Teaching acting classes at Green Shirt, I’ve met a certain type of actor that hears the word “improv” and shrinks in their seat. They don’t think they have the ability to improvise and they’d rather just avoid it entirely, however, every actor needs to learn how to improvise and taking an improv class is the place to start.
Here’s three reasons why actors should take an improv class.
- You will be asked to improvise whether you are a trained improviser or not
As an actor, you’re going to be asked to improvise, no matter how much you think of yourself as “not an improviser.” You will be asked to do it in auditions and on film sets. You will be asked to improvise in rehearsals to dive deeper into circumstances, relationships, or facets of your character. Commercials are full of improvisers because so much of that work is about being open to shifting a performance towards what a client is asking for. It will happen at some point in your career, no matter how afraid of improv you are. It’s a skill you need to develop if you want to be ready in the room.
- It reminds you how to play
It’s easy for an actor to take their work too seriously, getting in their head about a right or wrong way to work on their script. Improv reconnects you to the part of yourself that’s impulsive, playful and willing to take risks. To be up for anything, ready to go, eager to jump into the unknown just for the fun of it. Improv does a really great job of directly connecting us to the joy of creating something with other people.
- You learn to invest in the world outside yourself One of my favorite lessons from improv is to “treat your partner like a rock star.” Improv, like the Meisner approach to acting, lays in the fundamental ethic that your partner gives you everything you need in the moment. Trusting your partner can be difficult, especially when you think you have a great idea of how things could go. Improv reinforces the truth that our clever ideas are never as interesting as what’s happening with the people around us. That kind of trust makes you a good performer, a good collaborator and a good person.
If you are an actor looking for an actor friendly improv class, we highly recommend Jimmy Carrane’s
To sign up for The Intensive go to:https://jimmycarrane.com/