September 2, 2016

What Is Improv?

Improv is unscripted acting and an essential element in every acting audition. Current television shows often script beats rather than dialogue. These beats must be interpreted and played with strong emotional connections via honest characters founded in truth. All are elements of not only acting but also improv. In acting, the honesty we convey on screen is directly related to the complex layers of humanity we create in our everyday lives. We teach improvisers and actors to be aware of what the lens sees and use it to their advantage.

There are two realities in improv. There is the reality of this life we are living, and there is the reality of the scene. Whatever the improviser adds to the scene, no matter how odd, must be justified in the scene. Otherwise, the scene goes off the rails and dies.

Improv teaches individuals about themselves. In addition, improv is essential to strengthening skills in public speaking, marketing, writing, and sales.

SA improv teaches students to think visually and act truthfully!


  1. PLAY TO THE TRUTH OF THE SCENE. In improv, as with acting, the humorous or dramatic moments are only effective when located in truth. Moments in truth translate to brilliant performances.
  2. ACTIVELY LISTEN! You cannot be a successful actor or improviser without mastering the art of listening. Active listening is listening with all of your body while emotionally connecting to your scene partner and the scene itself. More important than the words spoken are the wants, needs, and emotions beneath the surface.
  3. BE BOLD! We encourage improvisers and actors to try new things. Explore! Commit! Be passionate! Avoid the curse of dull, lifeless performances by reaching for new heights!
  4. EXPLORE THE ONE YOU! There is only one you, and your uniqueness is what you bring to any team, troupe, or performance that no one else can bring. We help give improvisers and (and actors) not only the tools to discover, explore, and grow their strengths, but also the objectivity to discover their weaknesses and eliminate them, all while getting to know themselves. Celebrate the truth of who you are as a performer.
  5. PROVIDE A SUPPORTIVE CREATIVE SPACE! We understand and emphasize the importance of a supportive atmosphere that enables improvisers to do their best work while getting maximum enjoyment from their time in class.
  6. GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD AND INTO THE GAME! In improv, you must allow the scene to unfold. Never pre-plan. SA will give you the tools to think fast on your feet and take decisive action. Free your mind, release the day’s worries, and get in touch with your subconscious. We encourage you to allow both the creative and analytical sides of the brain to coexist in order to unlock your performance. These “being in the moment” skills will translate into life skills, as well. Be in the moment!