THE COMEDY CURE: HOW PERFORMING COMEDY CAN IMPROVE YOUR LIFE

“When you start performing comedy, you start to laugh more. You stop to smell the roses, if only to make a joke about flowers. You meet other funny people who enrich your life and become your best friends. When you start performing comedy, you feel the power of pointing out your flaws to a room full of people who would never be as brave as you are. You realize there is more light in the world than you ever imagined. When you start performing comedy, you start to discover yourself.”

In 18 years of teaching Improv Comedy I have seen lives transformed.

I’ve seen ADHD kids, over active and bouncing off walls, find focus.

I’ve seen socially anxious kids discover themselves and their self confidence to conquer their world.

I’ve seen folks find their life partners.

I’ve seen actors find success in commercials and on TV thanks to the lessons Improv taught, focusing years of traditional theater training.

I’ve seen folks discover the humor in the worst situations, making coping and a future possible.

But most importantly I’ve seen thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands at this point) laugh, either in the audience or by my side on stage.

This has been my greatest gift to myself as an actor, director, teacher or producer. Surrounding myself with the gift of laughter from colleagues, students and audiences keeps me young at heart.

Need a few laughs, come see a show. But if you want to be surrounded by laughter, take a class, then go forth and make all around you laugh. Lead by example and the world gives back in chuckles.

TIKTOK by @LauriceF THIS WEEK hit ONE MILLION LIKES!!!!

Congrats to EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH Improv founding member Laurice Fattal for hitting ONE MILLION LIKES on TIKTOK this week. Laurice kicks out on average a new video every day. As a result her channel is build quickly, with about 1000 new followers weekly.

LATEST TIKTOK

@lauricef

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♬ original sound – LauriceF

THE MILLION VIEW VIDEO

@lauricef

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Serial Phone Farter

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Original Songs

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♬ Cheeto Con Rap – LauriceF

Original Animation Too

@lauricef

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♬ Trump Nursery Rhymes – LauriceF

Want to Be a Better Scientist? Take an Improv Class (Scientific American Article)

“Every scientist should take a page out of NASA’s playbook: be funny to further your project, your funding and even your career. And the easiest and fastest way to become a better, more relaxed jokester is to take an improv class. Take the leap! If you’re not ready to do that, at least learn some improv tricks:”

Recommendations from the article

  • Open your ears (Listen)
  • Engage in dialogue
  • Have fun (Our #1 Rule)
  • Take a class

My father in law was a brilliant scientist, an Engineer at NIST, designer of bridges, but a terrible communicator. He was railroaded by bureaucracy.

I taught a workshop for BDO of interning accountants. So many of these kids were doomed to cubicle hell (or worse, middle management) if they did not take more Improv. I always thought: I wish I had met them earlier.

Hard to predict the future, but I promise you, people skills, presentation skills and the ability to turn on a dime, adjusting to changes are a must.

Improv players and teachers will tell you “YES! And…” is about acceptance of others, but we also learn to “YES! And…” ourselves.

If you are struggling in your career, consider taking an Improv Class. The younger the better, but it is never too late to reinvent oneself.

We work with teams from major companies, deliver entertaining shows and tram building workshops.

But to truly embrace it’s benefits, a longer commitment is required.

One of my biggest goals in teaching kids and teens is instilling valuable skills before they head off to college, or even better, before high school.

Middle school is where most learn to fear the world. Our bodies change, we become more self aware. Our insecurities manifest as anxiety, or worse, judgement of others. Most of the issues I see in failing corporate teams start in middle school years.

But imagine a brilliant kid armed with self confidence, not arrogance or fear, going into high school and college with the ability to navigate socially as well as they do academically.

Improv does not turn geeks into preppy kids or jocks. Improv helps us embrace our inner geek. Improv turns a left brain whiz kid into a witty fearless conversationalist. I have even seen Improv help kids on the spectrum overcome social anxieties.

We learn to let go of our fears, embrace and accept who we are so we can become the best version of ourselves.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

Walt Frasier has performed and taught Improv Comedy

Catherine BartlettCredit: Catherine Bartlett has at times been a silly scientist, an engaging educator and an imperfect improviser. She’s currently an education specialist at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, a member of Tucson Improv Movement and a 2018–2019 Public Voices Fellow with The OpEd Project.

Standup Comedy Technique #1: Exaggeration (Psychology Today Article)

“One of the psychology of humor methods I’ve employed here is exaggeration: You start with something for which there’s a grain of truth and stretch it further and further to some ridiculous extreme. Exaggeration can be a surprisingly simple and effective means of making material funnier, as well as more memorable.”

In my book STAND-UP COMEDY, and my classes I teach TAKE IT TO THE Nth DEGREE. Basically the same thing.

When developing new material I teach comics to start with brainstorming mundane everyday events. Exaggeration is one way to punch up mundane to stage worthy story telling. Exaggerate the emotion of the moment, the severity of an injury and/or the impact of its aftermath.

Instead of saying, “I almost fell and cracked my skull open” you did fall and break a few bones which led to weeks of doctors, physical therapy and medicine.

Live on the Line

If you’re starting out as a new comic don’t read this yet. Stay focused on having fun and brainstorming material. Getting analytical too soon kills creativity. AND you don’t want to pigeon hole yourself.

Every comic has a line. This is different from the line of raunchy choice, imposed by clients or producers. Never let someone else put you in a box.

Rather every comic has a line that they should ALWAYS flirt with. This line is defined by who you are, being true to yourself. You will discover your line over time.

Exaggerate your stories. Take things to the Nth degree. If you take things too far, pull it back 10%.

Too far might be defined as the joke stops being funny because the audience is concerned for your mental or physical safety to the point they stop laughing. A little danger stirs them up. Too much scares them away.

Push your limits, and ONLY be held back by a consistent feedback of audience telling you you went too far. I don’t mean cancel culture censoring. That’s garbage. I don’t mean the results of one audience. They might have been quiet or prudish. But over the course of hundreds of shows, how do audiences react to your work?

ONLINE CLASSES

Currently I have a class every Monday at 8pm Online. EMAIL me to drop in your first class for FREE eightimprov@gmail.com

Walt Frasier has appeared Internationally in TV (Billions, Blue Bloods, Royal Pains, Lilyhammer, Letterman, MTV, NICK, WE), Commercials, Comedy (Clubs, Colleges, Corporate Events, K12 Outreach), Theater (Off Broadway, Regional, international tour), and Music (Soloist and Opera).

Books by Walt Frasier

  • Stand-Up Comedy by Walt Fraser is a text book for comics and teachers looking to bring fun creative writing sections into the classroom.
  • Improv on Zoom by Walt Frasier is a list of games with tips and tricks to play online as well as Improv technique and wisdom.
  • Both books are now available via Kindle and Paperback on Amazon. Coming soon to Audible!

Tuesday October 13 Wednesday 10/14 & Thursday 10/15 Comedy Shows & Classes

  • Tuesday 5pm Comedy 4 Teens with Walter
  • Tuesday 8pm Musical Theater with Ryan
  • Wednesday 9am Private Workshops Trenton NJ School Residency with Walter (Grades 4 & 5) thru January 2021
  • Wednesday 5pm Comedy 4 Kids with Walter
  • Wednesday 8pm Advanced Improv Comedy with Sam
  • Thursday ALL DAY shows and workshops for Milbank, include European offices.
  • Thursday 7pm Improv Jam Session ALL LEVELS Comedy Class with Walter
  • Thursday 8pm LIVE IMPROV COMEDY Show hosted by Sam
  • ZOOM Links provided after registration.
  • EMAIL for information on corporate entertainment, team building, college shows and K12 Educational outreach options.
Sure you can watch us for free on Facebook stream or clip on Youtube and Instagram, but Improv is best consumed LIVE “In the room where it happens”. CLICK HERE for Tickets. You can ALSO see the show via ZOOM for Free. But if you have the means, please help us pay these professional artists.

Thursdays 8pm JOIN US for an online version of our show, LMAO OFF BROADWAY. This is the same show we perform in Times Square as well as most colleges and corporate events. PG13 comedy for adults but clean enough for professional settings and even teen audiences. If you prefer a little edgier, check out our Saturday show, Absent Minded Comedy.

Before the show, join us for a comedy jam session FREE for all ticket holders and students from other classes. Led by Walt Frasier, or other guest cast mates from EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH Improv Comedy. We just play games for 45-60 minutes.

Wednesday 8pm Advanced Improv Comedy Virtual Class with Samuel Van Wyk. This class is designed to go past improv basics. Through different drills, exercises and games, we’ll strengthen your improv skills. We’ll focus on improv techniques that will help you build richer characters, make stronger initiations, and raise the stakes of your scene work by making more dynamic choices. Great for both Short and Long Form improv Comedy players.

Tuesdays 8pm Musical Theater Virtual Class with Ryan Hudzik. Are you looking to beef up your singing? What about falling in love with music all over again? Or do you just want to learn how it’s done? Ryan starts every classes with vocal warm-ups and exercises that build a better instrument, tone, breath support and more. Than each students can share a song and get feed back on presentation and vocal production tips.

COMEDY 4 TEENS and COMEDY 4 KIDS classes with Walt Frasier focus on Improv Comedy but also include Standup Comedy, and in more advanced sessions, Sketch Comedy Writing and production. Online Sessions take place on weekends and after school.