Get Seen & Be Heard
There was an improv website, years ago, that had a motto similar to this. For them, it was about marketing your skills... getting out there and showcasing your talent. For me it put into concise words something I have been trying to teach my actors for years.
It broke down to two things. First thing was basic stagecraft. Share your voice share your face share your feelings... sing out Louise!
Second is that you are an important person and what you have to say is important. I see many actors craving the attention of the stage lights, but then shying away from their truth.
One of the things that the great Gary Austin would say is, “Share your truth!”
Actually, when I was his actor and he was my director, Gary would push me away from the bag of tricks that I had learned at The Second City the trite tied in a bow endings, the stock characters from my bag of tricks.
“That was bullshit!” he would shout...
“Everything you just did was bullshit because it wasn’t the truth! You’re TRYING to be funny and that’s boring as hell! Just tell the truth. It might be funny... it might not. But at least it won’t be bullshit!”
It struck me that if you don’t treat yourself like you are important, and if you don’t treat what you were saying as important, you were wasting the audiences time. The most valuable thing in audience can give you is not money. It’s their attention.
When you don’t treat yourself as important, you are squandering that value.
Here's your checklist for the next time you improvise...
Keep yourself connected to the floor and centered.
At all times make sure the audience can see your beautiful face. In the theater that’s called "cheating out."
Share your voice. Speak to the person at the furthest end of the room.
You are an important person and what you have to say is important so share yourself.
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