Posts Tagged ‘Improv’
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.
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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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.
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.
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.
Sketch writer, actor, and improviser Jesse Acini sits down with host Louis Kornfeld to talk about getting his start in comedy, the growth of the Magnet community, and having more fun along the way. An active participant in the NYC improv and sketch scene since the early 2000s, Jesse talks about The Second City in NYC, discusses studying with Gary Austin, and otherwise litters this episode with tidbits about the olden days. Not to mention, he provides some solid advice for aspiring sketch writers! Jesse and Louis have known each other for eight years and this is the longest conversation they’ve ever had — you don’t want to miss it!
Enjoy Episode #25 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
Host Alex Marino sits down with stand-up, improviser, writer, and podcaster Brian Frange to talk about all things comedy. Brian brags about being the best actor in his high school but admits that becoming a stand-up ruined his chops. He discusses his feat of doing 70 open mics in 30 days and his appearance at this year’s Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival. Plus, Brian talks about founding Awkward Silence Comedy at Indiana University, how to find your comedic voice, getting started in stand-up and The Unbelievable Podcast, which he hosts. Frazzled Frange might even make an appearance!
Enjoy Episode #24 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
For over four years, Brick has entertained Megawatt audiences each week with their hilarious, multifaceted attack and undeniable originality and last night, the Magnet community gave them the send-off they deserved.
With a full hour at their disposal, Brick began their set with a slideshow capturing the chemistry of a team that has spent over four years together and retained six of their eight original members with two delightful additions along the way. (They even had former member Tim Eberle cheering them on from the audience, showing the support that helped define such a team.) After the slideshow, the lights dimmed, Helter Skelter dropped in, rising in volume as the cast banged against the backstage wall, and Brick finally entered to do what they do best — give one hell of an improv show.
The ensuing set from Brick’s Rick Andrews, Julia Hynes, Joe Miles, Branson Reese, Amie Roe, Jamaal Sedayao, Caitlin Steitzer, and Jed Teres was filled with hilarity and indicative of a team that not only knows how to have fun with each other, but are also experts of the form. As the show reached its anticipated climax, the lights came down and the audience burst into a display of appreciation. The praise continued for the rest of the night and we’re sure the conversations about them will continue for years.
From their beginnings as “New Team Brick” to their Oh Shit! INSPIRADO throwdown to their string of “new form” shows, Brick has been a darling of Megawatt and improv at Magnet, and they will surely be missed.
Check out the videos and photos below from last night!
The multi-talented sketch writer/performer, improviser, and head of Musical Megawatt, Michael Lutton, sits down with host Louis Kornfeld to discuss what makes for good musical improv and how it can benefit “regular” improv. He talks about the advantages of pushing boundaries when no one is looking and provides advice for improvisers looking to learn musical improv outside of NYC. This one is all about selling it in the moment.