5 Improvisational Acting Techniques That Will Make You a Better Blogger

5 Improvisational Acting Techniques That Will Make You a Better Blogger

Reader Comments (28)

  1. I did improv for years in Los Angeles and an iO weekend class I took about 15 years ago has stuck with me all that time.

    We were taught the Harold, and were doing the part where you’re supposed to just step out and tell a short, true story. One actress stepped, started to tell a story and the teacher yelled…


    The actress stopped cold. Deer in headlights.

    “Are you telling a true story?”

    “Um. No.”

    “Tell the truth! I could tell your story wasn’t true and so could an audience. The true stories in your head are more interesting and have more detail and complexity than anything you’re going to make up on the spot. We use these true stories to build other scenes that we do make up, but start with the truth. Trust it – just tell the truth.”

    I find myself thinking about that lesson often. Thanks for the great post, Nathania.

  2. The “Yes, And” is so true! This takes you forward to new places instead of dissolving into argument or nitpicking.

    I love examples. My favorite blogs are the ones that give concrete examples, so you know what they are talking about.

    Great tips, Nathania!

  3. @ KatFrench – always nice to meet another “improv geek”!

    @ Lee Stranahan – I’m currently studying the Harold and you’re exactly right – always best and most effective to tell true stories!

    @ Shawna – thanks!

    @ Pat B Doyle – thanks – good to see you around these parts, blogging pal! 🙂

  4. I really like the “Yes, and” exercise. It really force you to think on the spot and react accordingly.

    I might use it for brainstorming sessions when coming up with ideas for my blog posts.

  5. I really enjoyed how you laid out this set of recommendations.

    I suppose that the one I will have most trouble with is “letting go of my inhibitions.” I think I found myself guessing how loose is too loose given the theme of my blog. But I will nevertheless attempt at giving it a shot! After all, as stated in your example, if I’m a reader, I’d definitely get a laugh out of it!

  6. @Zeus – thanks!

    @intentionbook – welcome to the blogosphere – good luck in your blogging pursuits

    @bmunch – hadn’t thought about using “Yes And” to brainstorm blog posts – great idea!

    @Richard Bueno – The “letting go of your inhibitions” part is all about being vulnerable and real. Sometimes that phrase is used when talking about letting go of your morals – but that’s not what we mean when it comes to improv. Hope that helps!

  7. Thanks Nathania,

    I can identify with the transparency part: people can see right through slickster moves everytime.

    An authentic approach beasts out a contrived approach every day!


  8. Hey,

    Great post. I linked to it when I described the Harold as a creative writing exercise. My workshops had a lot of fun with it–and it broke us WAY out of the ol’ two-person talking head type of scene it’s so easy to get stuck in.

    Thanks for creative inspiration for bloggers.


  9. Hey Natasha, I’m 14 years old and working my way to become an actress I find this article very Helpful and useful so thank you so much:) I am having many problems with improvisation I feel that i cant come up with a good material at the spot, I tend to think about it TOO Much It doesn’t come out the right way. I’m scared of getting on the stage and blank out with nothing to come up with, Also How can I connect with the audience while improvising ? Its harder than Actually having a script 🙁 Thank you for your time

    -Iliana Amaya

  10. Acting seems to be very difficult some time, but when you get to know its techniques it seems to be better. i wish i could get a help somewhere better for acting.

  11. Hi:

    I love the copyblogger series of articles on writing. Now I see the improv theater stuff and love the site even more. I teach improv in Oakland. We have shows every weekend (www.pantheater.com).

    Great article and thanks for all the great information on writing and business.


  12. Hi. I found your blog looking for some cool ideas for my lecture and you certainly remembered me of my improv days. I remember our troup of amateurs could not find a group of professional actors who would take a challenge of competition in improvisation in front of live audience. I guess they were just too afraid to run out of words. This confirms the fact about truth as the most powerful stuff. Professional actors just could not rely on their own (true) experience. I found your blog by accident but I will be back on purpose:)

  13. Nearest of all, I’m a sort of beginner and look for any improv techniques that will help me understand/doing better improvisation. THANKS to you/all who share your own theatrical impro knowledge and experience!

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