Since 2002, the cast of EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH has played 7000+ shows live from Times Square (off-Broadway, Top NYC Clubs) and touring nationwide (clubs, theaters, colleges and private events) delivering hilarious interactive comedy improvised based on the audience suggestions and participation. Now available worldwide via ZOOM, the cast brings the energy of the NYC clubs to your living room, office, or anywhere else you like to watch.
February 21, 2021 show features the Gutterballs
This is our monthly show featuring veteran cast mates that all joined the troupe on or before 2010.
EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH IMPROV co-founder, DC area native, Walt Frasier, now has 18+ years working in NYC comedy clubs. TV credits include Billions, Royal Pains, Blue Bloods, Lilyhammer, and Letterman 9 episodes). Plus shows on NICK, TRUTV, WE, MTV2, commercials, indy film… Additional international credits include theater (Off Broadway, Festival, Regional and touring), opera, and music.
Member since 2009
This Long Island, New York native is a graduate of Wagner College with a BA in Theatre Performance as well as Voice and Speech.
TV/Film: 30 Rock, Law and Order, Gossip Girls, Fringe, Cupid, When in Rome.
Off Broadway: LMAO, Isabelle and the Pretty-Ugly Spell, The Gayest Christmas Pageant Ever. Off-Off Broadway: Lost Boys or an Awfully Big Adventure, JAR’D, Isabelle and the Pretty-Ugly Spell, Hollywood-Hollywood!, Booth! The Musical, Dickens Condensed. Regional Theatre: Shrek The Musical, Jekyll and Hyde, Seussical The Musical, A Wonderful Life, Grand Hotel, Into The Woods, James And The Giant Peach, The Wizard Of Oz, Harry Connick Jr’s The Happy Elf, Sleeping Beauty, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Touring Theatre: Improv4Kids, Charlotte’s Web, 1776, A Christmas Carol. Thank you to all for the love and support!
Patrick Reidy is an actor, comedian, musician, and improviser in NYC. He can currently be seen as a host and improv comedian at the Broadway Comedy Club for the Eight Is Never Enough and LMAO-NYC Interactive Comedy Shows as well as touring with their family friendly cousin, Improv 4 Kids. He is also an established improv teacher, having taught for the Comedy Hall Of Fame and independent residences throughout the five boroughs. As a sketch writer and performer his work has been featured on Funny Or Die, College Humor, and the Absent Minded Comedy Show. He is a graduate of Salem State University and has studied improv, sketch-writing, stand-up, and screen writing at the Upright Citizens Brigade, The Peoples Improv Theatre, and The Annoyance Theater. Yes, and he would love to help you with your next artistic project!
Christopher Leidenfrost is an actor, singer, director and producer who spent the last four years (before COVID) touring the country with his improvised, pirate musical The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told! and his bands, The Crimson Pirates and The Roving Blades. Before that, he was a regular with Eight is Never Enough! and LMAO-ff Broadway. He now spends his days bartending and selling real estate until we can all perform in public again. http://www.christopherleidenfrost.com
Bringing with him 18 years experience of performing live on stage, he is back with his fellow performers from Eight is NEVER Enough! Throughout his performance career he has performed all over the country for people of all ages! Originally studying Improv in his home town of NYC he has since moved out and continued studying in the Windy City of Chicago! He continues studying Improv, Musical Improv, Sketch and anything else that allows him to get on stage to entertain! He also spent 5 years traveling the world and entertaining guests at sea with Carnival Cruise Lines!
“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!
YES! And… Is the #1 rule in Improv. This simple two word governing principal packs a lot of benefits for your personal and professional life.
How much easier would it be to interview for a job, make new friends, interact with co-workers, have an honest conversation with partners, or even lead a team if we could reduce or out right eliminate fears of failure, fears of the unknown and social anxieties such as stage fright?
We daily claim to clients from corporate teams that Improv Comedy will help build team, leadership, sales and service skills. We claim Improv builds creative writing, critical thinking, public speaking and self-confidence.
But how does Improv comedy build these skills?
Stage Fright is the #1 phobia, combining both the fears of unknown and fear of failure. Combined these fears paralyze the best of us and even cause physical sickness and nausea.
Similarly social interaction anxieties thrive in this phobic space.
Improv turns fears of public speaking and social interaction on their head by simply playing games as a team. No one individual is left out to fail. The team forms a tight knit unit that works together to play.
That’s right, we don’t perform, we play. We play games.
We pass words around like a sports team passes a ball. In fact, sometimes we even pantomime passing around a ball.
We start with the basics. We play games that require listening and focus to succeed and nothing else. A game like ZIP ZAP ZUP seems silly and ridiculous, but it’s genius is it’s break down of all other needs. All you have to do is to follow the energy around the room, listen and focus. You don’t have to think. You don’t have to impress. You just do.
Then we add words. We don’t try to be funny. We don’t try to be clever. We just listen and respond. We simply contribute to the team.
Then we create sentences, one word at a time. Eventually we offer entire sentences at a time.
At each step we teach just adding a word is better than trying to think of the perfect word. Any word you say is good enough and accepted. There are no mistakes. There is no failure. There is no judgement.
Think like a five year old. Just play. Leave behind all those things we learned in middle school like fear and judgement.
Also let go of ego, the over compensation for insecurity. Find a space where all are on equal footing, regardless of age, experience etc.
I tell students of any age not to even hold myself, the teacher with 18 years experience as better.
Psychological Safety achieved. The spark of self-confidence blooms. Wonderful things emerge….
Creativity Now Thrives
As artists, this space, free of judgement, free from fear, the brain’s synapses start to fire.
Now that we have relaxed our tensions and laughed a bit, oxygen is pumping in at new highs. The head actually starts to tingle.
Ideas flow. As an actor, ideas about character. As a designer, shapes and colors circle. Even programers start to see new patterns for computer codes.
We become open to new ideas from others as well. Creative collaboration thrives.
William Fry, the late great humor guru from Stanford University, states that humor builds a better brain by constantly comparing two otherwise unlike items.
Once you let down your guard, you see more possiblity. You can’t think our of the box when stuck in your own construct.
The world tries to put us in a box, stop doing that to ourselves. (Branding “experts” might disagree lol).
As a team, YES! And… will lead to all sorts of possibilities. The solution to the problem is never found at the initial brainstorm. Too many teams and companies and individuals fail by not fleshing out all the options.
“Never fall in love with your first draft” or idea. But letting those first ideas flow without fear of failure will lead to the amazing choices.
Better Presentation Skills
Most classes in public speaking have it backwards, trying to build your confidence by teaching you better presentation skills.
Simply building confidence, reducing fear of failure and unknowns, opens one up to present information better. Over time you will learn from mistakes, because NOW you are not afraid to make big ones. You are taking chances.
Now if you misspeak, stumble, for draw a blank for a moment you won’t freak out. You can simply smile, breathe and move past the inconsequential moment in time, and find humor and joy in your “failure”.
Also Improv teaches storytelling. Your presentations, whether to a mass gathering or small table of friends, will become more interesting.
Both personal and business relationships are destroyed, or never formed, due to these fears.
Many amazing connections are avoided altogether, because we fear the word NO, in others.
Fear of initiating contact could lead to missing out on a valuable partnership.
Great sales people and con artists are successful because they know about the numbers games AND never fear it’s perceived failures. A NO is not a failure, it’s just a NO.
The Confidence to Say YES
Saying NO is easy choice. Saying NO is the lazy choice.
Saying YES puts responsibility on your shoulders. It requires follow through. It requires listening. It requires confidence in your self.
Saying YES puts yourself out there for possible failure, possible hurt.
How many say no at work, because you fear backlash.
NO, we can’t afford that.
NO, we don’t have time for that.
NO, the bosses won’t go for that.
How many great ideas are left behind because too many lacked vision?
Instead, what if you enacted a little improv exercise? Ignore the kneeejerk NO and take two minutes to brainstorm that idea.
Maybe it leads no where, but chances are it leads to another even better idea that NEVER would have materialized.
This vision takes YES AND leadership.
The Confidence to Say NO
We focus on saying YES in the improv world. But it needs to be stated that we should always say yes UNLESS it puts us in physical, mental or emotional harm.
Having confidence to say NO at the right time can save a life time of pain. Too many reserve NOs for fear of involvement but fear saying NO when it will save us pain, in some cases physical injury.
Saying NO to an abusive friend or family member or partner, because we fear being alone, financial ruin etc is real.
Saying NO to a “friend” daring us to ski down that that slope we are not easy for can kill.
Building confidence gives us the power to choose our story.
It’s Not All Kumbaya
For me, YES And… is a selfish choice. I surround myself with, and support individuals that support me. Those that choose to judge or abuse are left out. I give them every chance to embrace, I try to teach them to let go of the old games, but at the end of the day, I get to choose my family.
I experience pain and hurt. That’s part of life. But in between tough moments I am surrounded with smiles and laughter. I have amazing clients that come back year after year. I work with the best team of artists. When I have love to give I give. When I am hurting I have a village of support, now from around the world thanks to social media.
Have the confidence to make GREAT choices in business and personal life.
Start building your tribe today, surrounding yourself with supportive genuine friends buy discovering self confidence and other skills from improv comedy.
Pictured: Workshops at our Times Square area theater for JP Morgan Chase, Microsoft BING, and BDO.
For the past 18 years we hosted events at our Times Square theater(s) and traveled nationwide as far as Orlando, Maine and Nebraska. Since March 2020 we have been working with teams around the world via ZOOM, including Australia, Germany, India, UK, Canada and all over the United States. SAMPLE IMPROV WORKSHOP GAMES
Online Improv Comedy Workshop Package
We will host your team of up to 90 on our ZOOM platform.
We invite your team on up to 15 minutes before class time.
One teacher will work with up to 10 of your team mates for 60 minutes playing games that teach teams to play as one through better communication, listening, self-confidence and using humor and laughter to build trust in others.
We will leave the room open after the show for another 15 minutes to interact with your team.
EMAIL now to book an online team building workshop for your team for just $100! (We can negotiate longer times, additional teachers or add on a show)
NOW BOOKING IN PERSON EVENTS for Summer 2021. Potentially available for outdoor functions staring mid-April 2021. A number of our teaching artists are getting vaccinated by March 2021.
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
In 18 years providing improv comedy team building workshops, the biggest challenge our team faced was answering the question:
“How do we apply these techniques to our remote teams around the world.”
Their team would come to New York and include as as part of their 2-3 day recruiting, team launch or other training.
In the past six months we have now presented 100+ shows online via ZOOM and other platforms plus logged 1000s of hours of class time teaching Improv comedy. We have had to adjust our games, and create some new ones, to continue our own team’s existence.
We are now armed with the tools and techniques to teach team skills on ZOOM to be utilized in your online interactions moving forward.
“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.
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.
8pm Unsensored Improv Comedy hosted by Nathan Armstrong with Amelia Fowler, Patrick Reidy and Ivana Méndez.Tickets $0-20 to join us on ZOOM. Improv is always more fun when “in the room where it happens!”
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. If you have fun and want to sign up for more. CLICK HERE to register for SIX week course that starts 9/19. $125 for six classes plus showcase. $200 get unlimited drop in to all our adult classes for the next eight weeks.
We are bringing back our comprehensive 8-week program online. We start each day with a warm-up developing story telling and performance skills. Then play some Improv Comedy Games. Every class will include a mini open mic where students develop original stand-up comedy comedy routines based on personal stories of experience and observation. No experience necessary. CLICK HERE to Register. $200 includes EIGHT 90-minute classes plus unlimited access to drop in shows and classes though 10/31.
RAIN OR SHINE: Nice days we hang by the Fountain. If it rains we escape under the Bethesda terrace overpass. Andrea will lead Improv warm up (ZIP ZAP ZUP is back!), and more at 9:30am. 10-11pm master class in performance games. At 10am playing large group games. At 10:30 each week playing a different scene game (switch, columns etc) We welcome students to continue after 11am but we will not have supervision present at that time.
Please bring water and hand sanitizer. It could be hot, but hopefully, working in the morning will beat the worst.
CLICK HERE: $40 to drop in but just $200 for unlimited access to in person AND online classes for kids and teens.