You don't have to go bananas when you improvise, like the character in the photo, but it is an incomparable experience. Daddy Stanislavski, one of the most reknown gurus of acting, once said: "There are no accidents in art--only the fruits of long labor." But don't take that so serioursly! It is a process of searching and kneading and throwing away until you discover the essence. Discovery! An adventure!
You can improvise with music, inspired in a painting, a newspaper clip, a sensation (smell, colour, etc), a saying, a line in a poem, a scene from a movie, or the more structured actions of an actor in a specific sequence of a play: for example Romeo in Juliet's balcony.
Here are some ideas that may help you in preparing for the improvisation next Friday, Febuary 12th at 7 pm at 1621 Rojas street.
1) Once you begin NEVER give up or stop to self criticize yourself.
2) Make a scheme of the actions--that allows you to work with more clarity. What do you do first, second, how do you conclude?
3) What body and what voice are you going to give your character? You should not pre-establish gestures and movements, they must come as a result of improvising. However, in is trial and error that lets you know what actions are more appropriate.
4) Work on the actions, the motiations, the objectives BEFORE INTRODUCING the lines. However, you may invent your own lines, as you see fit during the improvisation.
5) Try to imagine the space around you. Where does the action take place? What (imaginary) objects surround you? Are you alone or is there another actor on stage? Who do you direct your actions towards? What is your point of reference? What do you want to communicate to your audience?
6) BELIEF. It is absolutely essential that you act as if you really believed what you are doing. If you believe there is a lion on stage, the audience will also believe that. As you improvise try to clarify you objectives: what is it that you want to communicate?
7) If you are doing the improvisation with others, remember that your relationships are GIVE AND TAKE. Be open to what another actor might give you, and respond so that in turn he or she can take your action as an inspiration for his or her actions.
8) If the improvisation appears to be on the point of dying, make a proposal. For example, if it is a group improvisation die, leave the scene, shout, do anything that is consistent with your character. That will oblige the others to adapt to the new circumstances.