Tag Archive | teaching

Reflecting on the spread of the Improv Meme

Of late, I find myself teaching and coaching high and low throughout Portland. Some days I go from teaching college improv, to coaching middle schoolers, to coaching professional performers, to coaching organizations. As a scholar on the subject and a fanatic, I’ve developed a tendency to help the young and new to the art connect […]

5 Tenets of Ensemble Play

1) Keep it as equal as possible: Unless you’ve been elected to be the director/coach/teacher, it’s not the best of ideas to elect yourself to be the person who tells the ensemble what to do and how to play before you hit stage. This tends to communicate that you don’t trust the ensemble to succeed, […]

Roadblocks to Connection: “Sorry” and “Worry”

One of the first big ideas I introduce to new students is how “Sorry” and “Worry” are the biggest enemies to good improvisation. I do this because it’s the first thing that I consistently see operating in beginning improv classes filled with new students. It’s our default as humans when facing a new social landscape. […]

‘Yes And’ for Newbies

Improvised Theater has no script. No one made a map, and no one gets a moment to plan. That’s fine; I hate memorizing anyway, but how the heck are we just going to make up a scene both worthy of doing and worthy of being watched? All we have to do is be funny, isn’t […]

The Crushing Weight of Too Many Committments

Things going on: 8 credits of Graduate coursework requiring about 45 pages of writing and 2000 pages of reading over the next 8 weeks. Teaching, Rehearsing for Brody (2 nights a week). Performing and Rehearsing with “The Feast”. Rehearsing weekly with 2 other friends for a new project. My grad assisting for a class on […]

Middle School Improv

My week at Alki Middle School was a blur.  I had 30 6th, 7th, and 8th graders for 47 minutes a day for 5 days.  It was a mad dash to impart some basics while providing plenty of opportunity for practical and active involvement from the students. They had some great success with this silent […]