Busier than ever we are exited for a great winter session. A lot of folks already signed up for each class. Use the links from this post for discount registration options 20%/$50 off.
Sundays 6pm Long Island Classes for Kids/Teens 10-14
Saturdays 10am Times Square Comedy 4 Teens 13-18
Saturdays NOON Times Square Comedy 4 Kids 8-12
Tons of fun, Improv comedy class is one of the funnest and most effective ways to teach valuable life skills including Creativity (writing and critical thinking), Community (team, listening, eye contact, respect) and Leadership (Self-Confidence, Public Speaking).
We also include a weekly open mic session where students turn stories of the observations and experiences into original stand-up comedy. Want to come in prepared, scroll down for some ideas to start writing your routines.
Check out the COMEDY KIDS, featuring our students creating original comedy for new Youtube series.
January 6, 7 First Day of Classes
Jan 13 thru March 4 Classes run EVERY WEEKEND.
– We have 4 bonus weeks built in for snow days etc. So if you don’t travel much and there is not a lot of snow, students will get 14 classes for the price of 8.
March 10, 11 Dress Rehearsals
March 17, 18 Showcases
– Invite friends and family so students have a great audience, Students showcase their Improv and Stand-up comedy work
MARCH 24, 25 Winter Improv Student Appreciation Days
Open to all our students and families, join us in Manhattan at 1pm for a bonus master class with Walt Frasier. At 2:30 the families are welcome to join us for some pizza and stay for the 3pm show. There is a 1 drink minimum (soda, juice Bottled water count, Beer/wine avail for adults) but the $25 cover and pizza is on us. RSVP for seating needs
STAND-UP COMEDY 101 – Walt Frasier’s simple process to develop original comedy routines.
STEP ONE – Brainstorm ideas
If you have not done so already, get yourself a journal and do this step every week. Just jot down 10 or more things you find funny. Keep it simple. Having trouble. Try some of these.
– Worst day at school ever
– Worst day with the family ever
– Strangest thing you have ever scene on the subway, bus
– Adventures in School Lunch
– Craziest day ever with friends
– Something that happened at a park
– Something that happened
– Strange Video Game ideas
Right now we are just jotting down ideas. Don’t try to do the full routine in our head yet. Don’t say something is not good enough yet. Don’t worry about being original. Just let ideas flow.
STEP TWO – Brainstorm Details
PICK ONE of your ideas, which ever you like best. If you can, get on a stage and just talk about this thing out loud, even before this next step. Don’t worry about being funny. Just talk about it. Either way continue to this step.
Brainstorm Details about this idea of yours. Again just list 10 or more things about this idea. Don’t judge. Don’t edit. Just let the ideas flow.
Think about the characters of the story. Who was there that directly relate to the story? Who was there that maybe did not immediately effect the outcome?
Think about the setting. Where did this take place? What did you see, hear, smell, taste, touch? Dig deep and list lots of details. Trigger you memory for more.
How did you feel about this experience/observation?
What is the major takeaway, theme, etc?
At this time try and get on stage and tell our story, now that you have brainstormed some details.
ADDING SOME FUNNY
OK by now you should have something that sounds like the BEST what I did last summer type of story ever. Btu it probably is not ready for TV yet. Here are some ways to get there.
Think about the elements of your story. Start making comparisons of your characters and experiences to other things. Give the audience funny visuals for their imaginations. Compare daily grind events to big picture historical context.
THE Nth DEGREE
Every great story builds to a climax. What is your big moment right now? Now consider what COULD have happened one step crazier, scarier, funnier etc. In math the “Nth Degree” is the ultimate point. Take us there in your story. We are comics, not reporters. Reporters observe the world and report back. Artists interpret the world. Comics rip it to shreds. By basing our stories in truth they will be believable to the audience. But take things to the next level.
So lets say you have a story about something that happened one day at school. It’s not bad but maybe it’s a bit short. Think of 2 other things that have happened at school. Put all those events into the same day, vacation, hour etc.
Think about the movie “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. While this is a work of fiction I imagine most of the events of this movie all happened at some point. The author simply takes a child’s lifetime of traumatic events. compresses them into one day, then takes them to that Nth Degree.
THE MAGIC THREE
We all subconsciously love the number THREE. It has a certain perfect comedy timing. If you study Shakespeare, lists always come in threes. So try to organize your thoughts in terms of three elements.
Don’t rely on words you develop while sitting at a desk. Use your time on stage to play. Experiment. Don’t feel locked into a script. Some of our best lines come form Improv in front of a live Audience. Stand-Up Comedy, while a one person art, is a very interactive experience. LISTEN to your audience. React. Adjust timing accordingly. Let your routines become alive and breathe in the moment.
OUTLINE Your Story
Now that your starting to develop your routine, start to outline the story, ordering your thoughts. This is the first time we start to analyze our information. What details are important.
As you outline your story think of the three major elements. BEGINNING, MIDDLE END.
- The beginning is a simple statement that might pose a problem, introduce a theme, or give you story context.
- The middle is all the juicy details. Organize this into three major sections.
– Example One
– Example Two
– Example Three
- The end is probably the punch line. What is the major take away? What do you want the audience to think about as you walk away?
At every step of the process a comic needs to try the routines out on unsuspecting victims, I mean audiences. You need to hear these things out loud. EVERYTIME you get on stage doe these simple three things
- Review your material – outline the routine and mentally review the order of your ideas. What is your opening line? Closer?
- Present our material, adding something new – a new bit, change of wording, change of word/detail order etc. CHANGE SOMETHING to try and improve the routine EVERY TIME
- Journal the Experience – Record the good, the bad and the ugly. Want went well? What did not? What surprised you?
THERE IS NO END
As students of the arts, we often focus on a set of classes as preparation for a single show.
A theater student rehearses a play, gets through opening night, stays healthy for the weekend, then feels lost when the process is over. We jokingly call this Theatrical Post Mortem. NOW WHAT?
As a stand-up comedy student the showcase at the end of a 8 week class is just one show. It is not the end. But every open mic session, class, showcase etc is just ONE STEP in a much bigger process. EVERY TIME you take stage go for the gold. Try to improve your routines. If you can video the experience. You can buy a stand for your smart phone for about $5-10. Fill a journal up as often as possible. ALWAYS be observing our world for new comedy ideas. ALWASY be looking for ways to improve your act.