Live sketching is similar to a voice over, but instead of telling a story, you tell a story using a set of pre-produced images that are drawn directly in Photoshop. These drawings are usually the same as your audio recordings, but you can add your own elements like clothing or other facial expressions. As you refine your approach, you can then select a different set of pre-drawn images to use with the audio, or you can change the style and tone of the audio and let the computer bring everything to life. (Don’t worry, your computer is not a puppet master.)
Live Sketching is extremely simple to learn, especially the first time you perform. Here are some helpful tips to start and continue your career:
Learn the basics. You will hear the basics in almost every live skit. But don’t just memorize them right away. You will need to practice them in several different situations. For example, a typical opening monologue may include the words “and some old lady.” You can go in there and use your “old man” voice, but remember that in live skits there is no one there to repeat it to (there are usually several other performers who do). What you want are the subtle differences between “old man” and “old woman” that may give you the ability to improvise around the differences.
Use one source clip as your “default sketch.” If you haven’t heard it before, learn the clips because they will help you learn how to use it when you’re done with this skit. Once you have the basic cues down, then you can move to more complex pieces. One tip that I learned from working with actors is to always start a sketch by saying “good morning” to the main character. Make it clear that you are there to talk to the main character with an “ooh” to sign. That way the audience already knows you’re there to listen, and you can then move to an interesting piece.
Don’t overdo it. One trick I like to use with actors like John Stamos is to say, “You know, you look like a good-looking gentleman.” If he responds, go for it. The truth is that you can do this on an even more subtle level without being so obvious that the audience can really figure out that it is a “Hey, I’m John Stamos” speech, if they’re listening closely at home. Just go ahead and say it, because you want to be able
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