It’s that time again, your regular improv rehearsal, you want to support your fellow players and have a good time. Having a fun, productive rehearsal is what all improvisers look for. As a troupe, it’s standard to do a warm up together, but here are a few ways you can prepare yourself to be the best you can be for your fellow players.
Try to be early - God knows I’m bad for this
If I was doing an imitation of a cheesy motivator or an annoying ‘career bro’, Id say ‘early is on time, on time is late and late is never’ But I’m not going too… I will say, always aim to be between 5 / 10 minutes early for your practice. By doing this you’re there in plenty of time so you don’t have to rush at the start. It’s also time to have the ‘Oh Hello, how are you?’ chat with your group and make the most of the time you have together!
Simple but often overlooked. Drinking water and having a fully hydrated brain helps your cognitive process and can increase reaction time. So before and during rehearsal, be sure to drink plenty of water. And If like me, your rehearsal space is a night club with a bar, then you’ve no excuse.
You’re going to be in a close group of people, and on stage, you don’t know how close you’re going to get with a fellow player. People will want to play with you less if you smell in some way, so being well washed and having a spray/ mint on hand is always advisable.
Leave It At The Door
We’re all human, with lives outside improv. If you’ve had a bad day or stuff is getting to you, try your best to leave the negative mood at the door and go into rehearsal with a clear head. To be a good improviser you need to have an open mind, ready to say yes to anything. Your bad mood can also rub-off on other improvisers and have an overall negative effect. You should also be able to see improv rehearsal as a safe place to escape from the real world for a bit.
Try To Be Disciplined
Rehearsal is fun and exciting but always be respectful of your other players and the person leading the rehearsal. They’ve worked hard on a plan and you always have a smoother rehearsal when everyone’s focused.
Warm up your voice (not always standard in an improv rehearsal)
You should be projecting anyway but you might end up shouting, singing or laughing and you don’t want to hurt your throat. There are loads of basic warm up’s you can do to avoid straining your voice box.
Be An Information Sponge
This is something I’m a big advocate for, have an idea of what's going on in the world, the big news stories as well as the local ones. Any information you have in your brain can be used on your improv. Read magazines, watch TV, the big thing on netflix that everyone is hooked on, almost everything you absorb can be used!
Take Part In Workshops / Classes
It's always good to learn more and improvising with new people every now and again makes you more resilient as a player. Anything you learn you can bring back to your group, teaching is one of the best ways to learn and going to a ‘beginners workshop’ is a good way to brush up on the basics.
Go To Shows
Go and see as much improv as you can. Shows, jam nights ANYTHING! Paid or free.
Watch and read about improv - Styles and techniques