Much Needed Laughter

Now more than ever we need laughter in our lives. Social AND traditional media deliver the negative vibes. The world is a crazy place. But the world has always been crazy.

What can you do about it?

LAUGH!

Our goal, above all else, is delivering laughter. We justify our existence demonstrating how Improv teaches creative writing, public speaking and self-confidence. We lead corporate workshops teaching team, leadership, sales and service.

Our greatest contribution to this world is the laughter. Laughter increases brain function, cardio pulmonary activity and state of mind/being.

Don’t take our word for it…

What the experts say…

Source https://www.mindfulnessarts.org/LAUGH_RESEARCH.html

According to William F. Fry, M.D., associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Stanford University, laughing 100-200 times per day is the cardiovascular equivalent of rowing for 10 minutes. When something strikes you as funny, you laugh. And when you laugh, your body responds. You flex, then relax, 15 facial muscles plus dozens of others all over your body. Your pulse and respiration increase briefly, oxygenating your blood. And your brain experiences a decrease in pain perception, possibly associated with the production of pain-killing, pleasure-giving endorphins.

According to Jeffrey Briar, laugh instructor at California’s Blue Pearl Yoga, those who take the [laugh] class regularly will see an improvement in their self-confidence.

According to Steve Wilson, physiologist, joyologist and founder of the world laughter tour and a board member of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor, when you look at all the research on laughter, it strongly leads us to the conclusion that one of the main purposes of laughter is the discharge of tension. Laughter also energizes people. If you laugh long enough and hard enough you reverse the physiology of stress. And anything that can reduce the ill-effects of stress is an ally in health and happiness.

There’s even hope, the scientists say, for cranky people who rarely laugh and for those without a sense of humor: They can learn.

According to an article by Kathleen Doheny on WebMD, Laughter is being called the latest weapon in the fight against heart disease, ever since University of Maryland researchers reported at an American Heart Association meeting in November that heart-healthy people are more likely than those with heart disease to laugh frequently and heartily, and to use humor to smooth over awkward situations. There’s even hope, the scientists say, for cranky people who rarely laugh and for those without a sense of humor: They can learn.

One-minute guffaw has the same health benefits as a 45-minute gym workout

Up to 80 muscles are used during a hearty laugh, the blood pressure rises, the heart beats faster and blood oxygen levels increase. In fact, a study released last year by German gelotologist Professor Gunther Sickl revealed that a one-minute guffaw has the same health benefits as a 45-minute gym workout. When the laughter stops, the blood pressure returns to normal and stress hormones are reduced – actually strengthening the immune system.

Diabetes Too?

From Diabetes Care May 2003; People with type 2 diabetes may be better able to process sugar from meals if they laugh, according to a small study. Researchers found that diabetics who watched a comedy show had a smaller rise in post-meal blood sugar than when they listed to a non-humorous lecture. The effect occurred in people without diabetes as well. Researchers are not certain why laughter appears to reduce blood sugar, but suggested that it might increase the consumption of energy by using the abdominal muscles, or might affect the neuroendocrine system, which controls glucose levels in the blood.

TV Experts Agree

“Laughing is great exercise. It tightens your abs, gets your endorphins going, and filters out all those anxieties that weigh you down.” Denise Austin, TV fitness guru. Source: July 2006 Redbook Magazine

IMPROV on ZOOM Now Available via Amazon Kindle

Now available on #kindleunlimited for free. Just $2.99 on Kindle and $7.99 via paperback.

This book is 18 years in the making with dozens of amazing artists contributing.

It’s sale will subsidize the work of professional artists in these lean times.

It is a tool for our cast, our students and #improvcomedy players around the world.

Get online and create much needed laughs for each other.

Bring laughter into your classroom while teaching creative writing, critical thinking, team communication, presentation skills, listening, focus, self confidence and even Empathy.

Take a class!

Adult Classes Fall 2020

$200 includes UNLIMITED access to classes and shows through October 31

  • Saturdays 2pm Long Form Improv with Sam
  • Mondays 8pm Stand-Up Comedy with Walter
  • Tuesdays 8pm Musical Theater with Ryan
  • Wednesdays 8pm Improv Technique with Sam

Classes 4 Kids & Teens Fall 2020

$200 includes Unlimited access to classes in age range

  • Saturdays 9:30am in Central Park ONLY IN PERSON option at this time
  • Saturdays 12pm Comedy 4 Teens with Walter
  • Sundays Comedy 4 Teens with Walter SOLD OUT
  • Sundays 5pm Comedy 4 Kids with Andrea
  • Mondays 5pm Comedy 4 Kids with Ryan
  • Mondays 7pm Open Mic with Walter
  • Tuesdays 7pm Music with Ryan
  • Wednesday 7pm Improv Technique with Sam

Introduction: Stand-Up Comedy Easy 4-Step Guide to Writing and Performing Original Comedy Routines

Introduction: Stand-Up Comedy Easy 4-Step Guide to Writing and Performing Original Comedy Routines

While this book can be used as a step by step beginner’s guide to starting a career in comedy, I hope far more will learn to enjoy creating laughs, for the sake of creating laughter. 

Comedy courses should be in every school in the world. There is no better way to find your individual voice. There is no more enjoyable way to learn creative writing and public speaking skills.  

In my Times Square, New York City school for comedy, I combine stand-up and improv comedy. In addition to working with hundreds of kids and teens every year, I present team building workshops for major corporate clients.  

Perhaps the most valuable takeaways from comedy classes are building self-confidence and sharing much needed laughter.  

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”   
– Jerry Seinfeld 

Whenever I get a call for a corporate workshop, one of the first questions I get is, “Will this embarrass anyone?”  

Stage Fright is a specific, and very common, type of fearing the unknown. One of my missions in life is to teach people to overcome fear. One cannot experience joy if always in fear of judgment, or worse. After ten years of teaching comedy this is the number one benefit.  

Teaching traditional public speaking to kids that fear public speaking is often like hitting your head against the brick wall. Making it fun changes the game. Students take more chances. Once you get them hooked you can swing around to the technical tedium and terms of writing. Always focus on the fun first.  

I have seen incredibly shy, often terrified, students break out of their shells after minutes in a comedy class. We create a fun space to play, free of judgment. We remove ego and insecurity from the equation.  

Laughter IS the Best Medicine! 

Everyone has heard this phrase used literally and sarcastically over the years. New studies say it might be true.  

Before 2008 we were performing in schools and corporate events non–stop. The only requirement was providing a fun show appropriate to the setting: G-rated for schools, non-offensive to corporate parties.  

After 2008, when the stock market crashed, every penny had to be justified. We learned to promote our shows and workshops with more educational value in mind. Our mantra was building creativity, community and leadership. We paired with Cultural Arts, Language Arts and Character-Building curriculum.  

Skip ahead to 2015, when Google releases the findings of its Project Aristotle, a four-year study into team success. The result of thousands of interviews with team leaders within Google and every other industry (Arts, Sports, Business etc.) leads to one answer. 

This changed our focus 100%. It also led to discovering studies into the effect and benefits of laughter. 

The following is from the Mayo Clinic: 

A good sense of humor can’t cure all ailments, but data is mounting about the positive things laughter can do. 

Short-term benefits 

  • Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain. 
  • Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling. 
  • Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress. 

Long-term effects 

  • Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses. 
  • Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers. 
  • Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can also make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people. 
  • Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier. 

(April 05, 2019 https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress-relief/art-20044456

Additional studies show that laughter in the classroom increases test scores. If you are a teacher, I recommend learning to use comedy in your presentations.  

Our experience is simple. Students having more fun show up to learn, including in our after-school programming and residencies.  

Principals tell me my students average higher attendance rates in general. They will show up, sit through math and history, knowing that the fun times are coming soon. 

In my public programs at the Broadway Comedy Club, Times Square, NYC, I have had students come back every week for years. Most of my teen students started when they were as young as seven. Many of my students are getting national recognition, winning awards and getting industry attention.  

I could not be prouder. Creating professional comedians was never my goal. Next thing you know Kenan Thompson named my twelve-year-old student, “Funniest Kid in America”. I was in tears watching all my students that day at Caroline’s on Broadway