great entertainers and comedians. I would recommend studying the videos there, particularly the one on Conan O'Brian.
I've never heard of cognitive exercises/word association games in the context of comedy, but they sound like a good idea. I would also suggest to work on getting a feel for the overall feel of a skit or scene. Details are good, but they don't matter too much if they don't fit in the context.
Just start saying random things that come to you! This sounds strange (and very well may make you sound strange), but it can help for you to develop the habit of thinking on your feet more.
In my personal experience, people seem to laugh at the things I say (or maybe they're just laughing at me... ) when I'm super loopy. Also, people seem to find random comments made before my brain has a chance to hijack my tongue humorous. Like, for Board Question #89003, I literally put "prone" as my placeholder because that was the first word to pop into my head when I read the question. When Alta later left a flagette saying it made her laugh, I decided to leave my mindless initial thought as my answer, and apparently people liked it.
So I guess my best advice is to not overthink things. Don't worry too much about how what you say is going to sound before you say it.