Basic Elements of a Good Skit

VOLUME

Boys must speak loudly, slowly and face the audience. If the audience applauds or laughs, Scouts should pause before continuing.

You could pre-record all the sound effects, dialogue, music, etc. and play it back on a tape recorder. The advantage is that they can be heard. A disadvantage is that you can’t react to the audience and if anything goes wrong, you’ll have to ad-lib. Lip synching takes lots of practice.

MAKE-UP

Make-up helps the audience identify the character and makes them more real.

Make-up base can be made with equal parts of liquid cleansing cream and powdered sugar. This makes a simple white base for clown make-up. Add food coloring for monster make-up (green) or Indian war paint (red, yellow and blue).

An eyebrow pencil can be used to darken or change the shape of eyebrows, to line the eyes, to make freckles, mustaches, sideburns, beards, and wrinkles.

Beards can be made with coffee grounds applied over a layer of Vaseline or cold cream.

Cornstarch powder or talcum powder in the hair makes characters look older. Hair usually begins to gray at the temples first.

A wig can be made by pulling an old stocking down over your hair and ears. Tie it off and cut off the excess. Use scotch tape to fasten colored cotton balls all over the stocking.

Indian braids can be made by cutting 3 strips of crepe paper into lengths about 3/4″ wide. Twist each strip around the other. Now braid the 3 strips together.

Wounds can be made by drawing them with lipstick. Blend it in slightly with your finger. Edge the wound with white liner.

For shoulder padding, make small triangular cushions and insert them under the shirt with the points toward the neck. Cushions are made from scrap cloth stuffed with rags or foam.

Nose putty is often needed to make lumps, creepy hands, etc. Mix together 2 teaspoons white vegetable shortening, 5 teaspoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon white flour, a few drops of glycerin, and food coloring. For a brown color add 2 teaspoons cocoa.

SCENERY

Scenery can be made from corrugated cardboard, sheets or props you have in the house. Use latex or tempera paints to decorate as needed. Alternatively, you can just explain to the audience beforehand, “Here is the bedroom…” and so forth. Use the power of suggestion!

ROLE PLAYING

Help each boy bring his character to life. Add makeup to age him; use a wig to disguise him; to walk with a limp, place a small rounded rock in his shoe; to look old, have him walk with his feet about 8 inches apart.

SOUND EFFECTS

If you plan to use sound effects in your skit, it is important to have access to a microphone. Check with the facility where you are holding your pack meetings. Most rental stores carry karaoke sound machines. Also, you can pre-record your sounds on an audio cassette and play them back when needed.

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Airplane: Heavy paper striking blades of electric fan
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Auto brakes: Slide a drinking glass across a pane of glass
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Crashes: Drop two pie pans taped together with metal jar lids inside.
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Crickets chirping: Run a fingernail over a fine-tooth comb
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Door slam: Slam two hardback books together
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Fire: Crumple and twist cellophane into a ball and then release it.
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Gong: Hit a pan with a metal spoon
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Gurgling stream or boiling liquid: Put a straw in a cup of water and blow hard. Hail: Pour rice on an upside down flat cake pan.
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Horse hooves: Alternately tap two inverted cups or bowls on a wood floor or board
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Knock at door: Hit a half-gallon plastic milk jug on the end with a rubber spatula. Lightning: Grasp a metal cookie sheet on one end, placing your thumb on the underside. Shake the cookie sheet so it vibrates. Bang it against the knee for an occasional loud thunderclap.
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Pistol shot: (a) A rubber band is stretched around the center of a small foil pie pan. Pull out the rubber band from bottom of pan and release. (b) Snap a yardstick or thin board on a hard surface.
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Rain: Fill a soup can 1/3-full of dry peas or beans. Roll the can slowly on a table. Rustling in underbrush: Crush broom straw.