WHY IMPROV COMEDY – IMPROV 4 LIFE

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.

7 Ways Standup Comedy Can Help Your Auditions (BACKSTAGE ARTICLE)

Click to read full article at Backstage https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/7-ways-standup-comedy-can-help-your-auditions-67827/

Walt Frasier has been teaching Stand-Up comedy since 2011. We find data from articles in Improv Comedy all the time. Here are the highlights of Backstage’s Article.

  • It makes you more dynamic.
  • You learn timing.
  • You can sell a line.
  • You put attention to tension. 
  • You can be your best self.
  • You learn and play with your type.
  • You get out of your comfort zone.

Walt Frasier Adds:

  • One of the best reasons to do stand up comedy is discovering who YOU are.
  • While doing Stand-Up you showcase who YOU are. Casting Director or Agent in the audience know what they are getting should they stumble into your work.
  • Being in the clubs you are networking with other comics, show bookers and industry. The networking is amazing.

I grew up a theater actor. I was trained to become someone else for hundreds and thousands of people. I was mostly musical theater and opera.

18 years ago I landed in comedy, almost by accident. At first as a way to showcase for industry, but eventually learned how to produce and make money in comedy clubs.

I slowly discovered how to play REAL through Improv, which made me much more desirable for modern plays. Through Stand-Up I learned to play myself, which made me more desirable for TV.

Both made me far better at auditioning. But it was the Stand up comedy, including serving as MC for 5000+ short form Improv comedy shows, that made me confident to stand by myself and just do the work.

I wish I had learned this skill earlier. I’ve been working in Theater since 1994, debuting in DC dinner theater. After that a lot of stipend work and a few regional/touring musicals. But like most “actors”, I spent more time serving food and drinks.

In 2002 I fell into comedy, by accident, through my wife’s troupe. By 2005 it became my day job, doing 6-8 shows/week at Times Square clubs, including a few gigs with corporate events, colleges, etc.

It was being in the club that got me my first TV gig, a sketch show, STANKERVISION on MTV 2. It was being in another club years before that landed my second TV gig NAKED BROTHER’S BAND on NICK. Currently at the IMPROV I was working one block away from LETTERMEN when they called me in to walk a horse across stage. I made a good impression and was asked back the next week to ride a bike across stage. In all I was booked nine times, eating a lot of cookies in the green room.

In 2007, I met a guy, who was the friend of a friend of my soon to be manager. I booked my first SAG commercial off my first booked audition through my manager. This relationship led to many commercial bookings and a few Costar TV books as well. So far the big film role has escaped me but a number of call backs have been amazing relationship builders with dozens of NYC Casting Directors.

Starting a Comedy Career During Covid

One might think these are the worst times to start doing comedy, when every club in the world is closed or operating at diminished capacity.

However the time is perfect to start developing your self and your act. Online shows have small audiences but thanks to online platforms hundreds, perhaps thousands, can discover your work online.

Right now, online comedy classes are cheaper. Unlike Theater, Stand up classes are perhaps even more effecting online. We get to focus on things that get difficult with stage nerves getting in the way.

To become a stand up comic all you need is stage time. In my booked STAND-UP COMEDY, I lay out a simple four step process to develop a five minute routine. I also discuss ways to get stage time.

Stage time is the secret sauce. You need to get on stage, or online. Whether in a class, open mic, or a booked show, every moment on stage develops your talent and material.

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!

PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY = “YES AND…” USING IMPROV to enter the LEARNING ZONE

Psychological Safety is the #1 factor in team success!

In 2015, Google released the findings of their 4-year study into what makes a successful team. Project Aristotle found that the most consistent factor behind team success is Psychological Safety – meaning every member of that team feels safety to contribute and has a sense of value to the project.

“YES!” is all about accepting your colleagues and their contributions to the team. We create a safe space and level playing field for all. We accept our colleague 100% as is. EVERYTHING they say and do. We do not judge. We do not fear. We trust each other AND ourselves.

Corporate team Building for BING, JP Morgan Chase, and BDO.

“AND…” is all about contributing valuable work and information to the team. We are going to take this to the next level by accepting our colleagues’ work, building upon with our own contributions. Performance drive is not a selfish process. We have a collective ambition to grow and achieve together as a team.

When the whole team embraces “YES! And…” we enter the learning zone together. No challenge is insurmountable when we work together in a supportive exchange of ideas and actions.

EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH Improv 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…

Over the past eighteen years, EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH Artistic Director, Walt Frasier has worked with hundreds of corporate teams as well as teachers and K12 school children, using Improv comedy to teach team building, leadership, sales and service skills. Since March 2020 Frasier and his team deliver online shows & classes.

Other credits include TV (Billions, Friends of the People, Royal Pains, Blue Bloods, Letterman, MTV, NICK, WE), Commercials and international credits in theater, comedy and music.

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