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

Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

Tuesday November 25, 2014, 4:14pm - by Magnet Theater

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Louis Kornfeld gets up on his soapbox along with Michael Girts and Mike Descoteaux to preach the virtues of bringing musical improv to the big stage. Blank! The Musical is a big budget improvised musical playing Off-Broadway at New World Stages in NYC. Louis talks with both Mikes about the hard work and planning that goes into producing such an incredible show, and how framing the performance and accepting the audience as an integral part of the show help to propel on-the-spot theater to new heights.

NYT Review: Click here; Broadway World Review: Click here; The Source Review: Click here.

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #22 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Friday November 21, 2014, 11:45am - by Magnet Theater

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On this episode of the Magnet Podcast, host Alex Marino chats it up with improviser and yogi Emily Shapiro about teaching yoga and doing improv in Costa Rica, Emily’s affection for Lord of the Rings, and people who look like Smeagol.

 

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #21 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Tuesday November 11, 2014, 7:30pm - by Magnet Theater

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In order to meet rising costs and ensure that we keep the lights on, supplying you with the very best improv classes in NYC, Magnet’s low prices will be increasing slightly in January 2015. All core and conservatory classes will increase by $50, a change which will be reflected on the website as soon as next year’s classes go up.

We’re also adjusting our rules on retaking Level 4 classes. Beginning in January, you will only be able to repeat the same Level 4 at half-off. If you’d like to choose a new Level 4 with a different subject, you’ll be charged full price.

All classes that begin before January 1, 2015 will adhere to the current pricing — so sign up while it lasts!

Monday October 13, 2014, 3:32pm - by Magnet Theater

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Alex Marino occupies the Magnet Training Center office with North Coast members Jonathan DeMuth and Douglas Widick. They talk about the origins of Hip Hop Improv, the beatbox community, their personal improv journeys and bagel bites.

 

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #18 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Sunday September 28, 2014, 12:09pm - by Magnet Theater

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Here it is.  Nick Kanellis – actor, improviser, teacher, story pirate and motion capture professional.  Louis interviews one if the kindest and funniest improvisers ever to get killed by Peter McNerney onstage every week for years. They talk about his critically loved show Trike (w/ Peter McNerney), the perils of self-judgment, the joys of being a great sidekick and learning not to cry because it makes others uncomfortable.  They go deep into the fallacy that we are ever in control of our own thoughts and feelings, and the healthy repression of primal fear. These two guys are smart, kind, and clearly good friends who enjoy each other.  We hope you enjoy as well.

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

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Enjoy Episode #17 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Tuesday September 9, 2014, 8:04pm - by Magnet Theater

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Elana Fishbein was in the first ever show at Magnet.  And she was really good.  10 years later she’s an improviser, actor, writer, and teacher.  She has Master’s Degree in Educational Theater from NYU, leads our Youth Program, and co-created two professional development workshop series for teachers: “Beyond Winging It: Improv in the Classroom” and “Play.” She can be seen with Story Pirates on stage and heard with The Truth Podcast your headphones.  All in all, you’ve got a super funny improviser with interesting things to say about it.  Listen to this great episode where Louis Kornfeld goes deep into the idea of forcing yourself to be vulnerable, improv accountability, shared ownership, and Canada.  Enjoy!

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #15 on iTunes

Thursday September 4, 2014, 9:22am - by Amanda Ariel Peggy Xeller

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Ever thought about taking the show on the road? So have these guys! Monday, September 8th at 8:30pm, three Toronto performers, James Hartnett, Tim Gilbert, and Marty Topps, are taking the Magnet stage to bring you their best work as a part of their New York and Philadelphia tour. I (Amanda Ariel Peggy Xeller!) got the awesome opportunity to not only see Marty Topps (Isaac Winter!) perform in Montreal, but got to conduct an e-mail interview with him for the Magnet’s blog.

Marty Topps is an award winning musical comedian from Toronto who burst onto the scene with his debut album, “A Loving Tribute to TapouT.” The album was ranked the #2 Comedy Music album of 2013 by BiteTV. Marty followed this up with a musical short film, “Beep Beep” which won First Place in the Laugh Sabbath Film Fest at NXNE 2014. Marty’s live performances have led to accolades like Best Newcomer at the 2014 Montreal Sketchfest and Audience Award (Best Musical Sketch) at the 2013 Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival.

 

Where are you from originally?…and what’s that place like?!

I’m originally from Stratford, Ontario. Stratford is a nice town. It was pretty wild growing up in the shadow of the undisputed King of Pop, Justin Beaver but I also found it really inspiring because it made me #believe I could grow up to be a song-and-dance-man just like him.

What’s your training background?

I have no formal training. I went to University for Film but I dropped out cuz that was the cool thing to do at the time. And then I taught myself to play keytar cuz that was also the cool thing to do at the time… And it still is, right? Right?!

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Tuesday August 26, 2014, 4:53pm - by Magnet Theater

 

 

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John O’Donnell, longtime friend of Magnet Theater and kind onstage powerhouse talks about how he first fell in love with performing, improv, and stumbling upon the early evolution of musical improv.

John has appeared in pilots for Comedy Central, the HBO Aspen Comedy Festival, on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, as well as numerous commercials.

He has also written and performed a trilogy of one-man shows, O’Donnellogues, Son of O’Donnellogues, and Beneath The Planet of The O’Donnellogues. At the Magnet Theater he has made appearances in Thursday Night Out, The Armando Diaz Experience, The Tiny Spectacular, and currently improvises weekly in Magnet’s ‘The Made Up Musical‘.

John has a Masters Degree in Education and has been teaching in New York City for over a decade.

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

Enjoy Episode #13 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Tuesday August 5, 2014, 10:15pm - by Magnet Theater

Craig Cackowskimagnetituneslogo-PODCASTmedium I’m very happy to share this recording from the archive of Craig Cackowski interviewed live onstage at Magnet Theater by the well-prepared Louis Kornfeld. Craig and I were in class together with Del Close, on our first IO teams together, and when I was promoted from understudy, Second City placed me in his touring company.  We did a lot of scenes from the Razowsky/Colbert/Carell and McKay/Adsit eras.  He was great to tour with because he’s both reliable onstage in scenes and touring the country for long stretches in a van.  Usually people are one or the other, but he was both. Onstage he’s casual but precise, and he’s got great timing both as an audience-pleasing comedian (in the good way) and as an improv partner.  He rescues things, and if it can’t be rescued, he’ll go down with the ship.  And it seems like he’s really enjoying himself either way. And since I’m on a roll here, I should mention he’s become one of the best, most sought after improv instructors in Los Angeles.  Possibly because he’s committed to the things we learned in those classes with Del.  But also because he’s sensitive to the advancements that have been made as long-form has evolved from an obscure experiment in the basement of an anonymous Chicago apartment building 24 years ago to the dominant comedy language spoken across America and beyond.  And that’s thanks in no small part to Craig. So listen to this episode and see if you can hear what I hear – a genuinely good guy who cares about what he does, does it well, and has no need for false bluster.  Enjoy. — Ed Herbstman PS: Craig is okay.  But his little sister is like, 12 times funnier than him and at least twice as funny as me.  Hi, Craig. Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here. Enjoy Episode #11 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Monday July 21, 2014, 8:47pm - by Magnet Theater

large_rachelhamiltonmagnetituneslogo-PODCASTmediumRachel Hamilton. Where do we start? Teacher, Actor, Writer… former Second City MainStage, frequent performer and instructor at Magnet, and all around wonderful human being.  She’s also the driving force behind the creation of Camp Magnet.  She lives in Northern California and we never see her enough, but we grabbed her last time she was in New York so Magnet Podcast host Louis Kornfeld could sneak in a great conversation between her workshops.

Listen to the insights and observations of this master teacher about what keeps her drawn to improvisation, seeing characters as energy, and seeking out new ways to challenge yourself.

Enjoy Episode 9 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.

Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here.

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