Lately, I’ve noticed that a lot of my auditions have been improv/ad-lib. Although I still receive a character breakdown, research the players of the project (via IMDB, Google), and do my best to get a description for any new shows, the question remains, What am I going to do in the room?
I love sides, which give me a structure that I can hang my work on, whereas during improv my mind can go blank. So, I have found that certain questions help prepare me for what might go down in the room during an improv audition:
- Who am I?
- What is my relationship to the other character in my scene? This gives me a specificity and history
- What am I doing?
- What’s my point of view?
- Where am I? Your relationship to the space you’re in will have an effect on your body, which will lead to behavior
- Then, I imagine myself in different situations. What other places would be truthful for this person to live in? I will play these out so I’m ready if any of them are thrown at me in the audition room
Asking these questions and doing prep work gives me a sense of confidence by getting me out of my head during the audition. This allows me to be free in the moment to make specific choices about my character instead of playing an idea. I can have an actual experience as opposed to showing one.
If you feel like you’re flying without a net when it comes to improv and want to learn more, check out these top NYC improv schools:
- The Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Theatre offers affordable and high-quality comedic performances and classes
- The PIT is dedicated to the instruction, performance and development of original comedy
- Improvolution, founded by Groundling alumna Holly Mandel in 2001, is an improv school and performing group
Now, go book that job!