Why Improv Skills Are Essential For Actors?
Sure, learning improv (acting without a script) is fun. But it’s indispensable to any actor serious in pursuing a career in performance. Acquire acting skills and techniques from a world-class improviser.
This article was written by Nancy Walker-a world class improviser.
Improv skills are essential for the actor. Why? Actors who can improvise are:
Improvisers are trained from the start to say “Yes” and be open to whatever happens.
They are generally more courageous since they have faced the fear that all actors have of working without a script. Without this overriding fear, they are naturally more open.
Improvisers must develop entire worlds (characters, locations, relationships, objectives) in order to perform scenes made up on the spot. Doing this again and again builds confidence and excitement in their own creativity.
Improvisers return to their natural ability to play during improvisations, building their ability to be spontaneous.
More GENUINE and TRUTHFUL in scenes
Because there is no script, the improviser must use what is there and real in the present moment to respond, including their own feelings and emotions.
More in the PRESENT MOMENT
Improvisation is THE Art Form of the Present Moment. There is no editing and pre-scripting what will happen. Nor are there any second thoughts, as the Improviser needs to stay attentive to what is happening.
Much BETTER LISTENERS
The only way improv works are when improvisers listen to each other to build the scene. This is incredibly important to a working actor, who learns to
– Listen to their own instincts
– Listen to scene mates
– Listen to directors and take direction better
– Listen to casting directors for better auditions
FASTER THINKING on their feet
Because improv is raw creation, there is no editing or second-guessing. Improvisers naturally learn how to conduct themselves in a decisive way.
Able to make more ACTIVE CHOICES
Improvisers learn how to make active choices and that these choices work better during scenes.
Able to quickly come up with a POINT OF VIEW, OPINION, and INTENTION
Improvisers must fill in ALL the blanks for themselves during a performance, so it’s natural and easy to fill in whatever blanks are present in a script, to create more full and well-rounded characters and situations.
More TRUSTING of their own instincts and of their partner
The more improvisers perform, the more they experience and understand that their organic, natural instincts are usually spot on. They learn not to second guess and judge themselves and others on stage.
LESS ANXIOUS about being out of their comfort zone
Improv prepares the actor to expect the unexpected. Through experiencing going with the flow, no matter where it takes them, actors learn that it’s not only fine to go unexpected places, but also wonderful fun.
BETTER at AUDITIONS
Time is often limited to preparing for auditions. Improvisers are at a distinct advantage since they can quickly come up with realistic, full situations and characters.
Much BETTER at COLD READINGS
With NO time to prepare at all, this is where improvisers shine! The improv concept of Yes And comes into play – the script improvisers are seeing for the first time is like an initiation from a scene partner, and they add to it with their choices.
Called in for MORE AUDITIONS
Casting Agencies, especially in the past few years, are looking for actors with improv skills for all of the reasons listed above.
Many actors are afraid of improv for various reasons. “I’m not fast enough.” “I’m not funny enough.” ClasShare’s professional improv teachers with years, if not decades, of improv experience, can convey the playful nature of the art form while building the students’ confidence, courage, creativity and trust and while teaching them to listen and respond honestly and organically. Be sure to learn acting skills and techniques through ClasShare.