Improvisation, acting on the spot without any previous preparation, generates a variety of emotions for performers. For some, it is an exciting experience that allows for creativity while for others, it’s simply nerve-racking. As an actor, having the opportunity to “play around” in a show largely reliant on improvisation has been a way to stretch myself and improve as an actor.
Taking risks as an actor is sometimes a bit frightening; I have been known to play it safe or dismiss ideas as being silly before I have even given them a try. However, through improv, I have begun to trust in my instincts and make greater choices. I find myself being less concerned with how people will perceive me or the character I’m creating while I focus more on responding to my given situation. Within When We Grow Up, a large amount of the discoveries and unique traits of the characters and situations have been ascertained through improvisation.
Discovering my character, Amy – a Veterinarian/Archaeologist, occurred an enormous amount during the first few rehearsals. I had anticipated her being a very driven perfectionist, yet through interacting in different situations with all the different characters, I began to find a different path for her that fit well within the show.
Improvisation helps me to create my character and make discoveries as well as helping to keep the show moving and interesting. Simply watching fellow cast mates introduce and explore their character engages me and keeps me interested. I can only anticipate that these “in the moment” choices will catch the attention of our audience and keep them entertained and involved for the entire performance. Each character is unique and intriguing, and each actor is present, in the moment, excited, and eager to see what new challenges arise at each performance.
Through the use of improvisation When We Grow Up presents exciting unknowns. Inviting an audience to participate and become a part of the show opens a plethora of doors. As an actor, I can selfishly say being granted the opportunity to act and interact with audience members is going to be an exciting and incredible ride!