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Magnet Theater Blog: News and Ideas about Comedy, Improv Shows & Classes in NYC

Archive for the ‘Improv’ Category

Friday February 22, 2013, 3:54pm - by WillyAppelman


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Carly Monardo is a student, graphics designer and performer at The Magnet Theater.    Some of Carly’s recent Magnet projects include Made-Up Musical,  Trike and Magnet Sketch Teams (just to name a few).  We conducted an email interview with Carly Monardo, her answers are below!

*QUESTION: How long have you been drawing?

Carly: I’ve been drawing since as far back as I can remember. I had a few other interests as a kid (at various points I daydreamed about opening a restaurant or becoming a marine biologist) but there was never any doubt that drawing would play an important role in my life. My parents are actually both big appreciators of art in general and animation specifically; I grew up in a house where the walls were covered in production art from Looney Tunes and Disney movies. I have a twin sister who is also an artist, and whenever people as why we pursued art we both joke that we never really had a choice!

*QUESTION:  How did you get started and what inspires you now?

Carly: I feel really lucky to have this as my full-time career now! Remembering that this is what I always dreamed of doing keeps me focused when things are tough. I’m also inspired by the incredible work I see my peers producing, and I’m constantly mining the internet for more art. Every time I see an illustration or design that makes me think, “Oh man, I want to do that!” I make sure I get that person’s name.
*QUESTION: Can you talk a little about your improv background and how you got involved in comedy?

Carly:  I got into improv about a year and a half ago because I was looking for a creative outlet that wasn’t my primary way of earning a living. I had done some sketches and stuff as a kid, but it was all either stuff my sister and I wrote or goofy things I performed in at a day camp. I didn’t try improv until it was part of a week-long acting class that I (kind of bizarrely) had to take when I enrolled in the pre-college Animation program at SVA. The teacher hated us…it wasn’t a very good experience. Later in life I started to see shows at UCB, which I loved, but wasn’t inspired to try again until I went to the Magnet. Friends of mine are pals and collaborators with Justin Moran, so I saw Choral Rage and Featherweight perform and it looked like so much fun! I signed up for a free intro with Rick Andrews (the same free class that my fellow Magnet Designers were in, actually!) and I’ve been hooked since!
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Check our more of Carly’s work at www.carlymonardo.com and on Tumblr where she puts up sketches and goofy things.

Friday February 8, 2013, 4:25pm - by WillyAppelman

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The Magnet Training Center is open and classes will resume as normal for Saturday, February 9th.  Please travel safely and bundle up.

Magnet Theater shows for Saturday, February 9th are still a go as well!  Have fun and again, please travel safe.

Wednesday February 6, 2013, 12:17pm - by woodyfu
Do What You Did Again

Do What You Did Again

Monday February 4, 2013, 1:47pm - by WillyAppelman

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Over the weekend the Director’s of The Magnet’s Musical Improv Program held a town hall to discuss changes in the program.  Here is a recap of what was discussed:

1. There will be a Curriculum Change:

From now on, there’s a requirement of 4 levels before you can audition for a Musical House Team.  The current class is the last class that can audition after finishing Level 3. The new levels will be:
Level 1 – Song Structure
Level 2 – Song Types
Level 3 – Basic Narrative and Dramatic Question
Level 4 – Performance Workshop, Different Forms (once could liken it to a mix of Level 4 and Level 6 of the regular improv classes)
Forms will include monoscene, different musical styles, narrator, dramatic question, musicality/genre.

2. There will now be Musical Drop-in Classes on every other Saturday from 12-2, beginning in March.

3. The Circuit (Friday night Harold teams on the Training Center Stage) will add one musical team.

4. Current teams will remain. No teams will be cut, though some members might be shuffled around.
There will be 2 new teams. Auditions for these will be March 2, with callbacks March 3.
As there will be 8 teams, Tuesday nights will be restructured (and renamed – name suggestions are welcomed). Shows at 7, 8, 9, and mixer at 10.
Shows at 7 and 8 will be two sets each, 25 minutes each set.
Show at 9 will be one team doing a 45-minute set.
“Coaches” will be replaced by “Directors” who are selected and assigned by Michael Martin.

5. Mixer at 10 will be hosted by Trudy and have its own team.

6. There’s a new faculty member who will start by teaching Level 4 classes in March: Kirk Damato.http://www.magnettheater.com/performers/Kirk-Damato

 

That’s the recap!  See you at the shows!

Friday February 1, 2013, 1:13pm - by WillyAppelman

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The most recent Magnet Town Hall meeting took place Thursday, Jan. 31st at 6:30.  If you weren’t there, here is a quick recap of what was covered!

Rick Andrews, Head of Promotions, spoke about the many new graphics around the theater- all to the thanks of Carly Monardo, Adam Hawkins, Nolan Constantino & Dennis Pacheco.  These four have used their talents to create great show posters, stickers & t-shirts!  We’re going to be updating our Newsletter very soon, so keep your eyes peeled for that! We’re also going to be launching a street team!  If you’re interested in applying, please email schooldirector@magnettheater.com.  Also, if you have any questions about booking the Magnet for a Corporate show or anything else Magnet Tour Co. related, email Rick at rick@magnettheater.com.

Michael Martin, Director of The Musical Improv program spoke about the development of the program.  There are a few curriculum changes that will be going into effect in the next few months.  For more in depth information, be sure to check out The Musical Improv Town Hall, this Saturday (Feb. 2nd) at 11pm at The Magnet Training Center.

Kim Ferguson, The Magnet School Director, spoke about The Magnet Training Center.  The Training Center had a great 2012!   The Magnet has been able to add more specific classes, we’ve added Hip Hop Improv, Teen Improv (run by Elana Fishbein), more workshops & more advanced studies!  In 2012 the Magnet was able to offer special classes with Jeff Hiller, Kevin McDonald, Dave Razowsky, Christina Gausas and many more.  Congrats to new Magnet teachers, Nick Kanellis (Improv Level 1), Chet Siegel (Improv Level 1), Elana Fishbein (Teen Improv) and Melanie Hoopes (Intro to Solo Performance).  Many congrats!  Thanks to Sean Taylor for his incredible work with The Magnet Drop-In Program, be sure to check out the improv, sketch or musical improv Drop-In’s!  A special thanks goes to Kyle Levenick, The Training Center Night Manager, who has spearheaded the improvements and upkeep of The Magnet Training Center.

Megan Gray, The Magnet Artistic Director, spoke about getting involved in the theater. If you’re interested in applying for a written show, that’s a Test Drive.  If you’re interested in submitting your improv team to perform at The Magnet, that’s The Rundown.  Both of these applications can be found HERE on the Magnet website.  There will be more Special Improv Q & A’s coming up, so stay tuned.  Also, Megan will be taking office hours at The Magnet Training Center on Saturday, Feb. 23rd from 3-6pm.  This is a great time to bring up any comments, ideas or concerns.  Please email Megan to set up an appointment: megan@magnettheater.com.

Quinton Loder, The Magnet Theater Manager, spoke about the physical changes in the space.  His focus has been making the theater safe, friendly and professional.  He is always open to suggestions: Quinton@magnettheater.com.  Dave Warth has been brought on as The Magnet Technical Director- welcome Dave!

Armando Diaz & Ed Herbstman, Co-Owners of The Magnet Theater, talked about The Magnet’s conception and future.  Ed urged students to utilize their honed skills and apply them to different aspects of performing.  Armando talked about keeping the Magnet true to its roots.  The Theater is growing, and in this growth, Armando urged, it’s important to remember who we are.

That’s all!  See you at The Theater!

Wednesday January 23, 2013, 2:47pm - by WillyAppelman

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The next Magnet Town Hall Meeting will be held at The Magnet Theater on Thursday, January 31st at 6:30pm.  Boom!

Come hear the latest about the Magnet Theater and Training Center.  We’ll talk about highlights from 2012 and things to look forward to in 2013.  This is an open forum for students and performers to connect with Magnet teachers, managers and other people that run things or make decisions.  This will also be a great way for performers and students to learn about recent changes, current initiatives and upcoming projects and opportunities. Lots to discuss. All are welcome. Including you.

Thursday, January 31st at 6:30pm!  See you there!

Thursday January 3, 2013, 3:29pm - by WillyAppelman

Saturday, January 5th marks the beginning of The Magnet Theater’s New Sketch Lab!  Sketch Lab is a weekly workshop to encourage sketch development.  One of the Magnet’s top sketch directors will provide feedback on your work and answer any questions you may have about the writing process. Sketch writers of all levels are welcome, whether you’re considering taking a sketch class, in a class currently, or between classes.  So this Saturday, come to the Magnet Training Center (259 w. 30th St.) from 12pm-2pm and bring $5, and get feedback on your freshest work!

No registration required…see you there!

Thursday December 27, 2012, 3:29pm - by WillyAppelman


The Evente is not the easiest form out there, in fact it can be quite difficult to understand at times.  It begins with one central event, suggested by the audience, and builds from there.  The forms utilizes flashbacks and time jumps, all while focusing on relationships surrounding the event. Created by Armando Diaz in the late 90’s, it is part of the “wild wild west improv movement” that Diaz created when he started the Magnet in 2005.

Check out the above chart  that will help you understand Evente better!  And if you’re looking to study the form with Alex Marino, the next session starts February 2nd!  More info!

Tuesday December 18, 2012, 12:31am - by WillyAppelman

The Magnet Theater is proud to announce New Magnet Sketch Teams!  Thank you to everyone who applied!  We had an overwhelming response and are proud to add two new teams! Sketch team shows will resume Sundays in January at 9:30pm.
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New Team: BROWN
Will Quinn
Jason Salmon
Rob Asaro
Emily Newhouse
Clark Lantz
Kristen Bartlett
Fredric Goldstein
Billy Bob Thompson
Joe Lepore
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New Team: BOARD OF EDUCATION
Jamaal Sedayao
David Sewell
Chet Siegel
Stephanie Streisand
Becca Schall
Andy Mills
Robert Ramsey
John Kitsis
Rachel Siegel
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DISPACHO
Ruby Marez
Jed Teres
Alex Marino
Todd Shaeffer
Adam Twitchell
Ingrid Ostby
Bob Kern
Steph Garcia
Andrew Yurman-Glaser
_________
JACKTOWN
Kim Ferguson
Vince Milosevich
Alan Fessenden
Joe Miles
Sean Taylor
Andrew Vuilleumier
Kelly Warne
Gwen Mesco
Jimmy O’Connell
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BREAKFAST FOR DINNER
Emily Shapiro
Jim Turner
Branson Reese
Nivea Serrao
David Rynn
Kaitlin Fontana
Geri Cole
Jon Moisan
Ally Kornfeld
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RISKY BOTTOM
Jane Stolar
Gretchen Poole
Jana Schmieding
Matt Antonucci
Lauren Olsen
Matt Wassung
Kate Emswiler
Rob Webber
Jon Bander
Tuesday December 4, 2012, 4:10pm - by WillyAppelman


“The Narrator” is the tenth installment of The Director Series, a 3-week string of performances wherein a Director selects a cast and presents a different form. This month Michael Martin directs “The Narrator” with musical direction by Frank Spitznagel.

“The Narrator” is a musical improv show wherein a narrator tells a story (aided by the audience’s suggestions) which is then reenacted by the performers on stage.  This is the first Musical Director’s Series we’ve had the pleasure of presenting and we couldn’t be more excited.  Says Director Michael Martin, “rather than doing an improvised musical, we’re doing a musical that is improvised. This means that we’re going for compelling stories with high stakes emotional conflicts to underwrite our funny moments. Audiences should expect a wild ride. Certainly there will be laughter. Possibly there will be tears, and definitely one actor will be in the driver’s seat calling the shots for a completely realized musical narrative.”  Don’t miss opening night, this Thursday at 10pm!

Featuring: Woody Fu, Ross Taylor, Ryan Dunkin, Oscar Montoya, Lorraine Cink, Laura Dlug, Jordan Hirsch, Michael Lutton, Joe Hendel!

More info–>http://www.magnettheater.com/shows/40080-The-Director-Series-The-Narrator