Do you want to become a better public speaker? Do you want to feel more confident in social situations? If so, then you should consider learning the art of improvisation. Improv comedy can be a great way to improve your communication skills and build self-confidence. However, the classes can be a little daunting. With this in mind, we’ve compiled some advice.
Be Willing to Make Mistakes
One of the biggest barriers to entry for people who want to try improv is the fear of making mistakes. We’ve all been in situations where we’ve felt embarrassed or like we said the wrong thing; this can be especially true when we’re put on the spot. Yet, one of the most important things to remember about improv is that it’s okay to make mistakes. In fact, making mistakes is part of the fun…so long as you don’t keep making the same mistake.
Next, we also recommend studying characters when performing improv in any capacity. This doesn’t mean that you need to memorize lines from movies or TV shows, but you should understand how different types of characters would react in various situations. Are they the type to take charge and be assertive? Or are they more passive and shy?
Create a Safe Space
Additionally, it’s important to create a safe space for both yourself and your fellow performers when participating in improv. This includes being respectful of each other and not putting anyone on the spot – it also means being willing to take risks and experiment with different ideas. If people don’t feel comfortable taking risks, then the improv scenes will likely fall flat.
Listen and Respond
Speak to people who have mastered improv and they will tell you that the secret is in the listening. It’s not about thinking ahead or trying to be funny, it’s about being in the moment and responding to what your scene partner is saying and doing. The better you are at listening, the better you will be at improv.
Often, people think that they need to be the one who is coming up with all the ideas in an improv scene, but that’s not the case. In reality, it’s often more fun and interesting to play off of what someone else has brought to the scene. So, next time you’re improvising, try to resist the urge to control the scene and instead, let it flow organically.
Make Others Look Good
Finally, remember when improvising to make your scene partners look good. This doesn’t mean that you should always agree with them or sacrifice your own character, but rather that you should work together to create a scene that is enjoyable for everyone involved. If you can do this, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of improv.
If you want to make a career of acting, directors and casting agencies will recognize when somebody elevates the people around them. This is an essential skill for any actor, so make sure to practice it as often as you can.
So there you have it, five tips to help you master the art of improv. Practice these techniques often, and before you know it you’ll be impressing your friends and family with your amazing improvisational skills. Just don’t forget to have fun with it too!