Whose Lion is it Anyway
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"Whose Lion is it Anyway?" or "Whose Lion" is an improv panel hosted by Alkali Bismuth and SemJay. The panel got its start at Midwest FurFest 2006 when the panel was hosted by SemJay and Dronon. Dronon was unable to make Midwest FurFest the following year, so SemJay picked Alkali as his replacement. Alkali and SemJay have hosted the show together ever since. When Alkali and SemJay cannot make it to a convention together, the one that's going will host the show alone, but with the help of close friends. The original show at Midwest FurFest 2006 had about 60 attendees; more recently at Anthrocon 2010 over 300 people attended. Dronon occasionally hosts (or co-hosts) improv panels sporadically as opportunity permits (frequently at Furry Migration), although not always under the "Whose Lion" banner.
Like the name suggests, the show is based off of the television show "Whose Line is it Anyway?", except in this version the entire audience is encouraged to participate. Some people just come to watch, but many join in on the various games. "Whose Lion" is always scheduled late at night and is considered an 18+ panel due to adult humor and language.
Whose Lion has been at every Midwest FurFest since 2006. In 2009 they added Furry Connection North and Anthrocon to their list of conventions and in 2010, IndyFurCon was added. They also managed to have a show at Further Confusion 2010 despite a misunderstanding with the convention. The panel has also experimented with streaming their shows over the internet.
Throughout the two to three hour panel, there are many improv games played. Normally, SemJay and Alkali will come up with a list of games to play before the show, but if there is time they will take suggestions from the audience. These games are sometimes played differently from how they were originally intended to be played. The following is a list of some of the games played.
- Questions Only - Audience members form two lines and go head to head in a game where you are only allowed to speak in questions. As soon as a person says something that isn't a question, or takes to long to respond, they are buzzed out and the person behind them in line takes their place. "Questions Only" is a very good warm up game and is generally the first game played at "Whose Lion".
- What Are You Doing? - Audience members line up in two lines and person from each line goes up at a time. One person will start acting something out (e.g. tying their shoes) and when the second person asks "What are you doing?" they say something completely different from what they are doing (e.g. mowing the lawn) and the second person has to start acting that out. The first person exits the stages and the person behind them in line goes up. They ask the second person "What are you doing?" and again that person will tell them something totally different and the third person will act it out, and so on. Like "Questions Only" it is a very good warm up game.
- Props - Audience members create different things with the provided "props" (which are usually made of left over fursuit construction material). they can use one or both props to create a scene/object.
- The Dating Game - One host or audience member is sent out into the hallway and 4-5 "dates" are hand picked from the audience. Each 'contestant' is given a personality or quirk to act out. When the person in the hallway comes back, they have to ask the 'contestants' questions "dating show"-style, and then try to guess who they are supposed to be.
- Party Quirks - One host or audience member is sent out into the hallway. Again, 4-5 "guests" are picked out the audience. They are each given a quirk that the "Party Host" (the person in the hallway) will have to guess. If a party host is having a hard time guessing, sometimes a panel hosts will pretend to call the party host in their home to give them hints.
- World's Worst - Before the show, a helper will go through the audience as everyone is filing into the panel. One of the things they ask if for ideas for "World's Worst" (e.g. world's worst kindergarten teacher or world's worst furry convention theme). When it's time to play this game, anyone who wants to participate stands up front and waits for the various World's Worsts to be read. If they have an idea for the joke, they step forward and act out their version of what the think the "world's worst" is.
- Whose Line - Two to four participants pick two pieces of paper out of a hat and are given a scene to act out. Each slip of paper has a short phrase on it, but the participants are not allowed to read what's on it until they incorporate the slips into the scene. In "Whose Lion"'s version of the game, the phrases on the slips of paper are actually things Alkali and SemJay have said throughout the convention. The lines are almost always out-of-context which leads to hilarious scenes, and the audience questioning the humorous phrases.
- Sex Degrees of Separation - If you haven't been to a Whose Lion panel, chances are you haven't played this game. Sex Degrees is a game that got it's beginnings when SemJay was in high school. A friend of hers came up with the idea, but never made set rules for it. At AnthroCon 2010, with her friend's blessing, SemJay brought the game to life. Using a similar idea to the Six Degrees of Separation theory, this game proves that you can link any subject to something sexual. In the game, Person 1 will come up with a subject that is totally unrelated to sex. Person 2 will pick a subject that is related to Subject 1, but not related to sex. This pattern is followed until the 6th person, who has to come up with something that is related to both subject 5 and sex. Subject 6 is the ONLY subject that can be about sex. Each group of six gets three turns, and must switch around between turns so Person 1 and Person 6 are not the same.
- Two Truths and a Lie
- 60-Second Fairy Tales
- Actor's Nightmare
- Sit, Stand and Lean
- Irish Drinking Song
- Sound Effects
- Horatio Caine One-Liners
Dronon's games tend to include some of the above as well as:
- Murder Chain - Only by using gestures and speaking in nonsense words, Person A has to convey three pieces of information to a Person B: a location, a profession, and a method of death. Person B then kills person A. Except now it's Person B's turn to convey it to Person C, and so on. (The participants wait outside the performance room to avoid spoilers.)
- Colliding Realities - Two people, each thinking the sketch is located in a different place, and they don't know what the other person's location is.
- Five Words - Two people start off with a vocabulary of only one word they can say, and gradually get more until they have five.
- Crisis Situation - Participants form two lines. The two people at the front present each other with a crisis and an unrelated object, then must solve the other person's problem using their own object.
- Scenes from a Hat - Odd sketch title suggestions are collected and acted out.
- Word-at-a-time Expert - A group of people on stage pretend they're a single person with an unusual area of expertise. The audience asks them questions, which they reply to, each person taking turns by saying one word each.
- Slide Show
- Group Sculpture
- Film Styles
- Living Props
- (List pending)
- (List pending)
- Whose Lion - Whose Line - Clip from the Whose Lion Finale at Midwest FurFest 2008 staring Kinky Turtle, Scorch, SemJay and Alkali
- Questions Only - 2 and Kage - 2 and Uncle Kage get intimate during a never-ending round of "Questions Only" at Midwest FurFest 2007 (Caution: possibly NSFW)
- World's Worst - Audience members give their ideas for "World's Worst kindergarten teacher" and "World's Worst reason for unprotected sex" (NSFW)