Improvisation is "acting in the moment." There are no scripts involved and no time to practice, rehearse, or memorize lines. Every movement, word, etc, is created in response to what is going on in an actor's immediate environment. It is often considered the most difficult form of acting because of the spontaneity involved. It takes a really skilled actor to perform it successfully. Improvisation, or Improv, classes are great for actors looking to challenge themselves, invent new thought patterns, and learn ways to act and speak in the spur of the moment. In an Improv class, the coach will use different creative acting exercises to create scenes from nothing. In a performance, oftentimes, the audience is able to participate by offering ideas for a scene. The goal of Improv is that everything you do has never been done before!
Many actors think that if they memorize their lines and rehearse their movements, they will be able to have a great performance. What they forget is that acting is never an exact science. What if your scene partner forgets their line? What if your director doesn't like your interpretation of the part? What if the script is changed at the spur of the moment? This is where the true importance of Improv comes into play. When you learn how to react to an unexpected situation without hesitation, you can save a play, or scene, or create an unforeseen nuance that betters the value of the entire project. Improv teaches you how to listen and react as opposed to just waiting for your turn to speak your lines.
By bringing their personal awareness "into the moment" an actor is able to develop an acute understanding of the action they are doing. Over time, with more improvisation practice, an actor will get to a point where they can act with a wide range of options that best fit the situation. Improv training gives the actor the ability to read a script and see hundreds of different ways it could be acted out. Directors love an actor's ability to be malleable with their take on a role. This allows them to try different things with a scene to see what works best.
The benefits of improvisation extend beyond acting and can improve a person's abilities in their business and personal life as well. Many business executives take Improv classes to improve their interpersonal skills. Improv makes them better listeners, helps them pay attention to body language, and makes their response time quicker. Once again, Improv forces you to pay attention!
The best thing about Improv is that it's fun! Most Improv lends itself to comedy. Interacting in an Improv class, or performance, is one of the most rewarding and gratifying things an actor can do. Some of the most classically trained actors use Improv as an escape from the rigidity of their genre, and also to keep their talent fresh. Improv gives you all the freedom in the world. An actor can let go and live in the moment of the scene. Start your Improv Acting class today!