I am no longer a professional actor, in fact I never really was, I can probably count one hand the amount of acting jobs I have had that I have been paid a sensible amount for. But I love acting and have been involved in Theatre for over 25 years. (Gasp and reach for wine glass). I have been involved in a variety of theatre, from the very, very bad, to the very, very good. But one thing I had never done (until June this year) was improvised theatre. Why? Well…
Improv is for smug weirdos who like playing games and being ‘crazy’ to feed their own egos
And, honestly until I saw Foghorn, my only experience of improvised shows was, of course ‘Who’s line is it anyway’ and a very, very embarrassed bunch of actors attempting and failing at an improvised games show once. (Shudder and reach for wine glass).
Things however change, and I have been whingeing for some time now, that I wanted to do something different, something challenging, something that would wake me up a bit as an actor. As it happens a couple of good friends of mine were involved in foghorn, so (in all honesty rather reluctantly), I went along to a couple of shows, and lets just say I was a little taken aback. Enthralling, funny and story driven and I can’t describe how brilliant the musical was. It certainly didn’t occur to me that I would be able to do such a thing.
I vaguely learn lines and stand where I am told (most of the time), occasionally I cry on cue, but basically I am a puppet.
I am not funny or clever, I can’t think that fast.
But Foghorn were looking for a woman to join the group, and I just about ticked that box, so I was convinced to go along to a rehearsal (rehearse improv? How ridiculous and indulgent). I was more than a little terrified, I had warned them that I was pretty sure I would be rubbish. But if you don’t try, you’ll never know. As it turns out, improvisation is not actually about being funny or clever and it is certainly not about being ‘crazy’.
As with most theatre it is story telling, and the less clever, funny and crazy you try to be and the more you listen and absorb the better it is.
It is certainly the challenge I was looking for and I didn’t even know it!
Hello, I’m Sarah and I’m an improviser. (Gasp and reach for wine glass).