21 tips I picked up from watching a variety of performances this week:

Monday – Acting Class Graduation Show

1. Commitment is key. If you don’t believe it, the audience won’t believe it.
2. Always think about stage picture, always.
3. Acting is reacting–to your scene partner, environment, and circumstance.

Tuesday – Upper Level Improv Class Show

4. The ending of the show will leave the most lasting impression.
5. Never leave your scene partners hanging.
6. The “star” of an improv show isn’t the person with the most stage time, it’s the person with the most support moves.

Wednesday – Amateur Improv Show

7. Bigger / louder characters does not mean funnier.
8. Amateurs go for blue comedy by default.
9. Emotional reactions are entertainment.

Thursday – Professional Dance Show

10. It’s the job of the performers to tell the audience what they should be paying attention to.
11. When the audience can tell you are having fun on stage, they’ll have more fun.
12. Repetition (plus variation) and mirroring actions is fulfilling for the audience.

Friday – Professional Improv Show

13. It is better to edit too soon than too late.
14. Be specific–it’s funnier.
15. Commit fully and do it immediately.

Saturday – Amateur Television Script Read

16. Make a choice. It doesn’t matter what choice, just make one.
17. Know your audience and know what they know.
18. You have to sell it. Hilarious lines are ruined by poor performance. Poor lines are improved by commitment and confidence.

Sunday – Semi-Professional Play

19. A mistake is only a mistake on stage when it is called out as one.  Otherwise the audience thinks that it was supposed to happen.
20. Know the history of the character, even if it never is said or written.
21. Look for the deeper meaning in the words or actions.

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