This is Part 2 of a series documenting and analyzing the steps to producing an original improvised comedy show.
The more relaxed your actors are, the better their auditions will be.
I know it’s tempting to go down the tough director route, not showing emotion and being cold and calculating, but remember, these are people you will be working with in the future and you want to see their best in the few minutes you have to evaluate them. You’ll likely have to make some tough choices regarding who you will take and the differences are going to reveal themselves when the actors are at their best. Greet them warmly, be clear on your instructions (if there are rules to the games, make them available prior to the audition for actors to review), and ask them if they have any questions before starting a scene (clarity = quality).
This is Part 1 of a series documenting and analyzing the steps to producing an original improvised comedy show.
Start with the target audience, then build your show; otherwise, be prepared for an uphill battle.
Sometimes you’re inspired by a thought, a scene, or maybe it was a dream about a bunny with a stethoscope. Whatever the idea, you thought to yourself, “That would be a really fun show.” Now ask yourself one question first and foremost, “for whom?” If you had to think about it or you answered yourself, then you need to step back for a moment.
This story was my submission to Round 8 of ThreeMinuteFiction on NPR. The first sentence was given to the writers, and the rest was up to us. Enjoy.
She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door. The flashbulbs exploded immediately as she crossed the threshold, blinding her eyes to the assembled mob. “Over here,” shouted the crowd, echoing off of the red brick facade of her home. She carefully took a step back, questioning her decision to abandon the memoir, but she had not seen the sun up close since yesterday morning, and she was beginning to feel restless.
A French voice cut through the chorus,“Ms. Reynolds, do you really believe you can compete?”
It’s tricky switching gears. I had a tough time doing it transitioning to an entrepreneur, and it’s still tricky now. The simple act of doing something completely different takes time. Sure, I did have some minor distractions for a few hours that interrupted my flow previously, but the amount of mental fortitude required was not as great as writing fiction; especially well written fiction.