Updated: Sep 28, 2019
Improvisation is one of my favourite practices when it comes to acting training and rehearsals.
Creative expression, in any form, is vital to human physical, emotional, spiritual wellbeing. Creativity brings about personal growth. Creativity, like a muscle needs to be worked and consciously exercised for it to develop and strengthen. Improvisation enhances creativity, mental flexibility and thinking skills.
Artistic improvisation is a life-long journey of discovery, exploration and self-realisation. Improvisation is organic in its nature, unpredictable and creative. The art of improvising on stage follows through in the art of improvising in life to create the conditions one desires. The richness of improvisation continues to unfold rewarding the actor with a depth of character, spontaneity, satisfaction, confidence and more. It is the way to develop your acting skills and find meaning beyond the script.
Through improvisation the actor creates an environment for experiential self-directed learning opening up to growth and development. The learning achieved during improv sessions is transferable to every area of the life of an actor, personal relationships, work and education.
Improvisation aids as a fundamental vehicle for leadership development rewarding desirable social skills.
Improvisation develops group awareness and social intelligence, helping you to become a team player, more aware of others around you and their needs. Improvisation helps you develop body self-awareness and teaches you to read body language. The mind and body are one; you can influence your thoughts and actions through the way you move. Awareness of your physical expression is important for effective communication.
While improvising people create imaginary objects, environments and spaces. They continue by creating a sense of the space honouring their creations.
Improvisation is not only used on stage by actors building a character, practising or rehearsing, it is also a widely known form of therapy.
The exercises and activities in improvisation enable the actor or practitioner to see him or herself as in a mirror, to notice their thoughts, emotions, behaviours patterns and capabilities and to make the desired and even the ideal adjustments in the process of learning. It is one very effective ways to achieve what every philosopher and spiritual teacher throughout history has set as the most important human task - know thyself.
You can benefit from improvisation other than for acting purposes, and use is as therapy especially if you answer yes to any of these questions:
Do you fear public speaking or talking to teachers or superiors at work?
Are you nervous or uncomfortable around other people to the point of not being able to do what you want?
Do you feel more conscious of yourself than you would like to?
Do you turn down invitations to social events because you feel uncomfortable?
Do you hold back in relationships because you fear people will get to know you?
Do you avoid being the centre of attention due to feeling very uncomfortable?
Do you worry about blushing or looking nervous in front of other people?
Do you have trouble stating your opinion or asking for the things you want because you worry what others will think?
These are the benefits you will enjoy when you start practising Improvisation in Drama Class.
Improved Public Speaking Skills.
Enhanced Acting Abilities.
Gained Comfort in Social Settings.
Refined Brainstorming Abilities.
Improved Listening and Observation Skills.
Enhanced Creative-Thinking Abilities.
Improved Decision-Making Skills.
Team Development Skills.
Ability to focus and concentrate.
Ability to adapt to ever-changing circumstances.
Awareness of how one thinks.
Awareness of the quality of one's inner voice.
Awareness of one's emotions.
Awareness of personal responsibility from choices made.
Awareness of one's strengths and areas of opportunities to develop.
A sense of fun.
Trust with team members.
Ability to create and sustain rapport.
Ability to empathise.
Ability to see things from new perspectives.
Ability to influence.
Ability to accept other people's ideas and points of view.
Ability to sacrifice one's ego for the sake of the group.
Confidence and assertiveness through physical expression.
Ability to communicate non-verbally.
Ability to exert dominance when needed.
Ability to relax others non-verbally.
Ability to build rapport non-verbally.
Ability to physically blend in and feel comfortable in any environment.
Narrative ability and how to engage an audience.
Empathetic listening skills.
Ability to express oneself effectively.
Awareness of space.
Ability to create and share a focus on space.
Ability to create imaginary objects and environments in space.
Ability to hold imaginary objects in the mind.
Imagination and ability to generate new ideas.
Spontaneity and ability to present without preconceived ideas.
Ability to take risks and overcome the fear of failure and being judged.
Ability to detach from any expectations and set ways of thinking and acting.
Ability to embrace and explore ambiguity and different ways of doing things.
Ability to tap into one's intuition and trust one's natural creative instincts.
Ability to delay acting on one's judgments of others and the situation.
Ability to be open to other ideas, support them and build on them.
Ability to solve problems in new and different ways.
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