Improv 4 Kids Online Classes Sunday-Thursday 5pm est

Drop by for a single class ($25), weekly class ($75) or unlimited monthly access ($125).

Improv Comedy is the primary focus of our classes, however we do also work on stand-up comedy, especially when the group is a little smaller. Our focus and #1 rule is to HAVE FUN while teaching creativity, presentation skills and self confidence. We’ve logged 1000+ hours of comedy classes on ZOOM just since March 2020.

Also check out our CLASS for Teens and CLASSES for Adults

Improv 4 Kids (2 Book Series) now available on Amazon FREE via KindleUnlimited

  • Stand-Up Comedy by Walt Fraser is a text book for comics and teachers looking to bring fun creative writing sections into the classroom.
  • Improv on Zoom by Walt Frasier is a list of games with tips and tricks to play online as well as Improv technique and wisdom.

Walt Frasier has been teaching kids, teens and adults for 18 years. In addition to his comedy school in Times Square (NOW Online) Frasier has worked with hundreds of corporate teams, colleges and K12 schools.

EMAIL eightimprov@gmail.com to book private shows/workshops for schools, camps, community centers and family events can be scheduled anytime for just $200. Up to 100 guests can interact with the artist and enjoy the 45-minute show. (regular $600-800/show LIVE in time square or at your venues)

MORE from EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH improv including adult classes and shows for corporate groups, colleges etc

Posted in classes, kids, Learn to Improvise, online, Sketch Comedy, Stand-Up Comedy, teens | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mondays 8pm Stand-Up Comedy Class Online

This series is designed to be a four week course to develop a new 5-minute comedy set. We have a wide variety of experience and each week, students maybe at different points of developing their routines. Below is our basic FOUR step process to developing the routine. The class is mostly there for STAGE TIME and feed back, learning how a comic thinks, performance technique plus networking, learning from other comics etc. Every comic needs to grow at their own pace. We are hear to support and nurture that process. Drop by any class for just $25. Or pay $75/month (FOUR classes). Regular students invited to monthly showcases.

EVERY CLASS, EVERY OPEN MIC, EVERY SHOW

Before we look at step one or my four step process to developing new material, lets look at what you will do at every step. This is for total beginners or experienced comics. This is the formula to growing as a comic and not being one that watches the world pass them by.

PREPARE YOURSELF: Get your self ready to perform. Brainstorm Ideas, Brainstorm Details, Outline Ideas or Add some Funny. Set yourself up to succeed. I have study guides, one-pager writing prompts for each step to guide you.

GET ON STAGE: Focus on HAVING FUN! Don’t try to be funny. Don’t try to be clever. Just talk, share you ideas, and most importantly LISTEN. Stand Up comedy is a one on one conversation with crowd. RECORD EVERY SET.

ANALYZE YOUR WORK: This is when the real work starts. Tear the work apart. NEVER TEAR YOURSELF APART. This is not about ego or insecurity. Break down the good, the bad, the ugly in the most objective manner. Review video of your work. Write down any improvised lines that got a laugh. We will want to repeat these again and again. Ultimately the goal is to have EVERY word/phrase lead to a laugh. Don’t force this process, as you will find later, we want to FIND THE FUNNY. When we try to be funny/clever, we end up being jerky and/or disconnected. The best comedy insights come from the discovery process of improv as well as trial and error.

STEP ONE: Brainstorm Ideas

PREPARE YOURSELF

Create a list of 5-10 ideas. When brainstorming ideas, don’t edit, don’t try to be funny, don’t try to be clever. Simply jot down anything that pops into your head. I like to say VOMIT ideas onto the paper. GROSS I know. Let the volcano of creativity flow out of control at this stage.

As a writing prompt, write down a word or two to reflect ANY idea that pops into your mind when you think of things that you experienced or observed at home, school, work, shopping, on vacation, transportation, etc. Anything happen at the park, the bank, on the bus, train, airplane…? What annoys you, angers you, saddens you, makes you happy, makes you laugh etc?

GET ON STAGE

Keep working this list until it is your turn to share. Get on stage, stand in front of the class, or take focus on ZOOM. Simply read off your list and/or start sharing the story reflected on your list. Just talk. HAVE FUN. LISTEN to yourself and the audience response.

ANALYZE THE WORK

OK, now what? The second you get off stage start reflecting the past few minutes. Skip the ego/insecure responses. Those are a waste of your time and energy. Jump right in on the questions: WHAT WORKED? WHAT FELL FLAT? WHAT PEAKED INTEREST BUT…?

At this stage we are merely looking for a connection to certain ideas. We are not expecting any of the ideas to be comedy gold, not yet. For now, what stories connected to you or the audience? What stories completely fell flat? What stories held their attention? At what points did the flake out and start checking their phones, etc? Don’t take these responses personally. This process is not exciting enough to hold everyone’s attention, with rare exception. (VERY RARE).

This is the time we edit our list. From your list of 5-10 ideas, cut it down to 1-3 to focus in the next step. You can go back and use the other ideas next week/class session. Make a choice. Which ideas inspire you to dig further?

STEP TWO BRAINSTORMING DETAIL

PREPARE YOURSELF

Let’s flush out some things to enrich our stories. At this point focus on what really happened.

WHO are the characters involved? You are probably the main character of the story. List all the characters involved. Consider the extras in your story as well. Extras in TV/Film are those non speaking characters. Every story has extras. In a play, we often have to imagine the other people in the world not represented by actual actors. For the sake of this exercise, what did these seeming non consequential do? Did they ignore the action of the story? Did they stop and stare? How did they react? They may or may not be discussed in your story but they do set the tone of how you tell the story. For the main and secondary characters, go into some detail. Who are they and how do they relate to you/each other? List their character traits, moods, clothing etc.

WHERE did the story take place? Describe the location, include how it felt – cluttered v open space, hot v cold, wet v dry, light v dark etc. All these things effect our character and paint the picture for our audience.

WHAT happened? Brainstorm details regarding the actions of the characters. what changed, what stayed the same as a result of the actions.

GET ON STAGE

Now re-share the same stories from previous sessions, armed with all these new details. HAVE FUN! Just talk. Don’t try to be funny/clever.

ANALYZE YOUR WORK

Again, tear the work, NOT YOURSELF, apart. From all the new details, which just cluttered the point of the story and which helped shape the story towards funnier outcomes and understanding.

STEP THREE: FIND THE FUNNY

PREPARE YOURSELF

NOW I want you to think about how can we make these stories more funny. Too often students/amateur comics skip to this step. There are many ways to make your stories funnier. Consider technique such as MAGIC THREE, combining stories/characters into a single crazy life episode, exaggerating details, solving the problem, writing the line you wish you would have said or the action you wish you would have taken, etc. Again we have a full study of ideas but every routine/comic is unique and this is where we do this most work with our students to enhance their work.

ALSO start to consider your presentation skills. Sometimes a story becomes funnier simply by finding the right tone and rhythm of the moment. Play with tempo/pace of the delivery, find places to get louder/softer, higher/lower pitched. And when in doubt heighten the attitude of the moment.

GET ON STAGE

Share the SAME story/stories again with the new takes.

ANALYZE THE WORK

Once again identify from new and repeated work, what is leading to laughs, what is delaying the funny unnecessarily, bogging us down with unfunny, unnecessary set-up, etc.

STEP FOUR: OUTLINE ROUTINES

From now one while working on this routine we will continually repeat Steps 3 & 4.

Continue to Find the Funny. Every time you are about perform, look for new ways to punch up the laughs. Suck out the dead space of unnecessary set-up and details, punch up the exaggerations, the attitude, re-adjust rhythm/pitch/volume for to keep you audience on their toes etc.

OUTLINE your work. Set yourself up to succeed by organizing your thoughts. Start considering your opening and closing line, as well as a general order of major points you ant to make. You can put this on the stool or just to the side of your camera on zoom as a guide. If you flake out for a moment, this list will help keep you on track with today’s game plan.

EVERY TIME you take stage from now on make an outline of the routine fresh.

GET ON STAGE

Execute the plan.

ANALYZE YOUR WORK

Continue to reflect the good, the bad, the ugly. What new stuff worked or fell flat?

STEP FIVE: WASH RINSE REPEAT

The rest of your life as a comic will continue the above steps. Every time you need to develop new material, go all the way back to step one. Every time you retell the same routine, go back to steps three and four. Every time you get on stage is a chance to grow as a comic. Every time you waste this time you sip backwards. There is no such thing as a plateau in the arts. Every perceived plateau is a back slide. Make the conscious choice to look for new ways to make people laugh.

Unlike a Broadway show, with its closing nights, or a TV/FILM shoot with its final days on set, your comedy material is always in flux. Over years you will find certain stories get stale. You can choose to retire them from service or revamp to find new life. If you get to a certain level, a comic with a new comedy special every year, you will developing new material constantly. The pros go back to step one almost every week.

At the club before their set, or at the diner, or on the subway en route, you will see a comic with their journal, or sometimes scribbling on a cocktail napkin, their list of 5-10 ideas.

Don’t try to be Dave Chappelle on day one. Most comics will never be Dave Chappelle on their death beds. But even Chappelle spends 100s of hours in the clubs working new ideas.

GET ON STAGE – At some point you will hopefully be paid to get on stage, but until them: take a class, go to open mics, produce a show, start a podcast etc. If you are not finding or given opportunity, create it.

After 20 years in this business there are two type of artists. Those that get on stage, ANYWAY THEY CAN, and those that judge with bitterness as the world passes by them.

Most of the first group eventually work and get paid as comics, writers, producers etc. Not all become famous, most don’t but they can hold their head high knowing they paid their dues and can see the rewards of their efforts – paid spots at clubs, college and corporate gigs.

NONE of the latter group have anything but bitterness.

MAKE CHOICES, NEVER EXCUSES!

Posted in classes, online, Stand-Up Comedy | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sketch Comedy Writer’s Forum February 2021

Develop, collaborate, write, produce and showcase original sketch comedy of your very own in just four weeks. (Playlist of recent sketches from Producer, Walt Frasier)

About this Event

At the end of four weeks (plus needed production time) every participant will have a script and a produced comedy video (filmed remotely) for their portfolio, hosted on our online platforms. This is a class but run more like a writer’s room. Come network, bounce your ideas around, get your scripts read and produced.

February 7 Brainstorm, Pitch, Discuss and Improv ideas. Each writer will have at least 10 minutes dedicated to their script ideas.

February 14 In a perfect world writers have a rough draft ready to read. Or use the time allotted to further improvise and discuss plans.

February 21 Read Through and discuss scripts

February 28 Final Read and Pre-production

Production Meeting: Each writer will schedule a production meeting to meet with cast. Prepare a shot list, discuss costume.

As needed we will assist with production, editing etc as needed however we recommend taking these tasks on to develop the skills.

OTHER COMEDY CLASSES February 2021

CLASSIC LMAO SKETCHES (Listed via MOST viewed on YouTube)

Here are some recent sketches from Walt Frasier’s Teen Sketch Class (Online Since September 2020). Sign up for February/March Teen Session CLICK HERE

Posted in classes, Sketch Comedy, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thursday 1/14 8pm LMAO REUNION SHOW Live Online

Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 8pm

The one hour show will be hosted by co founding member Walt Frasier (Billions, Blue Bloods, Letterman, MTV) and improvised by Amelia Fowler (Pose, Power, FBI, current member since 2009 – coming soon costarring roles in Newark and Are You Happy Now), Laurice Fattal (Exec Producer, 2002 founding member), Evan Schultz (off Broadway, Long Island Theater, current member since 2009), and Pat Reidy (numerous commercials, Indy films, current member since 2010). These vets will be joined by CB Murray (Dreamgirls Original Broadway Cast, Honky Tonk Nights on Broadway), Chris Leidenfrost (Greatest Pirate Story Never Told & Flanagan’s Wake off Broadway), Paul DeGrocco (former voice of the Long Island Ducks, radio DJ), and fan favorite all around nice guy and awesome dad, NY’s own John Gleason.

  • CLICK HERE to register. Tickets run $10-20/household (Just register ONCE and invite everyone under your roof to watch! NEVER share ZOOM links publicly)
  • EMAIL to book a private show for your next event – 7000+ shows since 2002 include numerous shows for corporate events, college/university shows and K12 educational outreach. We’ll see you back in off Broadway in Times Square ASAP

ONLINE CLASSES January / February 2021 Schedule

If you are currently registered for classes, request the zoom link for any show for FREE.

COMING BACK TO LIVE SHOWS & CLASSES

We are actively planning our comeback to live shows in Times Square and touring. We will be ready to performing private outdoor events .starting this April. Hopefully we will be back in thre club by summer, if not sooner.
 
STAY SAFE OUT THERE!!!!

SUNDAY NIGHT LAUGHS

Posted in College Comedy, Corporate Team Building, EVENTS, thisweek | Leave a comment

Tuesdays/Wednesdays 8pm Online Improv Jam by Teambuilding Specialist Walt Frasier

Tuesdays/Wednesdays 8pm

Click here for 40% off registration

  • Play games at every class, spreading much needed laughter in the world while developing creativity, critical thinking, presentation skills, team communication, and self confidence.
  • In addition to Improv tips and tricks, Walt Frasier brings training from the classics as well as corporate team building philosophy (primarily Psychological Safety) to create a well rounded experience for both performers and business professionals.
  • In addition to performing Improv Comedy off Broadway in Times Square and Touring Nationwide (5000+ shows since 2002) Walt Frasier has appeared on TV (Friend’s of the People, Billions, Blue Bloods, Royal Pains, Lilyhammer, Letterman, MTV etc) and international theater and music credits.
  • Walt Frasier has produced team building corporate events for JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, HSBC, Twitter, Coach, Louis Vuitton, American Express, Master Card, Home Depot, Edy’s Grand Ice Cream, Milbank, and 100s more
  • Walt Frasier has logged 1000+ hours teaching online just since March 2020. While we hope to get back to our Times Square theater/school, online has provided unique teaching moments, teaching new students worldwide and also great for focusing on the story telling element of Improv.
  • Classes currently held Online via Zoom
  • Click here for 40% off registration
  • $15/class (reg $25)
  • $75/unlimited access four weeks

From Walt Frasier

In 2015 I discovered Project Aristotle, the four year Google study into what makes a successful team. Proving all their own hypothesis wrong, they published their findings.

The single most important factor to team success is Psychological Safety. Every team member feels a sense of value and shares in the responsibility and success of its final product.

“YES! And…”, the number one rule of Improv is Psychological Safety combined with Performance Drive. Improv, when taught and used correctly, delivers on the team promise.

We learn to trust ourselves and each other.

We learn to think out if the box while being open to new and different.

We develop a sense of purpose in our scene work and our

My level one course skips a lot of the basic levels in other schools. The goal is to get you telling stories and acting out characters and fun scenes ASAP.

If the class is not fun, you won’t learn.

Along the way we will develop deeper techniques, strong characters, new world’s, and fun story arcs.

But the key focus and my #1 rule

Have Fun!!!!

Posted in Behind the 8 Ball, classes, Corporate Team Building, Learn to Improvise, online, schools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stand-Up Comedy Curriculum K12 Schools, After-School Programming, Public Classes

Whether in person or online Stand-Up comedy classes are a ton of fun and help students of all ages develop valuable skills in creative writing, critical thinking, public speaking, and self confidence. Below is an outline of our curriculum. Sign up for our public classes currently available worldwide or bring this program to your school, community or corporate group. NYC DOE VENDORS since 2010, Touring Nationwide and now worldwide via ZOOM.


Online Classes – Click links below for schedule and registration options.

  • Adults (16+ welcome) Stand-Up Comedy Mondays 8pm via ZOOM
  • Teens
  • Kids
    We combine Improv & Stand-Up Comedy in our online programming for kids & teens. One helps develop the other skill set. Combined the students grow quickly as creative, confident leaders.
  • EMAIL to bring thsi program to your school

EVERY CLASS, EVERY OPEN MIC, EVERY SHOW

Before we look at step one or my four step process to developing new material, lets look at what you will do at every step. This is for total beginners or experienced comics. This is the formula to growing as a comic and not being one that watches the world pass them by.

  • PREPARE YOURSELF: Get your self ready to perform. Brainstorm Ideas, Brainstorm Details, Outline Ideas or Add some Funny. Set yourself up to succeed. I have study guides, one-pager writing prompts for each step to guide you.
  • GET ON STAGE: Focus on HAVING FUN! Don’t try to be funny. Don’t try to be clever. Just talk, share you ideas, and most importantly LISTEN. Stand Up comedy is a one on one conversation with crowd. RECORD EVERY SET.
  • ANALYZE YOUR WORK: This is when the real work starts. Tear the work apart. NEVER TEAR YOURSELF APART. This is not about ego or insecurity. Break down the good, the bad, the ugly in the most objective manner. Review video of your work. Write down any improvised lines that got a laugh. We will want to repeat these again and again. Ultimately the goal is to have EVERY word/phrase lead to a laugh. Don’t force this process, as you will find later, we want to FIND THE FUNNY. When we try to be funny/clever, we end up being jerky and/or disconnected. The best comedy insights come from the discovery process of improv as well as trial and error.

STEP ONE: Brainstorm Ideas

PREPARE YOURSELF

Create a list of 5-10 ideas. When brainstorming ideas, don’t edit, don’t try to be funny, don’t try to be clever. Simply jot down anything that pops into your head. I like to say VOMIT ideas onto the paper. GROSS I know. Let the volcano of creativity flow out of control at this stage.

As a writing prompt, write down a word or two to reflect ANY idea that pops into your mind when you think of things that you experienced or observed at home, school, work, shopping, on vacation, transportation, etc. Anything happen at the park, the bank, on the bus, train, airplane…? What annoys you, angers you, saddens you, makes you happy, makes you laugh etc?

GET ON STAGE

Keep working this list until it is your turn to share. Get on stage, stand in front of the class, or take focus on ZOOM. Simply read off your list and/or start sharing the story reflected on your list. Just talk. HAVE FUN. LISTEN to yourself and the audience response.

ANALYZE THE WORK

OK, now what? The second you get off stage start reflecting the past few minutes. Skip the ego/insecure responses. Those are a waste of your time and energy. Jump right in on the questions: WHAT WORKED? WHAT FELL FLAT? WHAT PEAKED INTEREST BUT…?

At this stage we are merely looking for a connection to certain ideas. We are not expecting any of the ideas to be comedy gold, not yet. For now, what stories connected to you or the audience? What stories completely fell flat? What stories held their attention? At what points did the flake out and start checking their phones, etc? Don’t take these responses personally. This process is not exciting enough to hold everyone’s attention, with rare exception. (VERY RARE).

This is the time we edit our list. From your list of 5-10 ideas, cut it down to 1-3 to focus in the next step. You can go back and use the other ideas next week/class session. Make a choice. Which ideas inspire you to dig further?

STEP TWO BRAINSTORMING DETAIL

PREPARE YOURSELF

Let’s flush out some things to enrich our stories. At this point focus on what really happened.

WHO are the characters involved? You are probably the main character of the story. List all the characters involved. Consider the extras in your story as well. Extras in TV/Film are those non speaking characters. Every story has extras. In a play, we often have to imagine the other people in the world not represented by actual actors. For the sake of this exercise, what did these seeming non consequential do? Did they ignore the action of the story? Did they stop and stare? How did they react? They may or may not be discussed in your story but they do set the tone of how you tell the story. For the main and secondary characters, go into some detail. Who are they and how do they relate to you/each other? List their character traits, moods, clothing etc.

WHERE did the story take place? Describe the location, include how it felt – cluttered v open space, hot v cold, wet v dry, light v dark etc. All these things effect our character and paint the picture for our audience.

WHAT happened? Brainstorm details regarding the actions of the characters. what changed, what stayed the same as a result of the actions.

GET ON STAGE

Now re-share the same stories from previous sessions, armed with all these new details. HAVE FUN! Just talk. Don’t try to be funny/clever.

ANALYZE YOUR WORK

Again, tear the work, NOT YOURSELF, apart. From all the new details, which just cluttered the point of the story and which helped shape the story towards funnier outcomes and understanding.

STEP THREE: FIND THE FUNNY

PREPARE YOURSELF

NOW I want you to think about how can we make these stories more funny. Too often students/amateur comics skip to this step. There are many ways to make your stories funnier. Consider technique such as MAGIC THREE, combining stories/characters into a single crazy life episode, exaggerating details, solving the problem, writing the line you wish you would have said or the action you wish you would have taken, etc. Again we have a full study of ideas but every routine/comic is unique and this is where we do this most work with our students to enhance their work.

ALSO start to consider your presentation skills. Sometimes a story becomes funnier simply by finding the right tone and rhythm of the moment. Play with tempo/pace of the delivery, find places to get louder/softer, higher/lower pitched. And when in doubt heighten the attitude of the moment.

GET ON STAGE

Share the SAME story/stories again with the new takes.

ANALYZE THE WORK

Once again identify from new and repeated work, what is leading to laughs, what is delaying the funny unnecessarily, bogging us down with unfunny, unnecessary set-up, etc.

STEP FOUR: OUTLINE ROUTINES

From now one while working on this routine we will continually repeat Steps 3 & 4.

Continue to Find the Funny. Every time you are about perform, look for new ways to punch up the laughs. Suck out the dead space of unnecessary set-up and details, punch up the exaggerations, the attitude, re-adjust rhythm/pitch/volume for to keep you audience on their toes etc.

OUTLINE your work. Set yourself up to succeed by organizing your thoughts. Start considering your opening and closing line, as well as a general order of major points you ant to make. You can put this on the stool or just to the side of your camera on zoom as a guide. If you flake out for a moment, this list will help keep you on track with today’s game plan.

EVERY TIME you take stage from now on make an outline of the routine fresh.

GET ON STAGE

Execute the plan.

ANALYZE YOUR WORK

Continue to reflect the good, the bad, the ugly. What new stuff worked or fell flat?

STEP FIVE: WASH RINSE REPEAT

The rest of your life as a comic will continue the above steps. Every time you need to develop new material, go all the way back to step one. Every time you retell the same routine, go back to steps three and four. Every time you get on stage is a chance to grow as a comic. Every time you waste this time you sip backwards. There is no such thing as a plateau in the arts. Every perceived plateau is a back slide. Make the conscious choice to look for new ways to make people laugh.

Unlike a Broadway show, with its closing nights, or a TV/FILM shoot with its final days on set, your comedy material is always in flux. Over years you will find certain stories get stale. You can choose to retire them from service or revamp to find new life. If you get to a certain level, a comic with a new comedy special every year, you will developing new material constantly. The pros go back to step one almost every week.

At the club before their set, or at the diner, or on the subway en route, you will see a comic with their journal, or sometimes scribbling on a cocktail napkin, their list of 5-10 ideas.

Don’t try to be Dave Chappelle on day one. Most comics will never be Dave Chappelle on their death beds. But even Chappelle spends 100s of hours in the clubs working new ideas.

GET ON STAGE – At some point you will hopefully be paid to get on stage, but until them: take a class, go to open mics, produce a show, start a podcast etc. If you are not finding or given opportunity, create it.

After 20 years in this business there are two type of artists. Those that get on stage, ANYWAY THEY CAN, and those that judge with bitterness as the world passes by them.

Most of the first group eventually work and get paid as comics, writers, producers etc. Not all become famous, most don’t but they can hold their head high knowing they paid their dues and can see the rewards of their efforts – paid spots at clubs, college and corporate gigs.

NONE of the latter group have anything but bitterness.

MAKE CHOICES, NEVER EXCUSES!

Posted in Behind the 8 Ball, Career Advice, kids, teens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Broadway’s Newsies Musical 2020 Edition Sketch Comedy Parody

Sunday Night Laughs Presents

1/10/21 Tyler J. Oakley presents this parody of Newsies Movie/Broadway Musical number Carrying The Banner updated reflecting the even more fleeting headlines of 2020 and the past four years in general. Also starring Samuel Van Wyk and Ryan Hudzik, with additional voices and musical arrangement by Walt Frasier. Check out our weekly #SKETCHCOMEDY series More from SUNDAY NIGHT LAUGHS

Check out LMAO’s SHORT TAKES

Videos under a minute or compilations of short videos form #tiktok etc

LIVE from TIMES SQUARE, NYC since 2002

Now offering ONLINE shows, classes and private events http://www.eightimprov.biz

Online Classes

Click links below for schedule and registration options.

Posted in Sketch Comedy, VIDEO | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Classic LiteraChurn Ice Cream Parlor Promo Commercial Video

WARNING: Illicit use of the M word (#Shakespearean #curse) Written & Directed By Saloni Singh with Ami Gillon, Carolyn White & Some guy that just ran out of the theatre, spun around three times, spit, cursed and is now knocking on the theatre door to be allowed back in…while singing Stevie Wonder song. LIVE from #TIMESSQUARE #NYC since 2002 Now offering ONLINE shows, classes and private events http://www.eightimprov.biz

Sunday Night Laughs

Join us every week, Sunday at 7pm for the latest offering from our new writing team. 
This week, Sunday December 10, 2021, check out the latest sketch from writer, Tyler J. Oakley
A parody of the movie and Broadway Show NEWSIES, the Musical. 
Tune in to see our paper boys tackle 2020 headlines. 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn8D1lT-Brq97l08I_8tMZw
We hosted TWO corporate events last week, both companies from San Francisco. We miss working with students and private groups in person but we are still delivering powerful message and much needed laughs. 
http://www.eightimprov.biz

Online Classes – Click links below for schedule and registration options.

Adults (16+ welcome)
Teens
Kids
EMAIL for questions regarding public classes and/or private shows, corporate team building, K12 educational outreach and more
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Don’t Stop, Don’t Make the Face: Self Confidence & Improv Comedy Performance Trick

Don’t Stop, Don’t Make the Face: Self Confidence & Improv Comedy Performance Trick By Walt Frasier

I was just five years old when I came home from watching Star Wars 1977, headed straight to piano, and figured out the theme plunking one note at a time. (John Williams is the soundtrack of my life)

Next thing you know I was in piano lessons. Soon, I had my first recital. The only thing I remember is this valuable lesson from my teacher.

Don’t Stop and Don’t Make the Face

While on stage playing Old Grey Mare or Hot Cross Buns, my goal was to keep going no matter what happens.

Don’t stop and say, “I messed up.” Just keep playing as if nothing is wrong.

Don’t make the “I MESSED UP” face either. Don’t cringe. Don’t show any sign of a mistake.

If you don’t tell the audience there is a problem, no one will ever know.

Applying Technique to Improv Comedy and Life

These days, when I tell the story, I add the joke, “If you don’t stop and don’t make the face, no one knows you messed up, except your teacher and your mother. Mom always knows. Nothing I can do. Dad has no clue” laughter ensues. Thank you. Goodnight. Here all week. Try the veal….. (Warning: never eat veal at a comedy club)

Piano is a unique instrument. The notes are always in tune, or at least our playing won’t change the tuning in the short term of a single song. Unlike singing, or playing brass, stings and winds, you can get away with a lot.

Further, if playing Jazz or other modern forms, there are no wrong notes. You can justify every perceived mistake. Wrong note? Repeat it and turn that into a lick (Thanks for this lesson, Mark Cook).

Improvisation, whether in music, dance or in the story telling and scene work theatrical/comedic improv I teach there are no mistakes.

So, now, not even your teacher or mom will no if you believe you messed up, because what you are creating is completely knew and original.

There are no mistakes.

To me, the only mistake in Improvisation of any kind is stopping, or making a face, to acknowledge to the world that YOU think you made a mistake.

Remember this important rule of Improv: Mistakes are GIFTS.

We should never stop or make the face in Improv, because there are no mistakes. Your offering NEVER deserves or requires apology, unless it’s outright offensive (racist, sexist, bullying etc)

Almost EVERY corporate workshop I teach has at least one moment where someone says something absolutely perfect, even perhaps a little brilliant, and they follow it with I’M SORRY.

More often than not, this happens in a game as simple as ONE WORD STORY.

Meanwhile they are in AWE of the jerk that got a stupid laugh form saying CHICKEN when it made zero sense.

Most of us manifest insecurity because we fail to realize what confidence truly is.

THE REAL SECRET

We are all a little scared. We are all a little insecure. We all hear that voice of doubt. We all get sick at times worrying.

The loudest, most arrogant among us are over compensating, try to hide their fears from the world. We might see the anger, even violence at times. We might see the perfectionist or control freak. But it’s all a cover, their ill fated attempt to hide the doubt and fear.

A rare few have found balance and are able to calm the beast, and even channel it’s energy into their work.

Most of us have that feeling of self doubt just below the surface, hold us back from achieving our greatest potential.

A few are completely destroyed by their fear, hiding in the shadows of a cruel world, unable to experience it’s beauty to the fullest potential.

Fake It Till You Make It

The underlying concept here is to realize you are much better than you think, right now, even in the first day of your first Improv class.

Surrounded by folks that are faking it, or perhaps even a rare few that have mastered the technique already, you may appear to be the only scared one.

You are not.

On some level I doubt myself at every show and class. I’m always trying to find that balance. Sometimes that voice makes me not do my job well.

However, I have also learned over time, when I don’t hear those voices at all, I’m ignoring that voice that helps me be better. I start letting ego say, “I’m the best”, and I stop getting better. I stop listening. I say inappropriate things. I stop being a good team mate.

Don’t stop, don’t make the face, but when the show is done, make a note, I need to work on that skill, that technique, that part of the song etc. That voice is not bad. It helps us get better. It keeps us in check.

Have Fun

You deserve to enjoy life. The world at times will be their to serve as critic. Let the critics do their job. Your job is to create. Your job is to do your best in the moment.

Do this in classes too. Confidence is a skill we need to practice. Fight the urge to stop.

Don’t give up on your self or the scene. Dig deeper. Make simple choices. Take the pressure off yourself so you can have fun and play.

Online Classes – Click links below for schedule and registration options.

  • Adults (16+ welcome)
  • Teens
  • Kids
  • EMAIL for questions regarding public classes and/or private shows, corporate team building, K12 educational outreach and more
Posted in Behind the 8 Ball, Career Advice, classes, Corporate Team Building, kids, Learn to Improvise, online, schools, Sketch Comedy, teens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TV Talk Show: How to play Improv Comedy games on Zoom

TV Talk Show

(The following can be found on page 36 of Improv on Zoom by Walt Frasier, available for FREE via KindleUnlimited or just $7.99 via Paperback and Kindle at Amazon)

This game has changed names over the years. I still call it Miracle Ear, out of habit, as taught to me by Lee Markham in 2005. Liz Lord coined the name, “Interpretive Dance” for school shows.

There are three primary components. A talk show host, a guest (usually a book author) and the interpreter.  The host interviews the guest. Establish the name of the characters, the show, and the book. Discuss the book for a minute or two. Shift to the guest’s private life. Wrap up by going to commercial or ending the show.

Meanwhile, the interpreter translates everything into movement: think Charades. Use mock sign language and/or interpretive dance. Alternate translating actual words and phrases with acting out the story.

ZOOM FIX

  • This game has been a perfect fit on ZOOM without alterations.

TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL GAME PLAY

  • Create a fun story with lots of action. Use big descriptive words that inspire character and movement. Animals and weather disasters are great. Colors can be tough.
  • Interpreter: Stand-up. Play to the camera. Don’t even look at the performers talking. HAVE FUN. Play with puns and other word play. When they try to get me to do a cartwheel, I pretend to be Tevye from FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, pick up the cart, point to the pantomimed wheel. For pushup, I eat the ice cream treat.
  • Never stop moving. Don’t stop to listen. Keep doing a movement or action until you grab onto something else. Like any performance, see the story unfolding around you. Great pantomime comes from seeing and believing the imaginary as truth.
  • When I interpret, I add another layer by pretending to be BAD at the job. Acting anxious helps fill the dead space.
  • Avoid the b ag of tricks trap. Avoid stealing another’s trick. Improvise!
  • Add multiple interpretive dancers to give more students stage time.

Online Classes – January Schedule

Posted in Behind the 8 Ball, classes, kids, Learn to Improvise, online, Sketch Comedy, teens | Tagged , , | Leave a comment