4 Reasons Why Improv is Important in Acting

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Do you really understand the value of taking professional improv acting workshops? If you did, you wouldn’t hesitate to take one as soon as possible. There are multiple benefits of improvisation for actors, and they’re so worth the time and money.

Improv training is some of the best work for helping actors to build confidence, courage, and creativity, and it also teaches them to trust their instincts. Also, it’s helpful in teaching anyone to stay out of their head, listen, and respond honestly.

Benefits of Improv for Actors

1. You learn more from improv than from basic acting classes

I strongly believe that actors should always start with acting classes and at the same time or within a few months, do at least six months of improvisation training. When taken alongside acting classes, for most, that training speeds up development. I believe this is because most acting techniques are focused on emotional connection, character work, truthful expression, and script interpretation, while improv is about freeing up the mind so as to be more creative with choices and instincts. The combination of the two provides more rounded and beneficial training.

Lots of college/university students and those who have be part of improv performance groups with no basic improv classes think it as the same as doing professional improv. For some it is, but I believe that for most it isn’t. Performing before learning the basics, I feel, won’t give you the same benefits for your acting training.

2. Improv can make your auditions better

If you have done any serious acting training, you are comfortable with having time to come up with choices, do your crafting work, have plenty of rehearsal time with partners, and work your scenes several times with your teacher in class. When you start auditioning, that kind of time is never available to prepare, so most auditioning actors don’t feel as confident or strong as when they have more time (at least when you first start). I also recommend that auditioning and cold-reading classes be added to your program. It will definitely help when you’re ready to start auditioning. Yet, I believe that improv work (although different) is more empowering for most auditions.

3. Improv helps you get more auditions

So many commercial and many theatrical auditions are requiring or utilizing improv. It is a different creative skill and most casting directors don’t trust actors to do it at their auditions unless they have studied. Where the most amount of production is done, often CDs won’t bring actors in unless they have done a good amount of this kind of training in a reputable major market.

4. Improv can help you an agent

Because most agents know CDs won’t see actors (especially for commercials and depending on the job) unless they have professional improv classes, they tend to favor representing those who have. And for those who don’t have agents and submit themselves for jobs, know there is a much better chance of getting an audition if you have done reputable improv training.

Carolyne Barry was a casting director, actress, and director, considered by agents, casting directors and students, as the best commercial audition acting coach in Los Angeles.

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Carolyne Barry
Carolyne Barry was a casting director, working actor, and director considered by agents, casting directors, and students to be the best commercial audition acting coach in Los Angeles.
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