Saturday, July 25, 2009

Five insights on Charm

Charm is important for improv. Its the factor that attracts the audience member to the player and no matter how bad a scene goes the audience will still feel like a good friend gave it their all. I don't know everything on charm, but here are a few thoughts I picked up.

1. Charm is a lifestyle

You really can't fake charm or get it overnight. It's something your brain must be locked into and the public must know it is locked into. You know the players that have charm because they tend to have this aura of innocence and cuteability.

2. Innocence

Innocence is part of the charm lifestyle. Liam Scahill of Geva Comedy Improv is a perfect example of this. When he presents himself on stage he can pull off cute, young and energetic. When he screws up on stage the audience is more inclined to "awwww" than "booo". There is a sacrifice for the innocent part of charm though. You can't be vulgar and sassy. The dirty biker model will not have this.

3. Confidence

Charm is what the audience sees after the scene. Whether you totally flopped the scene or nailed it, when they see your confident smile and playful demeanor they will still be on your side. In everything, confidence must replace scene anxiety and frustration. The audience loves it when you gave it your all and it shows in your character. The guy who takes this two serious will never have charm.

4. I'm Having Fun

This is the most important part of charm. Charm truly shows to the audience when the improv player looks like they are having fun. Whether they are doing a Serious Scene or a Forward Reverse the charmed player can look like they are having a blast. My favorite example is when Colleen and Lister performed the Defibilator dance. I saw charm dripping from those two. And you know why...because they were having fun.

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