4 Useful Points In Understanding Actor Audition Improvisation

Sometimes going ‘off book’ can be what results in you landing a role or not.  There are times when a Casting Director, Agent, or Filmmaker will want to see how loose and imaginative you can be with improvisation. The more you study your audition scene, the more you will be able to have what is […]
Sometimes going ‘off book’ can be what results in you landing a role or not.  There are times when a Casting Director, Agent, or Filmmaker will want to see how loose and imaginative you can be with improvisation.
The more you study your audition scene, the more you will be able to have what is also known as ‘character improvisation’.  Character improvisation is when you are making spontaneous choices based on a deeper understanding of what your character may or may not do. This is a great way of showing Producers in the audition room that not only are you quick witted but also character oriented.
  1. Be Supportive.  When working with other actors, always lend a listening ear and know the art of giving and taking.  The last thing you want to do is try to dominate your scene partner (s) or continuously be rude by chopping them down whenever they utter a word. It’s a give and take process.  The more you allow yourself to receive, the more you can give.
  2. Be Flexible.  You have to roll with the punches as they say and light on your feet.  Be open to everything in the scene.  Learn to go with things as they happen organically.  If another actor leads you on a path unexpected, take that path and see where it leads.  Producers will also throw a wrench in your improvisation and ask you to do something or keep something in mind.  Always remain open to it and take on the challenge.
  3. Get Physical.  Improvisation isn’t always about dialogue but also about movement.  Explore things physically and see where they lead.  Improv is about discovery and when you put action to impulse, you may surprise yourself.  If you have an inner desire to stand up and walk across the room, do so.  It may unlock something hidden that you can play on.  Trust yourself, even if you don’t know what the heck you are doing, have faith in your instinct because it will answer itself later on.
  4. Enjoy The Work.  It’s acting.  No matter how you slice and dice, it’s another form of acting.  You should look at it as freeing you up from the scene in order to explore the given circumstances of the character.  Have fun and enjoy the process of trying new things as they occur.  If improvisation is a painful prospect, join acting classes or improv group to gain ground and get you out of your comfort zone.  You don’t want to give off the impression that improvisation is a painful experience while in an audition room to Casting Agents.  They will notice.
Being good at improvisation will also help you during rehearsals and eventually even in performance whether it be in film or theatre.
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