Email now for dates, rates and more info. Now booking outdoor events for Summer 2021 DC to BOSTON to PITTSBURGH.
We are excited to get back to live events in the near future, however virtual programming has been very productive and we will continue to offer these programs which allow remote teams from around the world to connect, share some laughs, and develop key skills to improve communication and other team skills.
Since March 2020 we have offered 200+ shows and 1000+ classroom hours. We even published a book, IMPROV on ZOOM, as guide for teachers, students and clients (read free via KindleUnlimited or $7.99 paperback CLICK HERE).
We have recreated the high energy and fast paced feel of our live shows from Times Square NYC, where we have hosted groups since 2002.
And in some ways the remote improv workshop is even more effective in teaching certain focus and listening skills. We have less distraction. Traditional stage fears play less of a role. Folks are so eager to interact, they forget traditional insecurities.
We know, even with something’s coming back on line many teams will continue to work remotely.
We also know teams need fun, safe extracurricular activities now more than ever.
We recommend shorter events run more often. Rather than a three day seminar, let’s set up a monthly workshop for your team where we meet for just an hour.
Every game we play can be played in your meetings. We will teach you the basics. Continuing the laughter and bonding regularly for 2-5 minutes will be more effective than any massive annual project.
We use PLAY + STORY to teach valuable life skills and spread much needed laughter in the world!
“YES! And…” Takes Us to the Learning Zone
Psychological Safety is the #1 determining factor in team success, according to 2015 findings of Project Aristotle, the four year study into teams by Google. Balanced with Performance Drive we enter the learning zone.
Our #1 rule: HAVE FUN! But NEVER at another’s expense.
Building psychological safety in your team directly leads to productivity. Psychological safety paired with performance drive also makes you a better leader, a better sales person and better at customer service.
“YES!” produces psychological safety. We agree and support our team.
“And…” is performance pressure. We need to carry our weight and contribute to the team
Together there is nothing we can’t achieve.
At EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH, we believe once you take our classes and see our shows, you become part of our family. We want you to take our message of embracing the power of “YES! And…” for all to your work, home and community.
Improv Teaches Presentation Skills
Improv teaches presentation skills in two ways.
Public Speaking Techniques
Story Telling Techniques
The first perhaps is more obvious. Improv is 100% performance on day one. Every warm-up game and technique exercise is applying public speaking skills. We grow confident just by doing. We learn to consistently energy our voice, using appropriate projection and diction. We learn very early that something funny is not funny unless it is heard and understood.
Less obvious maybe the story telling skills. When you make a presentation, using story will help you persuade your audience. Whether leading a team in a new direction, making a sales pitch, or appeasing a disgruntle client/customer, story will shape information. When you merely present a set of facts, individuals will interpret their own directions.
Story also engages the audience. The more details you give the more clearly the audience will see your intended message. Improv teaches us to shape our stories with emotion and conviction.
Improv Teaches Critical Thinking
Humor and creativity work in similar ways. By creating relationships between two disconnected items, you engage the whole brain. Humor guru, William Fry, M.D., of Stanford University
Simply playing improv comedy games builds a better brain. Akin to playing word games and SuDoku to sharpen your focus, Improv is problem solving. Two or more play together to create story form scratch.
Improv teaches to think out of the box. By letting go of how we think a thing should be, we are able to discover its true nature. We open up to new possibility. We discover new pathways. We learn to solve problems anew.
We become open to others ideas and interpretations on a subject.
Improv Delivers Much Needed Laughter
In many cases, the laughter supersedes all other benefits. Bringing laughter to a classroom improves test scores, according to research at Johns Hopkins. Laughter increases cardio pulmonary function, getting more oxygen to the brain. Laughter creates community, while reducing stress, depression and blood pressure. The laughter alone increases individual and team health. Laughter tears down walls of resentment, replacing with strong bonds of trust.
Laughter and Joy will make your team work together better, will make folks follow your leadership, make your students listen to your teachings, buy your products, and accept your customer service efforts.
NOW MORE THAN EVER you need to bring laughter to your work, school, home and community. We do this with shows and classes.
Make the World Smile
Did you do your homework today? Walt Frasier gives all of his students the following two assignments.
Observe & experience your world. Then journal it. Every thing you need to inspire characters and story is all around you everywhere you go. Participate in life. This is true of the arts and every discipline.
Start every day with a smile. When folks make you happy, you smile. You can make yourself feel great starting with a smile. Change your story. Become someone who LOVES Mondays, going to school, going to work. Want the world to smile at your LEAD BY EXAMPLE. Ignore that one that judges you. They will judge you no matter how happy or miserable you are because they are miserable. (If you are reading this and this describes you, STOP JUDGING AND JOIN THE PARTY!). Make yourself feel GREAT by stretching the face with a smile. Squeeze out the happy juices. You can reduce pain and stiffness, open up your sinuses for better pubic speaking, help drain out the gross allergy build up. CHANGE YOUR LIFE by CHANGING YOUR STORY. START with a SMILE!!!
Improv Comedy for Corporate Teams
Corporate clients include JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Twitter, BING/Microsoft, BAML, Home Depot, Ernst & Young, Louis Vuitton, Coach, UBS, BDO, AMEX, Master Card, Datadog, NY Life, Accenture, Macy’s, 360i, IBM, GM, KRAFT, UNILEAVER, HBO, and 100s more… CLICK HERE to read our philosophy behind using Improv to teach team building
Improv Comedy at Colleges & Universities
The show has played big stages at Montclaire State University, Bloomberg, High Point University, Williams College, Lynchburg College, and Hastings College. Charter House and smaller Greek events at Princeton, University of Maryland and Georgetown. The show has played numerous orientation and preview week shows at Pace and a hug hit at smaller lounges and snack bars and meeting rooms (<200ppl) at Vaughn, College Misericordia, University of Vermont, Mount Ida College and Stone Hill University.
Improv Comedy at Schools
K12 Educational Outreach and Family events include 100s of birthdays, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, reunions, plus 100s of NYC DOE School (Vendor for 10+ years), JCC, YMCA, day and overnight camps, etc. We host field trips and events at our Times Square theater as well as touring schools, camps, community centers and family events.
These games warmup both the individual and the team dynamic. This list of games is a perfect class for building skills through game play. Learning to Improvise combines performance and creative writing skills. These games are also a typical Team Building Session with Walt Frasier, author of Improv on Zoom. After 1000+ hour of teaching improv online, Walter has paired down the perfect 45-60 minute session that introduces the art for as well as game your team can play before every online meeting to get the collaborative juices flowing.
EMAIL booking requests for Improv Workshops and Residencies. Check links in menu for upcoming public class offerings – currently online available worldwide.
Teacher or Player One starts by saying. “I HAVE A KNIFE”.
Hold your hand up as if grabbing an imaginary knife by the blade. Make eye
contact (OR Call out another’s name if on ZOOM). Make sure you have their
attention before throwing. (ON ZOOM Respond to your name being called) Throw
the knife. That player will catch the knife by clapping hand in front of their
face. Both players should feel the weight of the knife as well as the emotional
weight – the anxiety, fear, adrenaline rush of danger, etc. Repeat and pass the
imaginary knife around the room. When two performers “YES! And…” the pantomime,
the object becomes real to the audience. After a point, the teacher can change
the knife into a baby, a snake or other object, simply by using their
imagination. Imagine molding the air like clay. Handle and pass each new object
in a way appropriate to its nature. Eventually, let the class mold the object
anew for every pass. MOST IMPORTANT, before throwing/passing, communicate what
the object is and to whom you intend to throw it. CATCH the object your
teammates pass, reflecting the amount/quality of energy in the passing, and the
object’s size and weight. Make an emotional connection to the object.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Start by getting an activity from the crowd. First player
will start acting out that activity. Next player asks, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” The
first player states a NEW activity, completely different that the one they are
performing at the time (keep your activity going until you state the new activity).
Second player starts acting out the new offer. Continue around the room a few
times. Treat these imaginary activities as real as possible. Pantomime allows
us to create infinite worlds out of thin area. When our imaginations are on
fire, and we respond with realistic movement, the audience sees our creations
in their minds eye.
ONE WORD STORY
One word at time, the team tells a story. Stand in a circle.
(ON ZOOM Establish an order, share that in the chat. Remember who YOU follow) Follow
the story with your eyes. LISTEN and RESPOND without thinking ahead or behind.
Simply say the first word that comes to mind when the story comes to you. Consider
characters and settings. Every word is important. TRICK TO COMEDY and TEAMWORK
– don’t TRY to be funny or clever. TRUST yourself and your team to be funny
together. Stay IN THE MOMENT.
YES And…. ONE SENTENCE STORY
Now, each player in the room will add one sentence at a time
to the story. The first player establishes our story. Introduce a WHO
(Character/Relationship) and WHERE (Setting) choice. Each player following will
start with the words: “YES! And…” Then continue to add details. With every
statement (Avoid Questions in Improv) add a WHO, WHERE and/or WHAT (Action,
Plot) choice that continues to support previous details. In this game we are
all the SAME voice. We are not having a conversation.
Let’s tell one more story. Except this time, we will each be a different character. Player one starts the story by introducing their character. Pass the plate (the story) to the next player by introducing their character. Every time you talk in turn, add something new about your own character and then the next player’s character. Make a new choice about relationships, personality, mood, job, physical status, props, costume etc. When someone mentions something new about your character immediately adapt that into your portrayal of the character.
Have fun playing games
Share much needed laughter
Develop valuable life skills!
Professionally acting since the mid-90s, Walt Frasier has
been performing (5000+ professional shows live from Times Square, NYC and
touring Nationwide) and teaching Improv Comedy since 2002. In addition to his
successful Times Square School, Walt Frasier works with corporate teams,
college groups and K12 schools, using Improv create much needed laughter and teaching
creativity, public speaking skills and self-confidence. Since March 2020, Walt
has logged 1000+ hours teaching/performing online via ZOOM and other platforms.
Walt Frasier is a founding member of EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH (AKA LMAOff
Broadway, The Original Improv 4 Kids), former director of instruction for the
Comedy Hall of Fame, and has international credits in TV (Billions, Blue
Bloods, Royal Pains, Lilyhammer, Letterman etc), Theater (Off Broadway,
Regional & Touring) and Music (Opera, Concert Soloist). Walt is a NYC DOE
Vendor, has worked with K12 schools nationwide, hosting groups for shows &
workshops at their Times Square theater and touring. Walt is also a corporate
improv specialist using Improv to teach team building, leadership, sales, and
service. Clients include Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC, AMEX, Master
Card, Twitter, BING, Coach, Louis Vuitton, Home Depot, GM, Kraft and 100s more.
We are expanding our online offerings to meet demand with cold weather driving other circumstances driving folks inside and online. Links to upcoming session can be found below. Our after school sessions are akin to a gym subscription service. You can sign up for a sing class ($25) FOUR 60-minute classes for $75 or just $125 for unlimited monthly access.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS SPECIAL!!!!
Sign up now for January classes, and be our guest for the rest of December. NEW & RETURNING Students only!
These are ALL LEVELS comedy classes, primarily focused on Improv but also include some Stand-Up Comedy. The primary goal of these classes is having fun. Through playing games students will develop valuable performing skills as well as public speaking, creative writing and self confidence.
*12 year-olds with some experience in theater & comedy may be ready for teen class. EMAIL us questions regarding which class is best. We require past experience with our classes or others. Also we require preteens to be prepared to demonstrate a level of maturity. We take being very silly very seriously.
Advanced Comedy 4 Teens January 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 12pm January 30 @ 3pm will be a showcase of our top teens, including some videos from our sketch comedy class.
Sketch Comedy Teens SOLD OUT through end of January! Check out our most recent sketch written, directed and starring our teen students!
Bring the gift of laughter into your classroom. Studies at John Hopkins and other universities show humor in the classroom raises test scores. The laughter alone increases cardio-pulmonary activity, bringing more oxygen to the brain. Laughter reduces stress while building confidence in self and trust in others. Students become more focused and engaged.
Comedy classes should be offered to every student in the world. Simply playing improv comedy teaches creative writing, critical thinking, public speaking, listening, focus, self confidence and even empathy. Walt Frasier uses the same games to teach corporate groups team building, leadership/management, sales and customer service. His mission is to set-up kids & teens for success in life by introducing these programs. He works with thousands every year in schools, camps, community centers and his own Times Square NYC Comedy School.
Get the arts back into schools better than ever with Improv. Compared to traditional theater arts programming, students are performing on day one. There is nothing to memorize. There is no overhead for script royalties, props, sets or costumes. Every one is featured.. No one is relegated to secondary characters, ensemble or tech. Improv can be performed easily online and with social distancing. It’s even more without the current restrictions.
IMPROV on ZOOM is the culmination of Walt Frasier and the cast of EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH (AKA LMAO Off Broadway, Improv 4 Kids) performing over 100 shows on ZOOM while logging 1000s of hours teaching kids, teens and adults in just the past six months.
“Improv is communication training. And it’s empathy training,” he said. “Improv is really just a fancy way of talking about how we understand language and how we understand the communication that a group of people can have amongst themselves.” Jean-Michel Cliche in article from The Aquinian, St. Thomas University’s independent newspaper, is a student-owned-and-operated publication.
So well put and in these times, more than ever, we have so many punches to roll. Pandemic plus politics plus financial ruin equals a beyond psychologically tough 2020.
But those that will emerge from successfully, or at least this less scathed, will take the good and take the bad (The Facts of Life) and stay focused on their goals.
This past week top CEOs denounced ZOOM meetings, calling them far less creative hubs etc.
They are not wrong.
Improv teaches us to thrive working with perfection.
These #unprecendented times call for unprecedented measures.
I miss performing on stage but I know folks need laughs. Teaching on ZOOM is draining but I press on, motivated by the joy my students get from the work.
If we stop focusing on what we can’t do, and drive the machine that does work to its max, we will find new ways, sometimes better ways for forge forward!