I always suggest that actors take Improvisation workshop either before, during or immediately after they take a commercial class and/or acting class. It is important in the development of your acting craft. The freedom and confidence you get from studying Improv well will be very helpful to do better Commercial and Theatrical auditions and thus help you start booking jobs. Also, so many auditions today do not have dialogue and require Improv skills therefore commercial agents are more interested in actors (especially new actors) who have professionally studied improvisation because agents know that it will be easier to them auditions.
I strongly suggest you find a teacher or institution that specializes in Improvisation. A lot of studios mix in the Improv training with acting, commercial and cold-reading. This is not really offering the maximum value of studying Improvisation. Then, some teachers offer it as an on-going class. There are several problems with this format.
- You won’t be able to continually build on your progress when you are constantly going back to the basics when new people start.
- Improv classes work best when it is a nurturing, supportive environment which is difficult to establish when it is not a unified group for a prolonged period of time.
- It is difficult to move up the ladder of the more challenging games and technique when everyone isn’t on the same level.
I strongly believe that Improvisation should be a second training workshop along with your acting class or commercial workshop. Your acting or audition training is focused on the techniques specific to whatever discipline of training you choose – motivation, emotional connection, subtext, character life, pre-life and after-life, etc. Whereas strong improvisation training focuses on creativity, commitment, listening, trusting instincts, supporting the other actor and building confidence. When both acting or audition training and Improv are studied at the same time, you will get more out of your technique class and you will be ready to start auditioning sooner.