SPRING CLASSES start April 7/8
– Saturday 10am Teens NYC, NOON Kids 8-12 NYC Thru May 19 Showcase – BONUS Master Classes with Walter 11am-2pm June 2, 9, 16 (11am OPEN MIC, 11:30 IMPROV, 1pm OPEN MIC)
– Sunday 6pm Farmingdale Long Island Thru May 20 Showcase, BONUS June 3, 10, 17
JUNE 23 12p BONUS SPRING SHOWCASE open to all Spring Class students. 11am Call for performersl
More info and Discount registration options CLICK HERE imporv4teens.org
LISTEN – FOCUS – REPEAT SUCCESSES – LEARN FROM MISTAKES
Professional Improv Comedy
RSVP for free tickets for students and their families
Every week will include a chance to play improv comedy games. Every week starts with a warm-up that strengthens both
THE WHO – Every great story starts with characters. In Improv comedy it is our job to create fun characters to serve the story. But more importantly is the relationship between these characters. TECHNIQUE TIP – Name the relationship (married, dating, siblings, parent/child, teacher/student, cousins, grandparent, best friends etc) in the first statement. This gets the players AND audience on the same page, triggering imaginations of both. At this stage NEVER play strangers. Work on developing a relationship. Play the scene of the relationship. YES AND… details offered by your scene partner. LISTEN to their offerings and RESPOND moving the story forward, perhaps revealing past events.
THE WHERE – Every great story starts with setting/location. Identify a WHERE for your scene in the first line of dialogue. Make a choice. YES AND… details about the where, including in your pantomime work. SEE the location your playing.
THE WHAT – Create and ACTION to begin your scene. Think about WHO and WHERE you are. Perform an activity – work, play, hobby etc – that helps establish your WHO & WHERE. What is your character’s objective, obstacles etc. WHAT do you NEED from your scene partner’s character. RAISE THE STAKES. BE IN THE MOMENT. Respond to your partners offers in real time. MAKE BIG CHOICES!!!
WHEN IN DOUBT…
- FACE THE AUDIENCE. We want to see your smiling face.
- SMILE – unless playing a serious, sad or angry character. SMILE
- FOCUS – listen to your SCENE partner when not talking. ALSO Listen when you are not on stage. Teachers will say many things throughout class. Learn from others mistakes and successes.
- SHARE THE STAGE – Improv is a TEAM effort. Spend more time listening than talking. Spend more energy making your teammates looks great. THE WHOLE team will have your back so no need to worry about how you look, sound etc
- TRUST yourself and your teammates
- HAVE FUN! But never at anyone else’s expense. Our comedy is a team effort, NEVER jokes making fun of another’s looks, heritage, gender, life choices, clothing, hair, etc etc etc
STAND-UP COMEDY / SKETCH COMEDY
Scripted comedy writing can be created in many ways. Here is our recommended system…
OPEN MICS – Every comic grows up in open mics and other showcases. One simply gets on stage and tries out some new material, or works on changes to old material. EVERY TIME YOU GET ON STAGE organize/outline your thoughts before. Just play while on stage. HAVE FUN! Then go right to your journals and analyze the set/ HOW I DID IT GO WHAT WORKED? WHAT FLOPPED? other notes…
At every class we offer students a chance to work on their material. A student should never say – “I have nothing to say today”. ALWAYS BE PREPARED! Try something new or work on old routine.
OBSERVE YOUR WORLD / BRAINSTORM IDEAS – Keep a journal of observations and experience. Every day a comic will jot down a few (5-10) ideas they might want to try out. A comic is NEVER without something to talk about. At the first class, don’t worry about having a routine ready for a show. Just get up and tell us about something you have seen or experienced.
BRAINSTORM DETAILS – NOW Take one of those ideas to the next level. Hopefully you have already been up on stage once to share this idea out loud. How did that go (WRITE IN YOUR JOURNAL)? Now flesh out some details. Who are the main characters? Where did this take place? What happened? What did you see, hear, taste, smell, feel (physically, mentally, emotionally). Now get up on stage and try out some of these new details. How did that go (WRITE IN YOUR JOURNAL)? This stage is the equivalent of going to the library to develop a research paper or oral presentation. Except the library is your own mind. REMEMBER when you BRAINSTORM don’t judge. Literally VOMIT ideas from your mind to the page.
ORGANIZE YOUR THOUGHTS – EVERY TIME you need to go on stage, outline what you want to talk about. Comics bring their journals/note on stage all the time in early stages of writing new jokes/routines. NOW start to formally outline the routine. Start thinking in terms of beginning, middle, end. Get on stage and talk about this story. How did that go (WRITE IN YOUR JOURNAL)?
TURNING STORIES INTO SKETCHES – The biggest difference between stand-up and sketch comedy? Stand-up is telling the story while Sketch comedy is re-enacting the story. Many sketches – as well as plays, Tv shows and movies – started as simple stories of experience and observation. Try writing a mini play, a series of lines of dialogue between two characters. Just like stand-up, find a scene partner and try reading the skit on stage. How did that go (WRITE IN YOUR JOURNAL)? Make changes.
FINDING THE FUNNY – We will expand on this though out class sessions. Start each new routine just by sharing what you saw/experienced. Now lets add some funny. 1) Try adding experiences from other stories than are related. 2) MAGIC THREE – Greek Tragedy, Shakespeare and almost EVERY comedy routine ever works great in THREEs 3) RAISE THE STAKES – consider and outcome that might be SLIGHTLY more outrageous that what really happened. 4) SOLVE YOUR PROBLEM – many great punchlines stem from WHAT YOU COULD HAVE DONE?
WHEN IN DOUBT – If you get a laugh, great. Rules are meant to be broken. BUT as new students, try our methods first. As you grow and mature as a comic – Improv, Stand-Up, Sketch Writing etc – you will develop your own process. But if things are not working out, go back to the basics every time!
SPRING CLASSES start April 7/8
NEW – PLEASE EAT before coming to classes. We recommend bring a bottle of water to every class. But food in class is distracting. And kids can choke getting on stage with food in the mouth.
SAFETY – The stage is a dangerous place. Lack of focus can lead to injury. We reserve the right to remove students engaging in unsafe / disruptive behavior from class.