Answering a question I’ve been asked over and over again is worthwhile for me to do, when I determine the number of actors my answer may be helping.

One question comes at me more often than any of the others.

“What can I do to keep myself up to date and in the game?”

Basically what all of us want to know is what can we do in order to improve our chances of wining. The most common answer most actors get has to do with practicing one’s craft. Some refer to it as keeping our chops up. Certainly in the voice over field, it is absolutely essential an actor be a good reader. If you can’t get through the script without bobbles, or dropping words, it makes sense you’re not going to have much chance of having a successful audition. And as we all know, the audition is the voice over actor’s work. So, obviously the vo actor must make it a point to stay tuned by reading every day. Some call it “practicing the scales.” Being a good reader will allow you to be creative during the audition. But what is not ever mentioned vigorously enough is the importance of the adlib or improvisation during the audition. This way of life happens to apply to just about every theatrical audition today.

In discussions with a variety of the better-known actors in our community of players, I find a noticeable consensus of opinion; almost all agree: Improvisation is an absolute necessity in order to be successful at almost all auditions, regardless of the venue.

Stephen Tobolowsky, who is perhaps one of the most notable teachers in the improvisation field, as well as an extremely sought after acting talent, agrees. Stephen allows, he can’t remember when he wasn’t required to improvise during an audition or the actual gig itself. And we’re not merely talking about making people smile or laugh; we’re talking about an art form: “Comedy as well as Drama for the serious actor.” Today, it’s a must do for the actor. Whether its voice over, or film; improvisation has become the lifeblood of the successful thespian.

I’m proud to say that Stephen Tobolowsky teaches Improvisation at Kalmenson & Kalmenson, and we see the results in our auditions every day. If you have a serious interest in the world of improvisation, we have much more we can tell you here:

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