“How do you do that?” “I would never know what to say!” “It just makes me so nervous…”
are some of the usual comments I hear when I tell people that I have been doing improv competitively and at comedy clubs since I was a teenager. I’ll usually respond with, you don’t need to know what you’re going to say all the time…you don’t know what you are going to say to me next in this conversation, but yet you will find something, and it will likely be interesting and spark conversation. My number one lesson about improv: you are more interesting than you think, and that strange idea you get on stage or that weird comment you make during a scene, is probably a lot funnier than you give yourself credit for. So just go for it!
Improv is a large component of the Comedy Playground curriculum…and I think it is an invaluable skill, not just for actors, but for anyone. As an actor, you absolutely MUST be able to think on your toes, and that’s what improv does for you. As an average joe or every day Jane? Improv helps too! When you go into a job interview, a whole lot of it is improv because you don’t know exactly what questions you are going to be asked. When you go on a first date, you aren’t going to plan out your conversation…improv helps build the confidence to just run with it…to listen and to be present in the moment, and to trust yourself.
Improv is not just jumping on stage, acting crazy, and saying whatever comes to your mind, however. As part of the Comedy Playground program you will learn improv from one of the best teachers I have ever studied the ‘prov with…Katey Mushlin…and she will take you deep into the heart of improv; how to utilize technique, how to own your space, and how to own your voice and ideas while supporting others.
I’m Andrew Walker…and for now:
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Stay funny, keep laughing
Hello fellow comedians, comedy enthusiasts, comedy playground alumni and to anyone else who happens to stumble upon this blog!
My name is Andrew Walker, and I am the new media intern for Comedy Playground. I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to all of you, in the hopes that we can connect in the near future!
I am twenty six years old, originally from Canada, and I moved to Los Angeles last July to pursue a career in acting. I spent a lot of time in my youth doing improv, but I was never given the opportunity to try stand up comedy…until I met Susanna Spies in my third semester at AMDA in Hollywood, where I am currently studying acting. In mere seconds of trying stand up comedy, I was hooked. In mere weeks I had begun, with the expert guidance of Susanna, to develop and hone my own comedy voice. I now consider myself an up and coming stand up comedian with the confidence to develop, write, and voice my own material on stage in front of a crowd. So much of this is because of Susanna’s great teaching methods….she works with people to help them find their own comedy voice, to find the funny from the truth, from the things you think and know, instead of just throwing a bunch of punchlines against a wall, so to speak.
I truly wish I would have had the opportunity to take stand up comedy classes as a teenager. My biggest blockade against trying stand up was fear; fear of failure, fear of rejection…but just trying it once proved to me how NOT scary it is! If I could have conquered that fear at a younger age, I can only imaging where I would be now with my stand up comedy. I strongly feel that teenagers looking for an outlet of expression, or trying to find a stronger voice, self confidence, or awareness of self, can greatly benefit from taking a comedy class with Susanna. Stand up comedy and improvisation are vital skills that extend far beyond the realm of theatre and stand up comedy clubs. Let’s get teens involved in great programs like Comedy Playground early, so that they can build their voice!
I’m Andrew Walker, please continue reading my blogs. Please comment or post on our facebook page! Please tweet us @teencomics and please share your funny videos with us!!! We look forward to getting to know you, and hopefully you will take some time to get to know us!!
PS We are currently enrolling for our fall semester, so if you know anyone at all who would be interested, drop us a line!!!