Magnet Theater Blog
From his young days dancing cumbia in Colombia through his college years at SUNY Purchase and onto his professional life as a comedian in NYC, Oscar Montoya has always kept it real. He joins host Louis Kornfeld on this week’s episode of the podcast to discuss the college they both attended, transitioning from a world of dance into one of comedy, and what he finds most important in improv. Oscar talks about opening up to improv as an art and allowing improv to open him up as a person. Louis asks him about his monthly variety show, Ethnic Realness, and they chat about the importance of improvising because you want something that speaks to you and how adding more voices to the mix only makes it relate to more people. Communication in king in Oscar’s world and he forces us to posit: Improv has to speak to you, or else, why would you do it?
Enjoy Episode #28 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
We’ve got a brand-new training center! We’re so excited!
As of Saturday, Jan. 24, we’ll be beginning the process of moving classes, rehearsals, writing meetings, etc. over to our new space at 22 W. 32nd Street on the 10th floor. Things might be a little hectic for a while, so please bear with us, but we’ll do our best to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone.
What does all this mean? We now have 10 classrooms, a studio theater, a dedicated writers’ room and more than two bathrooms (so luxurious!). Simply put, it’s a bigger, better space to keep up with our growing needs as a training ground for the best comedic minds in the world.
This is a new, exciting chapter for us and it wouldn’t be possible without your enthusiasm, hard work, and continued brilliance.
Thanks for being the best community around. Stop by and check out the new digs when you can!
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**Update** — Sketch Club now meets Sundays 3-5pm.
Sketch Club is a drop-in sketch writing workshop devoted to qualified sketch students and performers who are interested in developing and performing their own material. The drop-in will meet on Saturdays 3-6pm beginning February 7th. Members of Sketch Club will workshop original sketches every week at a table read run by Armando Diaz. Participants will be encouraged to try out their sketches at the soon-to-premiere “Generator” show on Sundays at 6pm. Interested in participating? Email SketchClub@magnettheater.com for more information!
The Devil himself, Branson Reese, joins us on this episode of the podcast as he sits down with host Louis Kornfeld to discuss performing for children, the links between rock music and improv, and why he hates the term “flawless.” Branson tells us about his work with Story Pirates and why children make the most honest audiences. He and Louis also get into the topic of process as product as it relates to both improv and rock and roll and Branson pitches a book that everyone should read. You’ll hear all about Branson’s work with sketch team The Junk Brothers, plus his philosophical take on mythological tricksters like Loki, and of course, the Devil.
Extra Bonus: Find out why Branson screams in all of his shows!
Enjoy Episode #27 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
We’ve had a few jobs open up and we’d love to tell you about ‘em! Check out all the details below and if you think you’d be a great fit, we want to hear from you.
Part-Time Training Center Assistant (Evenings)
We’re looking for a friendly, responsible and detail-oriented office assistant to open, close and maintain the Magnet Theater Training Center. Hours are from 6-11pm Monday – Sunday. We’re looking for several candidates that can regularly work at least 2-3 nights a week.
-Knowledge of MS Office Suite and Goggle Apps
-Ability to to lift 15 lbs.
-Please be personable, calm, efficient and detail-oriented—and of course, a sense of humor is a plus!
Please send resume and cover letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Always wanted to be “on house?” We’re looking for responsible, personable and generally unflappable folks to join our crew of House Managers at the Magnet Theater.
Interested? Email your resume and salary requirements to Quinton@Magnettheater.com.
We’ll get in touch with those we’d like to interview, so please don’t call or email about the positions. Thanks!
Hold on to your NuvaRings. The Lady Sketch Show is back—and this year, we want YOU to help us make it bigger and better than ever!
Here’s how it’ll work:
We’ll be meeting on Saturdays 12-3 at the new Magnet Training Center (22 West 32nd Street, 10th floor) for six weeks starting January 31st.
You’ll bring in a mix of new and rewritten sketches each week (1 or 2). We’ll give each other feedback for rewrites. The best sketches will be put into the final shows (March 16th, 23rd and 30th at 7pm).
For the first meeting all we ask is that you bring in is:
1. An example of a sketch that you saw on TV or staged and why you love it.
2. An example of something that happened in your day/week/month/life that you thought was really funny. Anything.
THAT’S IT! You don’t even have to write anything just yet. Give it a try.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED:
But I’ve never written sketch or taken a sketch class.
That’s totally fine. We still want you.
But I really can’t write. Can I just perform?
You can get involved as a performer only. Come to the meeting anyway. You might find yourself accidentally writing something amazing.
But I can’t perform/memorize lines.
You can just write then.
I write better with a partner. I can’t do this on my own.
You and your (female) partner can present co-written material at meetings. Alternatively, if you realize you really like working with someone at the meetings, you can go off and write together.
I can’t make all the meetings.
Come when you can. What ends up in the show will be the best material, meaning it will probably have been presented to the group and rewritten a number of times, but feel free to show up when you can.
Is this going to be a comedy show only about periods and tampons?
No, it will be about whatever you decide to write.
But I’m still scared.
Follow your fear. Remember how hard improv used to seem before you actually tried it?
See you there,
Amanda Xeller, Megan Gray & Chet Siegel
Lee Overtree, Artist Director of Story Pirates and writer/director of FOUND The Musical, sits down with our own Louis Kornfeld for a discussion on effective education, how children are amazing writers, and his experience in adapting unconventional source material for the stage. Story Pirates is a nationally respected education and media organization founded in 2003 to celebrate the words and ideas of young people and Lee has been there from the very beginning. He and Louis discuss improv in the classroom and on the stage and Lee asserts that desire drives learning. He also shares how the Story Pirates get kids to have fun with expository writing and talks about the Story Pirates Podcast. True to his Story Pirates roots, Lee grants Louis “permission to get weird” in this episode and it concludes with a lively talk about FOUND The Musical, a new show based on Found Magazine, and how sometimes the best direction to take a project is the most obvious.
Enjoy Episode #26 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
The Magnet Theater is pleased to announce the new Circuit Winter 2015 season, debuting next Friday, January 16th at 10:30pm at the Magnet Theater Training Center.
The teams are:
Coach: Matthew Sellitti
Coach: Shawn Wickens
Coach: Phoebe Tyers
Coach: Noel Dinneen
This is going to be a great round — come out and enjoy these FREE shows every Friday at 10:30pm!
NEW TEAM NICHOLS directed by Rob Webber
NEW TEAM MAY directed by Jana Schmieding
We are now accepting applications for the Circuit Winter 2015 season. Circuit Teams are made up of Magnet Theater students, graduates of our training program, and veteran performers. We believe that in order to get better at improv, you need to do it.
The deadline to apply is Monday, December 29th at noon. Teams will be announced December 30th. Rehearsals start the weekend of January 3rd. Shows will begin Friday January 16th. Teams will perform Friday nights at 10:30pm for nine weeks. If you have any questions email Circuit@Magnettheater.com.