Big Old Ugly Fear

Big Old Ugly Fear

5 Ways to Break Through Your Fear Of Improv

Sally Clawson, 1/31/20


As a teacher and voice over performer, I talk ad nauseam about the benefits of improv in voice acting. See this example and this one. But if a voice actor avoids an improv class due to fear, then my going on and on about its benefits doesn’t matter. So let’s tackle fear. Big, old, ugly fear. Here are five ways to conquer your fear of trying improv, or anything new.


1. IMAGINE THE WORST

Let’s imagine that you’re in an improv class and you give a “bad” idea for a scene, then what? Do you burst into flames; setting fire to those around you, the building and the entire block? Probably not. I don’t mean to make light of your concerns, but if you play out your fear to its worst possible conclusion, you may find that the big catastrophe only occurs in your mind. In reality, you may feel momentarily vulnerable or judged, and then the class will move on. The consequences of your participation are bearable.


2.  EDUCATE YOURSELF

Did you know that improv has rules and boundaries?  And that failure is cheered and applauded? That’s right. It’s not a free-for-all and mistakes are encouraged. Ease your fear by knowing what to expect. Research the school or instructor, and read about improv basics. Get started with a short and fun article by Tina Fey on the rules of improv.


3.  BRING A FRIEND 

This is a tried and true antidote to combat the fear of something new. Share your anxiety with your friend before you go. They may have the same nervousness, and sharing it will lighten your outlook. In those moments in the class when you feel on the spot, you will have a guaranteed ally. And think of the fun you’ll have sharing an experience.


4.  THINK BIG PICTURE

Fear can make us think myopically and feel small. Encourage yourself to think about the end goal of why you are trying improv.  Perhaps you want to increase your spontaneity in the booth, expand your skills on your resume, or work with a producer or director that values improv. Maybe you’re moving and improv will help you better compete in your new market. Focus on your end goal to stay excited about results and reduce shrinking from your fear of an imagined outcome.


5. TREAT YOURSELF AS YOU WOULD OTHERS

What if a good friend said that in order to move up at work they had to take an accounting class, but they didn’t want to because they were afraid of detailed math? You would likely give them a pep talk encouraging them to face their fear because of the big rewards. Give yourself that same pep talk. Meet your fear head on by sitting down and giving yourself the same heart-to-heart that you would give to someone else. Include all the love, encouragement, and non-judgment that you would give to them, and be sure to include how much you believe in yourself.


I hope that these ideas help break through your fear of trying improv. If you can get past that fear even temporarily, you’ll open endless possibilities. Give yourself a chance to be in the moment, however that feels, and follow your instinct from a class to the booth.

Read Next

Voice One Verve Articles

Classes

Dive into the Deep-end of Dialects

Doug Honorof returns to Voice One this June

April 14, 2021
Read More
Interview

Interview with Doug Honorof

We spoke with the legendary dialect coach on learning accents

April 14, 2021
Read More
Article

Vocal Coaches on (Bad) Accents

It's a considerable feat to fool human ears!

April 14, 2021
Read More
Article

Cathy Ang on Imposter Syndrome

Embracing your "imperfections" can make you a better creative collaborator.

April 7, 2021
Read More
Event

A Conversation with Zehra Fazal

Interview and Q&A with Zehra Fazal on 2/8

April 1, 2021
Read More
Article

Animation and Video Games: Different Voices and Different Choices

It's not "one style fits all" in Character work.

March 31, 2021
Read More
Classes

April 2021 Class Calendar

Check out what we have in store for you this month!

March 31, 2021
Read More
Event

Announcing Our Next Professional Invitational Guest...

Mary Lynn Wissner, Award Winning Casting Director

March 18, 2021
Read More
Interview

Interview and Q&A with Ryan Colt Levy

Join us for a free webinar! March 17, 10am PST

March 17, 2021
Read More
Interview

VO Ace Spotlight: Cissy Jones

Two Interviews with this Phenomenal Voice Actor

March 17, 2021
Read More
Interview

Celebrating June Foray

One of the most highly influential players in voice acting history

March 10, 2021
Read More
Fun

Auditioning Advice from Bryan Cranston

A change in perspective can really change what you bring to the table!

March 3, 2021
Read More
Classes

March 2021 Class Calendar

Check out what we have in store for you this month!

March 1, 2021
Read More
Interview

Interview with Dani Chambers and Lee George

Dani and Lee speak about their histories with Anime, representation in voice acting, and inspiring fans to follow their dreams.

February 24, 2021
Read More
Event

Our guest for the February Professional Invitational is...

Cheryl Rosenthal, Video Producer and Director!

February 10, 2021
Read More
Classes

February 2021 Class Calendar

Check out what we have in store for you in February!

January 29, 2021
Read More
Interview

Interview and Q&A with Julie Nathanson

Join us for a free webinar! February 4, 10am PST

January 28, 2021
Read More
Article

Insights for Insiders: Anne Ganguzza Breaks Down Brilliant Corporate Narration

We get to see how the VO Boss assesses a high quality corporate narration spot.

January 27, 2021
Read More
Article

Tech & Technique: Position, Position, Position

Jim Edgar shares some perspective on resolving changes in your space's sound over time.

January 20, 2021
Read More
Article

Insights for Insiders: Prepping for Audiobooks

Ann Richardson shares suggestions on audiobook narration that can help you and others in the process.

January 13, 2021
Read More
Article

The One New Year's Resolution Every Voice Actor Should Make

Sally suggests letting these four words become your mantra for 2021.

January 6, 2021
Read More
Article

ARTICLE: Goal Setting for Actors

Practical Advice for Achieving your Goals in Acting

December 30, 2020
Read More
Classes

January 2021 Classes Calendar

Check out what we have in store for you in January!

December 29, 2020
Read More
Interview

Interview with Cora Champommier

Tiburon Actress Discusses her Role in Pixar's Soul.

December 23, 2020
Read More
Article

Julianne Grossman: From Voicemail to Star Trek!

An intriguing evolution of a Voice Over career

December 16, 2020
Read More
Interview

Interview with Jess Harnell

Voice acting, Animaniacs, and more!

December 9, 2020
Read More
Promotion

Ho-Ho-Holiday Gift Guide

This holiday season put a little voice over in your gift basket!

December 7, 2020
Read More
News

Demo Recording at Voice One!

Listen to two wonderful demos fresh out of the studio! (plus learn more about our Demo Production process)

December 2, 2020
Read More
Article

Giving Thanks

Reflecting On A Transformative Year

November 25, 2020
Read More
Interview

Interview with Lake Bell

Lake Bell talks about getting into the VO business and what it means for her.

November 18, 2020
Read More
Classes

Year End Classes 2020

We're buttoning up 2020 with some exciting classes!

November 12, 2020
Read More
Event

Our next Professional Invitational guest is...

Announcing December's Professional Invitational guest!

November 11, 2020
Read More
Article

Saturday Morning TV is Bringing in More International Cartoons to the US Market

Texas-based company is making more opportunity for English dubbing beyond Anime

November 4, 2020
Read More
Classes

November 2020 Class Calendar

Check out what we have in store for you you this coming month!

November 1, 2020
Read More
Article

You'd Know Them If You Heard Them

Prolific voice actors of animation talk about their careers

October 28, 2020
Read More
Interview

Shakespeare and the Voice

An interview with Linda Gates

October 21, 2020
Read More
Interview

Interview with Darin De Paul

How he got into voice acting in video games.

October 14, 2020
Read More
Article

Strike a Pose: Creating (and Maintaining) Characters

by Clay Robeson October 1, 2020

October 1, 2020
Read More
Event

Our next Professional Invitational guest is...

Announcing October's Professional Invitational guest!

October 1, 2020
Read More
Article

Brand Voice

As a voice actor, you are your brand, but you can also become part of a company's "brand voice"

September 30, 2020
Read More
Classes

October 2020 Classes Calendar

Check out what we have in store for you you this coming month!

September 25, 2020
Read More
Classes

This Week at Voice One (9/21-9/27)

A quick look at classes starting this week and next week!

September 21, 2020
Read More
Classes

Voice One Welcomes Kay Bess!

Voice Actor phenom here to teach our VO Master Class

September 17, 2020
Read More
Classes

This Week at Voice One (9/14-9/20)

A quick look at classes starting this week and next week!

September 14, 2020
Read More
Promotion

Voice One shirts are now available!

Voice One's new line of "Vocal Athlete" t-shirts are now available in red and black in the Voice One store!

September 11, 2020
Read More
Event

Our next Professional Invitational guest is...

Announcing our first Professional Invitational guest of the Fall 2020 Semester!

September 4, 2020
Read More
Interview

E-Learning: A Growing Market

Angeli Fitch e-laborates on her experiences in E-Learning

September 4, 2020
Read More
Article

5 Voiceover Industry Assumptions You Should Avoid

Don't worry, a lot of people think that...

September 2, 2020
Read More
Classes

September 2020 Classes Calendar

Check out what we have in store for you this month!

September 1, 2020
Read More
Classes

Next Week at Voice One - Week of August 10

A quick look at what's coming to Voice One next week!

August 5, 2020
Read More
Classes

August 2020 Classes Calendar

Check out what we have in store for you this month!

July 31, 2020
Read More
Classes

This Week at Voice One - Week of July 13

A quick look at what's coming to Voice One this week!

July 13, 2020
Read More
Classes

This Week at Voice One - Week of June 29

A quick look at what's coming to Voice One this week!

June 29, 2020
Read More
Classes

This Week at Voice One - Week of June 22

A quick look at what's coming to Voice One this week!

June 22, 2020
Read More
News

Voice One is on Discord!

Join our official server! Open to current students, Voice one alumni, and prospective students too!

June 15, 2020
Read More
Promotion

Advanced Character Bundle - Limited Time Only!

Sign up for both of our Advanced Character classes in June and save $50!

June 14, 2020
Read More
Classes

The Summer Schedule is Here!

Download the Summer Brochure and check out our July-August classes!

June 8, 2020
Read More
Classes

June 2020 Class Calendar

Check out what we have in store for you this month!

June 1, 2020
Read More
Event

Free Vocal Workouts with Sally

Join Sally every Wednesday morning and start your day with a free 20-minute Vocal Workout!

May 11, 2020
Read More
Classes

Our Anime Mania guest instructor is....

We are excited to announce our new guest instructor for Anime Mania!

May 7, 2020
Read More
News

Coming Your Way in May...

Your monthly video-update from Sally!

May 6, 2020
Read More
Classes

Meet an Out of Town Agent!

Our next "Nailing the Audition" guest is from outside the Bay Area!

May 5, 2020
Read More
Classes

Styles Deep-Dives added to Memorial Day Weekend

Three 2-hour "deep-dive" sessions have been added to the class calendar. Join one, two, or all three!

May 4, 2020
Read More
Classes

Is A Demo Around the Corner?

Special Session of "Your Voice Print" Added

May 1, 2020
Read More
Classes

Fundamentals of Voice Over is perfect for newer actors!

Starting in just a few weeks, this class is the perfect class for beginning and intermediate voice actors.

April 29, 2020
Read More
Event

Drop-In Improv Is Online!!!

Drop-In Improv is back in an all new ONLINE FORMAT!

April 17, 2020
Read More
Classes

Weekend of Workshops

We've got four incredible workshops coming your way next weekend! Find out more in this update from Sally!

April 16, 2020
Read More
Classes

Bringing Voices to Life rescheduled!

We've moved this class on the calendar to better suit the online format

April 9, 2020
Read More
Article

Voice Over For Our Times

How to Manage your Training and Career During Social Distancing

March 30, 2020
Read More
Classes

Our Next Professional Invitational Guest

Look who's coming to Voice One next week!

March 25, 2020
Read More
Event

Pop-Up Small Group Workouts this Thursday!

Join Sally in the morning or evening for an 8-person 2-hour voice over workout!

March 24, 2020
Read More
Classes

Classes have moved online!

For the time being, all Voice One classes have been moved online. Here are the confirmed dates.

March 23, 2020
Read More