In this 4-week class you will receive a solid grounding in every key aspect of improv. You will feel confident and “prepared” when asked to work without a script. You will be able to explore and expand an idea that a director tosses out to you. You will be able to handle any situation that is suggested to you at a commercial audition, television studio, or movie set. The NY Times calls Carl Kissin, “the perfect master of improvisation!”
The industry is increasingly turning to improvisation. Never be caught without the right words ever again — even when no words are handed to you!
Sept. 6,13,20,27 – 6:30PM – 8:30PM
at Ripley-Grier @ 520 8th Ave.
Week #1: Introduction to Improv
The foundational pillars. One of the great aspects of improv is that even the most fundamental principles are fun to learn. In this class you will be challenged to reinforce your listening and observation skills, learn the power of saying “yes-and” in every situation, and establish the fundamental reality of your scene, also known as the “who, what, and where.” From that solid ground you can find the all-important premise of the scene and then create change, which is critical to effective drama.
Week #2: Story-telling and Narration
Another way to put a dramatic situation on stage is through story. From The Moth to solo shows, stories have many ways to be told. In this class we will explore principles such as the main character having a quest, overcoming obstacles, and reaching their goal. We will use techniques such as justification and specificity. And when you are ready to go into high gear, we will try to tell our stories in the styles of different playwrights or movies.
Week #3: Character
Once you can do a truthful dramatic scene as yourself, it is time to branch out by adding characterizations. We will experiment with a variety of exercises where you explore characters who are a different age, have different personalities, and hail form all over the world. Diversity will be on display.
Week #4: Putting it all together
With fundamentals starting to take hold in our brains, we move on to more advanced improvisations, for example — group scenes and interconnected scenes. We will also learn to create our environment, work on our physicality, and ratchet up our spontaneity. Learning to trust our choices is critical to improv, as is achieving believability in made-up situations — “truth in comedy.” Every week is a joyous journey, but it is most exciting when all the skills begin to come together.
CARL KISSIN performed 4000 shows for the legendary improv and comedy troupe, Chicago City Limits. He was their Headwriter and Director of their National Touring Company. The NY Times called him, “the perfect master of improvisation.” The Daily News said, “smacks of comic genius.” Carl has performed his own material on “The Today Show” and “The Joan Rivers Show.” He was in Eric Bogosian’s Talk Radio at the Public Theatre as well as Oliver Stone’s movie version. A 3-time winner of the Manhattan Monologue Slam, Carl wrote book & lyrics for the musical “Date of a Lifetime,” (Winner: Best lyrics – NY Musical Theatre Festival).