Magnet Theater Blog
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Long-time Magnet performer and all-around swell guy, Sean Taylor, joins host Louis Kornfeld in the studio for an interview. A military brat growing up, Sean has called New York City home longer than anywhere else and, since moving to NYC right out of college in 1999, Sean has watched the improv boom happen first-hand. He’s gone from diehard ASSSSCAT fan to a Harold Night player to an instructor at Magnet. He and Louis discuss the underground nature of those earlier days and how the UCB seemed to bring a sense of positivity, respect, and empathy to the NYC comedy scene. Sean tells us how community plays such an important part in his life, whether it’s comedy, eating pizza, playing softball, or meeting his wife. Louis asks Sean about teaching the weekly Drop-In Class and his upcoming elective course Here, Now, discussing the difference between working with a steady group of students versus one that changes week to week and his love of discovery in two person scenes. As a teacher, he applies the debugging skills from his work as a computer programmer to classes in an effort to guide people away from fear-based choices to joy-based ones. These two vets also discuss the early days of Magnet, the difference between agreement and acceptance, and the privilege of being continually inspired by other improvisers.
Enjoy Episode #33 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
Working on solo characters? Developing a new sketch?
The Magnet Theater is proud to present a new show coming in March, powered by new ideas—The Generator!
Every Sunday at 6pm, Magnet students, writers and performers try out brand-new sketches and solo characters in 5 and 15-minute slots. The Generator will also help writers develop a larger show one piece at a time. It’s never-before-seen comedy for your eyeballs.
See you at the premiere on Sunday, March 1st at 6pm.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On this episode of the podcast, we welcome UCBT performer, instructor, and improv nerd Brandon Gardner into the studio to talk about college improv, his class focused on creating improvised plays, and various elements of compelling improv. Our host, Louis Kornfeld, begins the hour getting into Brandon’s vast experiences working with college improv teams and bookends the 60ish minutes by taking it all back to those formative years. In the meantime, Brandon describes why he became interested in bringing elements of theater to the improv stage and how he challenges actors to improvise and improvisers to act. For all our fellow improv nerds out there, you’ll love as Louis and Brandon parse through topics such as displaying emotion versus emoting authentically; playing to the top of your intelligence versus playing to the top of your integrity; story versus plot; and dramatic comedy versus comedic drama. These two veteran teachers trade exercises and generally advise on what is essential to playing satisfying improv scenes. Check it out!
Enjoy Episode #32 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
Stop by the theater tomorrow night (Tuesday, February 10th) for a very special edition of Musical Megawatt—Musical MS’terpieces! Last year, we raised nearly $400 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Climb to the Top…this year, we hope to do even better and we’d love your help!
In addition to stellar musical improv from some of your favorite house teams (The Stragglers, Aquarius, Goats, Mint Condition and Wonderland), we’ll also be selling baked goods and raffling off prizes to raise donations for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. What can you win? Bottles of wine, Magnet Theater show tickets, a beach towel with the TARDIS on it, scented candles that were made by (and smell like) members of Wonderland, and much much more—all for an important cause.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system. The mission of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is to mobilize people and resources to drive research and address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. All donations raised tomorrow night will benefit the 10,000 people living with MS in New York City and its surrounding areas by helping fund comprehensive programs and services for people with MS as well as ongoing efforts towards a cure.
Laugh, sing, and dance in the face of MS with shows at 7pm, 8pm and 9pm. Raffle drawings will be held at the top of the 9 o’clock hour! Baked goods will be sold all night! Plus, we’ll cap off the evening with a Musical Mixer (with special guest Goats) at 10:15pm.
Hope to see you there—but if you can’t make it and you’d like to make a donation, you can do so here. Thank you for your support!
Gather around, friends! For this episode, we’ve got Carly and Justin from Now We Are Friends, a monthly variety show in New York City that features improv, sketch, and live music. They sit down with our host Louis Kornfeld to talk about their show, which is celebrating its second anniversary this Sunday, February 8th. The show’s host, Justin Morgan, and show creator/performer/producer, Carly Monardo, get into what the show means to them and we all learn the value of friendship in the arts. They discuss the long history of comedy and music sharing performance spaces, plus, Louis endorses NWAF as a refreshingly douche-free show! Huzzah!
Catch their 2nd Anniversary Show this Sunday, February 8th, at The Parkside Lounge at 9PM!
Enjoy Episode #31 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
Magnet Theater is now accepting applications for the 2015 spring season of Megawatt. Please fill out THIS FORM no later than FEBRUARY 21st to apply for an audition slot.
Anyone who has completed Magnet Level 6 is eligible to apply, though please note that a completed form does not guarantee an audition slot. Due to the high volume of eligible improvisers and a limited number of slots, priority will be given to students and performers who have finished the class or performed on a Megawatt team within the last year.
Confirmations will be sent out by SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 22nd.
CLICK HERE to apply.
Our host Louis Kornfeld sits down with Ross Taylor, director of February’s Directors Series: Shlongform, to chat about growing up in Missouri, touring with Second City, and doing comedy in NYC. Having somewhat recently celebrated his five year anniversary of NYC and improv, Ross tells Louis about getting his start in hometown Missouri with speech and debate before moving on to do theater at Mizzou and later getting into comedy. Regarding his show Shlongform, Ross talks about why he’s marrying short form with long form and our duo discusses the historic attitudes towards short form in NYC. Having both done tours with Second City’s cruise ship ensembles, Louis and Ross dive into their experiences entertaining folks on Norwegian Cruise Line boats and how those experiences translate back to their work in New York. Ross also chats about working with his long-running team The Wrath and divulges how to keep a team strong and inspiring. Plus, Louis asks Ross about The Oakwood Boys, his religious country music duo, and the guys talk about the collegiate feel of the improv community. Tune in!
Enjoy Episode #30 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
Hosts of Magnet Theater’s monthly character show, Jana & Lauren Presents, Jana Schmieding and Lauren Olson have a long history of collaboration, dating back to their days at University of Oregon all the way to today. Our two guests sit down with host Louis Kornfeld to discuss improvising from their guts, their creative processes, and what they think makes for the best kind of comedy. They walk us through the genesis of Jana & Lauren Presents as a place to hone and showcase their character skills and how they encourage everyone to create and perform characters that push the risk factor onstage. Louis asks Jana & Lauren about their respective solo shows and they chat about finding your karass. Jana has invented a made-up word and Louis reveals his only successful character to date! Tune in to find out both!!
Enjoy Episode #29 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
Due to the weather, ALL MAGNET CLASSES AND SHOWS have been CANCELED for tonight, Monday, January 26th. We’re not sure about Tuesday yet, but stay tuned and we’ll have an update for you by tomorrow (January 27th) at 2pm.
If you had a class today, don’t worry! We’ll reschedule! Our School Director will email you with all the details as soon as we have them worked out. If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to reach out: schooldirector[at]magnettheater[dot]com.
Stay warm and stay safe, everyone!