Advice for Improv Auditions

Someone asked me for a list of improv audition tips that I had blogged years ago. Sadly, that blog is lost to time, but, as with all thing improv, it must be updated and renewed! So, I reached out to some iO Theater vets (especially the people who run the iO auditions) for some advice for the upcoming auditions, but they really apply to all auditions that use improv. Check it out.

CESAR JAIME: Hard as it may be, don’t go in trying to showcase your ‘talents’, go in trying to showcase and elevate other people. These sort of moves that will get you noticed a lot more.

People watching you are your peers and they want you to succeed. Keep that in mind when you get nervous about what people will think of you and or your audition.



1. play with everyone in your audition group as if they are a potential teammate and not as if they are your competition.

2. have clear and interesting relationships. If you start with conflict or find a ‘problem’ with your scene partner just because you have nothing else, the auditors will usually be hoping for an edit soon. Most negativity in the auditions comes from fear, so try and be positive and be playful you won’t be playing from a place of fear.

3. if you treat someone in your group like they suck and their ideas suck, we will not call you back. If you’re with people who haven’t had as much experience as you’ve had, use that as an opportunity to make them look amazing and set an example of support.

4. It’s obvious if you try and shoehorn in a scene/idea you’ve thought about before the auditions. Please don’t do that. It’s never the hit you think it will be.

5. show us you have range, show us your comedic POV, show us you’re having a blast playing pretend on stage.

6. If you’ve been in 6 scenes in 20 minutes, back off. If you haven’t been out there in 20 minutes, what are you waiting for?

that’s about it.

Hope this is helpful!



… as far as I’m concerned:

1)Can you listen

2) can you stay line by line moment by moment

Propaniacs3) what is your “and”. Is it truth in comedy? Dynamic and creative yet playable? Or is it : that  line everyone says for when that happens in the roommate scene (for example)

4) why are you a great teammate and improvisor. See steps one and two…



1. dress for an audition

2. Be aware of how much you are in it. That goes both ways – you look just as bad if you are in every scene.

3. You score major points when you take care of/make others look good.



It seems that the most common trait is the person who supports someone else. Good advice in general, really. Good luck and have fun! I’ll add some of my own:

– Don’t TRY to be funny. Make connections, make group moves, relate to your scene partner emotionally— that will be more effective and funny in the long run.

– Don’t judge some one else during the auditions.. c’mon, there’ll be plenty of time for that later with your friends. (JK). Support it and have fun with it.

– This audition, and no audition until my Hunger Games fanfic is made into a movie, will cost you your life. Remember that you decided to do improv because it’s fun and you love it. Keep your sense of play.


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