“Actors need improv” – ever heard that before? Us too. Usually by commercial casting directors. But we want to let you in on a little secret. improv isn’t just for commercials.
We believe improv is some of the best training you can have to not only improve your audition performances but also boost your acting game as a whole because…
Improv teaches you to believe in yourself.
We know, “believe in yourself” – cheesy, right? But we’re absolutely serious, and you deserve to have this secret weapon. Let’s dive in.
There are so many ways that mastering improv can help.
1. Conquer Fear and Doubt
To be a good improviser and actor, you need to be ‘out of your head’ and ‘in the moment’. We often worry, “Am I funny enough? Are my choices good enough? Am I doing it right?”
These thoughts are similar to what most actors think while preparing for an audition and sometimes, during the audition. When we question ourselves, it is impossible to be alive in the moment because our heads are full of fear and doubt.
2. Make choices quickly and confidently
When improvising, an actor is constantly confronted with moments when they must make a choice to move the scene or story along. It seems like an endless chain of moments where the actor must keep making new choices. As Improv teachers, we often notice beginner improvisers shy away from these moments. They make their choices carefully, hesitantly and often in a way that is not even connected to what their partner is doing. They are stuck in their heads.
But after only a few classes, these same actors start to confront these moments differently. Instead of being afraid or tentative, they start having more fun and playing with the moments — gone is the fear of making mistakes or not being funny. It is replaced with confidence.
3. Surprise yourself
Once you realize that almost any choice you make is good enough to keep a story growing – that you don’t need to put so much importance on each little thing you say, something amazing happens. You unlock your imagination by eliminating fear and doubt. You become more comfortable taking risks and look forward to the opportunity the moment gives you.
4. Trust yourself
Once you trust the ideas your brain give you and act upon them, you will discover that you are capable of handling anything the moment can throw your way. When you do, your work starts to flourish.