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Improv Cheat Codes
with Michael Jastroch
Master improv with this one weird trick! This is what the improv professionals don’t want you to know! You’ll never believe these improv hacks! Clickbait headlines to get you to sign up for this class!
All kidding aside, whether your improv goal is solid storytelling or pure comedy chaos, many beginner and intermediate improvisers find that their ability to execute quality scene work can be frustratingly inconsistent.
But here’s the thing that people who have been at this a long time already know: improv only feels hard because we make it too complicated. Good scene work isn’t a mystery, and it never has to feel like work. This playful workshop geared for all skill levels focuses on improv’s secret “cheat codes” – tactics and tricks that will allow us to get out of our heads, simplify things, and make every single one of our scenes fun to watch and fun to be in.
MICHAEL JASTROCH is a comedic actor, writer, and improv instructor, formerly based out of Austin, TX, and presently living his “Van Life” dream of traveling the country and working out of Walmart Parking lots.
As one of the founders of ColdTowne Theater and a member of the seminal improv groups ColdTowne and the Frank Mills, Michael has won several awards for his work, including “Best Comedy Group ” in the Austin Chronicle Reader’s poll and the B. Iden Payne award for “Outstanding Improv Ensemble.” His improv and sketch comedy podcast Victrola! was named one of Austin’s “Best Comedy Podcasts” and nominated by Austin Chronicle readers as one of the city’s best comedy groups.
Michael has taught improv comedy for the last seventeen years and has been nominated and won “Best Improv Teacher” and “Best Improv Coach” a whole bunch. He’s taught his improv workshops all over the country, including at the Magnet Theater in NYC, the Oberlin College Improv Festival, The Oklahoma Improv Festival, the Phoenix Improv Festival, The Dallas Comedy Fest, The Alaska State Improv Fest, and the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival in Chapel Hill.
Stand-Up Level 01
with Rochelle McConico
Level 01 covers the fundamentals of stand-ups Over seven weeks, you will learn jokes construction, style, and, most importantly, confidence. What's your unique comedic voice and how do you craft material around it and connect to an audience through it. With direct feedback, you'll construct a full set of original material with a showcase at the end to premiere it.
ROCHELLE MCCONICO is the founder and CEO of MoonCricket Productions a live entertainment company specializing in interactive, multisensory comedic events. She is a visionary, writer, producer, and performer. In June 2020, Rochelle launched the Amuse-Bouche Comedy Festival to showcase the many great improvisers, comedy podcasters and stand-ups in New Orleans and performed as all three. In 2022, she followed up by co-founding, programming, performing and co-headlining the Lysistrata Comedy Festival, an all femme comedy festival, in New Orleans.
Additionally, Rochelle performs standup, improv, and sketch around the country both individually and with the groups: Black Improv Alliance’s Wakanda Vs. Everybody, Black As Phuck, Switchblade, Edge Control, and No Lye Comedy.
Notably she has performed improv at the New York Comic Con (2022), Black and Funny Ocean City Festival (2022), and Baton Rouge Improv Festival (2022); sketch in the Dallas Comedy Festival (2018) and the Los Angeles Diversity in Comedy Showcase (2019), and stand-up in the the Black Girl Giggles Festival (2018) and Tower City Comedy Festival (2022). Rochelle also hosted during the Austin Sketchfest (2022) and will be appearing in the Moontower Comedy Festival in April 2023.
Rochelle also wrote, directed, and starred in three plays centering her alter ego character, billionaire media heiress Stangela Angela Hemsworth Kingsley Winthrop Farouk Adams III: I’m Only Here for the Snacks, and Stangela for President, and Stangela’s Swamp Thing. The first two plays were both featured at Infringe Fest in New Orleans (2018 & 2019).
with CB Goodman
Want to uncover what makes you and only you funny? Looking to improve your improv, stand up, sketch, or acting skills? Want to make an outrageous comedy show but don’t know where to begin? Simply FREE YOUR INNER IDIOT! We all have inner idiots and through clown we can begin to figure out who that idiot is and learn to share it with an audience. Being honest, sensitive, and vulnerable are the keys. When you share your idiot with an audience they will go with you anywhere and watch you do anything. Clown techniques help you gain access to your idiot as well as help you gain confidence, expand your imagination, and improve audience connection, all the while laughing your ass off. Through games, exercises, flops, and laughs we will try and discover your idiot. And at the end we learn how to take these techniques and turn them into an unforgettable comedy show that is as unique as you are.
This 3-hour class is great for comedy performers, actors, misfits, or anyone curious.
CB GOODMAN is the Founding Director of Grackle Jack Productions based in Austin, Texas. Her work incorporates disparate source materials, clown, bouffon, drag, physical theatre, and puppetry and has been presented at venues in Austin, New Orleans, Charlotte, Atlanta, and New York City. Her current show, In The Beginning received Best Clown, Top Grossing, and the Jill Miersch Award at the 2023 Frigid New York Fringe. CB has trained with clown teachers Philippe Gaulier, Aitor Basauri, Mick Barnfather, and Shannan Calcutt as well as theatre companies Complicité, Atlantic Theatre Company, and SITI Company. She has been teaching clown infused classes since 2014, winning the Teaching Award at Southwestern University in 2020. She also directs and designs for local colleges and theatre companies.
with Asaf Ronen
No lesson plans. Just a steady stream of scenework to help you pinpoint your individual tendencies. Find out what your strengths are and where you could explore further. Working in a non-stop series of improv reps, you'll learn what your patterns are and how to break them through personalized challenges. Great for intermediates who want to develop new skills and for professionals who want to keep fresh.
ASAF RONEN is the author of Directing Improv: Show the Way By Getting Out of the Way. He regularly performs, teaches and produces in Austin, was Education Director at The Institution Theater for eight years and is currently the Conservatory Director at ColdTowne Theater. He is also a Producer and Education Director of Austin’s annual Out of Bounds Comedy Festival. He has taught and performed improvisation in Canada, Great Britain, Norway and in twenty-eight of these United States with such groups as the B. Iden Payne Award winning Confidence Men (improvised plays in the style of David Mamet) and imp (mostly silent improv). He was also producer on TRUST US, THIS IS ALL MADE UP, a documentary on legendary improvisers TJ & Dave that premiered at Austin’s South by Southwest Festival in 2009 and helped develop the improvised film Days of Delusion with director Scott Myers. In 1999, Asaf founded the improv website, YESand.com of which he is Editor-in-Chief.