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

Archive for the ‘Improv’ Category

Wednesday February 22, 2012, 3:39pm - by WillyAppelman

 

No screenplay.  No budget. Yet  it’s a film worthy of an oscar nomination.

But if you’re not there you’ll never get a chance to see it ever again.  On Thursday Feb. 23rd at 10pm, The Movie will have it’s last show as part of the new ‘Director Series’ at The Magnet Theater.  A stacked team of seasoned Magnet performers fill the stage to create a filmic masterpiece. Spielberg can suck it.

Directed by Ed Herbstman, this improvised movie is better and cheaper than anything out right now and it’s actually in 3-D for real!  Make a reservation, turn your cell phones off and please don’t talk back at the screen. Because there is no screen. They are real people. Why is this so hard for you to understand?

Tuesday February 7, 2012, 4:53pm - by Ben Kharakh

Meditating has helped my focus, mood, and creativity.  When it comes to improv specifically, I think of a scene like a meditation session, with my partner (or perhaps the present moment in general) being what I focus on (as opposed to focusing on my breathing as I would during a regular meditation session). Any time I get in my head, I just bring my focus back to my partner and engage with as clear a mind as possible.

monks

Best. Improv. Group. Ever.

 

I remember when I first became conscious of what being “in the zone” felt like. My mind was clear, my focus was on the present moment, and my responses floated into my head. I didn’t need to think in order to know what to do.  Continue reading after the jump… more

Monday February 6, 2012, 6:11pm - by woodyfu
Fed's bodysuit

One thing I love seeing in scenes is when players create elaborate visual set-ups that the audience has to imagine. Sometimes it’s environmental — I remember a great Brick gag where the scene took place in “Office Narnia,” a private hide-away space that included weightlifting gear, endless bootleg cigarettes (“Camle” brand) and a cum bucket. OR! There was another time in the Program when the players assembled to create a giant, walking Statue of Liberty composed of dead bodies.

Other times it’s generated by the characters themselves — there was a great Dunk bit where the fumes from Taylor’s “stinky leg” was so overpowering that it physicalized and could knock people out. And sometimes it is as simple as an article of clothing on a character. Anytime a character is revealed as wearing overalls, a Buckingham Palace-guard-hat, or a Batman outfit, I love watching players take these cues and physicalize them or working them into the scene. What I’m saying is that I like to use my imagination! People!

I saw a Horses show recently and Fed’s character was obsessed with the Bodies exhibit and over the course of the show got his own body suit and crashed a dinner party with it on.

I got to use my imagination. I liked it!

I drew a picture of what I imagined it looked like:

Fed's bodysuit

Scene painting!

Get it? You get it. I will hopefully be doing more of these as time goes on. Oh, if you want to see pictures from that show, you can do so here.

PS – Thanks to gross gross Slim Goodbody for the reference.

 

– Woody Fu

Wednesday February 1, 2012, 9:17am - by WillQuinn

For my money, Stephen Colbert is the funniest man alive. He’s probably also the most interesting. I mean, come on! He’s a Sunday School teacher who hosts a subversive late night TV show and who once, at a taping I saw, answered a pre-show question of, “Are you f***ing Matt Damon?” with, “Why? Doe his d*** taste like me?”

Colbert in 1993

Carell, Dinello, Colbert & Razowsky in 1993 PHOTO: The Second City Chicago

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Tuesday January 31, 2012, 10:45am - by WillyAppelman

Growing up it was a bi-monthly event in my family.  We’d drive 45 minutes to the nearest movie theater, go out for Chinese Food and then go see something.  Something big.   But starting this Thursday my bi-monthly childhood treat will become a weekly one…

“The Movie” is coming to Magnet Theater!  This improvised long form will leave you a bit breathless.  It’s an entire improvised film, complete with cuts, pans, zooms, helicopter shots, and maybe even some prohibitively expensive CGI.  And if we’re lucky, we may get some Chinese Food before (but probably not).

It might be a heart-warming coming of age picture, or a tear-jerking sports hero battling cancer sort of thing.  Or maybe a sci-fi horror ‘stuck on a planet battling a monster (but the real monster is their own inner demon)’ sort of movie.  Maybe a combo of all three.  Doesn’t matter though.  I’ll be there.

“The Movie” is the first installment of The Directors Series, a 4-week series of performances wherein a Director selects a cast and presents a different form.  This month Ed Herbstman is directing Fiona Mallek, Jamie Rivera, Louis Kornfeld, Peter McNerney, Chet Siegel, Nick Kanellis, Christian Palluck, Woody Fu, Elana Fishbein and Alex Marino.  Every Thursday at 10pm in February!

Oh, and it’s part of Thursday Night Out – you get to see the whole night of shows for one $7 ticket.

–Willy Appelman

Monday January 30, 2012, 6:49pm - by catherinewing
In 2006, Josh Fulton, an alumnus of Magnet Megawatt teams Pax Romana and Science!, single-handedly embarked on an ambitious project, into which he poured countless hours of time and energy.  He decided to interview some of the most respected improv minds in the country, in person and over the phone.  He transcribed those interviews and posted them on his blog, Improv Interviews.  His very first interview was with Armando Diaz, co-founder of the Magnet Theater.
Armando Diaz being pointed at.

Armando Diaz being pointed at.

A complete list and breakdown of interviews come after the jump… more
Thursday January 19, 2012, 9:07am - by woodyfu
Henry Kaiser & Justin Moran

Musical improv lovers, where were you January 7th? If you were anywhere but the Magnet then kick yourself in the ears and jump into an elevator shaft. If you were at the Magnet seeing the opening night of Choral Rage’s new weekend run, then massage your ears lovingly and take a leisurely elevator ride wherever you please.

Henry Kaiser and Justin Moran

Choral Rage, one of the Magnet’s veteran musical improv teams, returned to the main stage to perform a musical mono scene (sort of. Does it count if they go to an alternate version of the same location?). In their opening number we were introduced one by one to the characters, then launched into a set that included a disintegrating, loveless 30-year marriage; a four-person affair; a father/son rivalry with opposing kitchens in the same diner; a cross-country-traveling pair of lovers; and a cigarette machine that opened a portal to parallel reality diner. more

Tuesday January 17, 2012, 1:56pm - by catherinewing

Take five of NYC’s sharpest improvisers, add a dash of Youtube, and stir well with the nimble fingers of a trusty Research Assistant in the tech booth: you get Search Engine, the newest innovative improv cocktail to hit the stage at the Magnet Theater. With improvisers hailing from 4Track, Mother, and Hello Laser, Search Engine promises to deliver knowledge that you didn’t even know you had to know.

Alan Fessenden, Jesse Falcon, Matt Evans, Alex Marino

more

Friday January 13, 2012, 3:56pm - by Chano Garcia
A big congratulations goes out to Hello Laser, The Boss, and Junior Varsity, who celebrated five awesome years at Magnet Theater at Thursday Night Out last week.

Phooka opened the night, and after great comedy from some of the tightest groups in the city, the evening ended with a heartfelt “Thank You” to these excellent teams from one of Magnet’s founders, Armando Diaz.  I have to say it truly was one of those rare evenings where the energy was contagious. Each team did more than just show up, did more than just killed, but combined to create an experience whereby the audience started looking at each other, silently corroborating that we were all indeed witnessing something magic and memorable.
But the strongest truth on display that night: Playing with your friends for so long, in this case five years, breeds a deep trust and playful aggression that generates an easy intensity and ridiculously funny show.
Here are some pics:

Hello Laser: Corey Grimes, Alex Marino, Alan Fessenden, Dave Warth

Friday January 13, 2012, 1:33pm - by Andrew Fafoutakis

Home is Where the Heart Is

magnet theater improv event

It started with one show. Back in June, the Magnet Theater was kind enough to host a “Gay Pride Show” in honor of New York’s Gay Pride Celebration. Louie Pearlman along with Roman Rimer organized a one-hour show featuring indie comedy band Thin Skin Johnny and a few select GLBTQ improvisers to join in on the fun. more