Some actors wonder why improv is essential for your acting training. WHY? Can you all of a sudden become a different character? Can you switch on different emotions? Can you do different accents? Are you comfortable with doing this without overthinking it? Overthinking usually leads to bad acting. It means you aren’t present and the audience can feel that from you. Sort of like a bad interview. When the interviewer asks you a question and you can’t respond. We make a face like this…
Photo Credit: Weird Science. Hilarious film if you haven’t seen it.
It’s a really good tip to start with improv training to get out of your comfort zone and be present. Even if you’re not an actor it’s really great for problem solving skills, leadership and communication. Funny enough I started my improv training in grade 9 and did it competitively in high school. I absolutely fell in love with it and the people that had no shame to do whatever it takes to get a laugh on stage. Maybe that’s why so many people on my roster our Second City Graduates. I LOVE IMPROV!
I remember one of my characters I would mock in this commercial and use any reason to say, “People don’t see the real me. They only see my acne problem.” Do you remember this commercial? One of my favourite characters.
I was the first one to make the competitive team being in grade 9 with my friend Marc and we got to go do a special Ottawa showcase. Don’t get me wrong though our team was exceptionally bad but we would make people laugh. There is just something great about that. When the world give you lemons we gave people laughter. Maybe everyone should do improv.
Once you feel comfortable in your own skin the better actor you will be. Do improv to break these walls down. Step out of your comfort zone. Fear is something that holds everyone back. Nerves before auditions. Nerves to get on stage. Nervousness holds us back from the characters we should be showcasing.
Many commercials and non union series as well expect you to do improv auditions. That means NO SCRIPT. There are lots of opportunities to take classes and join improv clubs in the community. Try to take advantage of that to develop your wall breaking skills.
If you don’t see the light through the wall your acting will look sort of like this…
Photo Credit: Weird Science. You really need to see this film if you haven’t. Maybe this could be an improv character that you develop.
Remember to develop your art and shine through!
P.S. Don’t ask me to improv for you or do the acne commercial.