Improv Class Builds Children’s Self-Confidence, Self Concept

Improv has foundational guiding principles, each of which can be linked to psychological skills or constructs that may increase self-concept. Below, we list each of these foundational guiding principles, and how each one may be linked to self-concept or other social-emotional skills.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-mind-stage/201905/improv-and-self-concept

I can attest that Improv most certainly does increase self confidence. Here is an email I just got THIS MORNING from a student new to our classes.

“(my son) is having a blast in your class.  Every time, he has huge smiles for the rest of the day, and he’s had tremendous growth in his speaking confidence already. “

This mom is signing up for another four weeks.

What is most significant about this student, he has ONLY taken virtual classes the past four weeks.

For 18 years I have seen shy kids wake up after just one live session. We moved online with the rest of the world in March.

I am beyond excited to see the growth in this child. He has such anxiety, he sounded asthmatic when he has to talk, well when he finally talked around the third class. When he finally opened up it was a struggle.

But yesterday, he laughed nearly the entire hour, and contributed more than ever. Only once did he start to heave before speaking.

Reading his mom’s email brought smiles and happy tears.

The smartest among us are usually the shyest. Their brains worked differently. They have so much information they don’t always know how to share it. Many of these kids are on the. Spectrum. They are high functioning but society generally writes them off.as different so they shut down socially.

They seem quiet but are just as anxious. Improv calms the anxiety through creative cerebral play.

I had been doing residencies at schools and workshops for years by the time I opened up my school in 2011.

One of my very first students enrolled in public classes was first a five year old kid with Asperger’s Syndrome. I only knew this because his parents, after coming to our show numerous times, reached out on Facebook. Mom explained to me his situation and how just being in our interactive shows brought the kid out if his shell.

Their requests led to my first public class. He was now eight. Five years later he was cast in a Netflix TV show. Now I hear he wants to enlist as a Marine.

Another student from that first class is now working with our company as a professional performers and teacher. Steven Prestia also sits on the board of a Long Island arts council while still in College.

These kids, and their parents, have become family.

In those years I have had hundreds, maybe 1000+ pass through our doors. We get a few theatrical types, after all we are in Times Square and Improv is amazing for ALL performers. But the ones I treasure, come in scared.

They leave with smiles and laughter.

I leave feeling accomplished. I never set out to change a life. I am humbled by every parental email, text or call saying how much our classes have done for their child.

But more importantly, GET YOUR KID INTO IMPROV CLASSES.

I hope you will choose mine, but there are hundreds others.

Just make sure it’s a class that does not cater to it’s stars.

The secret is PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY for all. No one should feel less than in an Improv class. I nurture my stars but never at the expense of those that NEED our classes the most.

Links to classes can be found in the links above (MENU).

Stand-Up Comedy: Easy 4-Step Guide to Writing and Performing Original Comedy Routines (Now Available on Kindle)

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EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH Artistic Director, Walt Frasier, has transcribed his Stand-Up Comedy course into a new text book. Dedicated to his students and all lovers of comedy. this book takes you from zero to five minute routine in four easy steps. Also learn about getting stage to you need to develop as a comic.

Stand-Up Comedy

Featuring a FORWARD by the funniest kid in America

I wasn’t born a comedian. Though I spent many of my 13 years on this planet trying to find where I fit in, I don’t want this to sound like a cheesy finding-my-place story; so I’m just going to tell it like it is. I tried everything before comedy (yes, everything). I did violin, guitar, sewing, singing, robotics, taekwondo, tennis, and even soccer for a hot minute. But everything I did, I got bored of. I didn’t want to practice chords or kicking with the inside of my foot. You can probably imagine this wasn’t making my parents too happy; honestly, they were getting pretty desperate, and my dad didn’t want to waste any more money on weekend activities. So, in the last week of one long summer, my mom had run out of options for me. Instead of keeping me at home for a week of relaxation like I wanted, she stuck me in the basement of The Broadway Comedy Club in Walt Frasier’s improv/standup camp Improv4Kids.  Walt’s camp was the only one still open that late in August. Keep in mind, I was about eleven, and there was a bar right down the hall. And yet that’s when it happened; in that one week alone, my yearning for performance could not be satisfied in five days; and, lucky me, there were Saturday and Sunday comedy classes that started in the fall, so I immediately knew where I would be every weekend.

Being in Walt’s class, you never know what to expect, never know what games you’re going to play, or even when you’re going to crack your next joke. The most important thing you have to do, or bring, rather, is your energy (never leave that at home). Energy is key when it comes to improv; without it, scenes fall flat, and they’re not as structured or fun as they could be. The thing about class with Walt is no one is ever pressured to perform at all. You’re never pulled up on stage or forced to be in a game; there’s free choice for everyone to do what makes them feel comfortable. I never felt like I had to be anyone/anything because performance is about finding yourself and your style…then run with it! If anything, you have to be more of YOURSELF.

Walt has a tendency to ramble a bit, but when he does, most of the stuff he says can be super crucial to perfecting your craft. For example, every morning, Walt tells us to smile. Not only does it wake your body up by stretching your face around, but chances are fake smiling might make you “real” smile. Being in a better mood will 100% boost your energy, which you know you need in order to be at your best. To quote one of my favorite Walt mottos, “Treat every rehearsal like a performance and every performance like a rehearsal.” In other words, bring confident energy to rehearsals and your playful spirit and ease to performances.

Unfortunately, I’ve come to the end of this Forward…I know, I know, I’d love me to write forever, too, but to finish I thought I’d add why you should read this book. I can tell you, it’s jam packed with great advice on how to critique and better yourself (in terms of performance) that I hope will inspire you to step out of your comfort zone, help you to get just one more laugh, or maybe even make you chuckle at some of the stories.

(If you’re still here, after this Forward thing, thank you!)

–Carolyn White

(An 8th grader living in Manhattan, Carolyn is the Winner of Kenan Thompson’s Ultimate Comedy Experience 2019— “Funniest Kid in America”)

Stand-Up Comedy

LIVE Show for Brooklyn School

ThiPrivate show performed for sixth graders at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn Heights, NYC. featuring Walt Frasier, Amelia Fowler, Liz Lord, Ivana Mendez, Samuel Van Wyk. Online School Assemblies and Workshops available. Great fun for corporate groups and private family functions too!

ONLINE COMEDY CLASSES with Walt Frasier

Drop by at $25/class, $75/four week session includes additional private coaching. We combine Improv and Stand-Up comedy to maximize training in performance, creative writing and critical thinking as well as public speaking, social skills, team skills and self confidence.

Other Performance Classes Online

ONLINE COMEDY SHOWS

CLICK HERE to register for FREE OR donate $5 to help us continue paying these artists for there work. We are also hosting private events for corporate teams, schools, family gatherings etc. Our unique off-Broadway musical comedy revue style is perfect for any event. EMAIL us for more information.