Dry-run the introductions to a show about a few times to the satisfaction of the artistic director.

This is another step in preparing to be solid at one of the "Ringleader" positions.

The beginning - the period of time when the audience meets you, the performers, your format, and even improv - is going to set the tone for the whole evening. It's just like any interpersonal introduction: it has a tendency to steer how the rest of the relationship is going to go. The introductions of your shows are typically going to be the most challenging for a few reasons:

  1. The adrenaline is pumping, especially for the beginning Ringleader.
  2. There are a lot of cues to remember.
  3. There are a lot of lines to remember.
  4. It's dark
  5. It's loud, but you have to be quiet.
  6. Something always goes wrong. 
The answer to all of these is issues is developing both comfort and energy. That's quite a tango. You cannot succeed in a polished way without having gone through the moment-to-moment bits and pieces of it numerous times. It's helpful to have your artistic director there when you rehearse to give you some confidence and guidance.

#6 may seem a little threatening, but don't let it get to you. But you can handle it. You're a rehearsed improviser. You'll be fine. Typically, the solution to the problem will be the one that is most fun. Some examples I can think of are:
  • "Johnny is missing," You can pretend Johnny is there.
  • "Karen thinks she is going to be sick." You can inform the audience that at any moment Karen may leave the performance, but "please applaud as she goes."
  • "The CD player is not working," The Sound person can hum songs over a microphone.
  • "The footer lights are out."  After each scene, the Lights person can come onstage and describe to the players and audience amazing, made-up things that happened in the dark around their ankles.
All of this comes easier when you have a level of comfort. And comfort is only there when you have familiarity. And familiarity is born of experience. Just give yourself some rehearsal time and gain some experience.