Building a Thriving Improv Community

Lessons from a Decade of Growth

Hello! I’m Anthony, and my journey as an improviser began back in 2012. By 2015, driven by a passion to teach and connect, I started my own improv classes. The first week, only five students joined, leaving me unsure about the local interest in improv. However, to my surprise, one session attracted 33 participants, signaling a much greater community interest than I had anticipated.

Since that pivotal night, we’ve embraced the growth and excitement of our improv community, organizing engaging events such as two improv cruises, multiple guest workshops, and shows featuring talented improvisers from across the country. Over the years, we’ve participated in more than 15 festivals, each one reinforcing our love for this art form and the community that surrounds it.

In our efforts to deepen these connections and expand our reach, we launched the Improv U online community on Discord. This platform has become a vital space for educational livestreams and events that not only connect us but also provide essential performance opportunities for improvisers at all levels. It’s a place where our members can share ideas freely and creatively explore their own paths in improvisation.

Improv is fundamentally about community. Without it, the essence of what makes improv special—spontaneity, collaboration, and live interaction—would fade. So, I invite you, whether you’re an experienced improviser or just curious about improv, to step into the spotlight with us. Are you ready to explore and grow in a community that celebrates every step of the improv journey? Join us at Improv U and let’s create something extraordinary together.

Consider Corporate Teambuilding Orlando

There is no shortage of things to do for your retreat with your company or organization in Orlando. So with all the options, why consider corporate teambuilding in Orlando?

  1. Diverse Venue Options: Orlando offers a variety of venues that cater to corporate events of all sizes, from luxurious resorts to unique outdoor spaces. This diversity allows companies to pick a location that best fits their team-building objectives and company culture.
  1. World-Class Entertainment: Known globally for its theme parks and attractions, Orlando provides unmatched entertainment options that can be integrated into your team-building program. From private events at Walt Disney World to team challenges at Universal Studios, the options are boundless and thrilling.
  1. Ideal Weather Year-Round: Orlando’s warm climate makes it an excellent choice for year-round outdoor team-building activities. Whether it’s outdoor scavenger hunts in the winter or water-based activities in the summer, the weather is typically conducive to a wide range of events.
  1. Accessibility: Orlando is a major hub with an international airport that offers numerous direct flights from across the United States and the world. This accessibility makes it easier for companies with national and international teams to gather in one location.
  1. Expert Event Planners and Facilitators: The city’s thriving tourism and corporate event industry means you have access to some of the best event planning and team-building facilitators in the business. These professionals are skilled in creating customized experiences that can help achieve specific team goals.
  1. Accommodations for All Preferences: With a wide range of accommodation options from budget to luxury, Orlando can suit the needs and preferences of all attendees. This flexibility ensures that every team member is comfortable and can focus fully on the team-building experience.
  1. Networking Opportunities: Hosting your team-building event in a vibrant city like Orlando allows for numerous networking opportunities. Participants can engage with professionals from various industries, potentially leading to collaborations and partnerships.
  1. Cultural and Recreational Activities: Beyond theme parks, Orlando offers a rich array of cultural attractions such as museums, galleries, and theaters, as well as recreational activities like golfing and water sports. These activities provide more relaxed and informal settings for team bonding.
  1. Scalability for Large Groups: Orlando is equipped to handle large groups without compromising the quality of experience. This is ideal for corporations with a large workforce or for hosting multi-departmental or even inter-company team-building events.
  1. Memorable Experiences: Perhaps the most significant advantage of choosing Orlando for your corporate team-building is the guarantee of a memorable experience. The unique combination of location, facilities, and activities not only enhances teamwork but also leaves lasting impressions, boosting morale long after the event has ended.

Discord: Connecting the Improv Community

Hey, it’s Anthony Francis from Improv U, back again to chat about something a little different but incredibly important for our improv community—staying connected through Discord. In a world where digital spaces increasingly complement our physical ones, Discord has emerged as a powerful tool for keeping the improv community tightly knit. Let’s dive into how Discord supports our unique ecosystem and walk through getting started on this platform.

Why Discord for Improv?

Discord, originally popular among gamers, has become a versatile platform for communities, including those of us in improv, to gather, discuss, and share. Its features support everything from text-based chat to voice and video calls, making it an ideal space for improvisers to connect, brainstorm, and even rehearse virtually. Here’s why it’s become a go-to for us:

  1. Dedicated Spaces: Discord allows us to create servers and channels dedicated to specific topics or groups. This means we can have a space for everything from general discussions to rehearsal schedules, post-show analysis, and everything in between.
  2. Real-time Collaboration: The platform’s voice and video chat capabilities mean we can run virtual workshops, have live discussions, and even perform online improv shows.
  3. Resource Sharing: Discord is great for sharing scripts, show flyers, educational resources, and more, helping our community grow and learn together.
  4. Accessibility: It makes our community more accessible, especially for those who can’t always make it to live shows or workshops due to geographical or logistical reasons.

Getting Started with Discord: A Quick Guide

If you’re new to Discord, here’s a simple guide to get you started:

  1. Sign Up: Download the Discord app (available on desktop and mobile) or head to Discord’s website. Sign up with an email and create a username.
  2. Join a Server: Once you’re set up, you can join an improv community server. This might be provided to you as an invite link from the community itself. Click the link, and you’ll be added to the server.
  3. Explore Channels: Within each server, you’ll find channels. These can be text channels (for typing out conversations) or voice/video channels (for speaking directly with others). Browse through and get familiar with the topics.
  4. Participate: Don’t be shy! Jump into conversations, introduce yourself, and participate in scheduled events. Discord’s all about interaction, so the more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it.
  5. Notifications: Customize your notification settings to ensure you stay updated on the conversations that interest you most without being overwhelmed.

Tips for a Better Discord Experience

  • Use Push to Talk: In voice channels, consider using the ‘Push to Talk’ feature to minimize background noise during discussions or rehearsals.
  • Explore Bots: Discord servers can use bots for a variety of purposes, from scheduling to fun interactive games. These can enhance your experience and help manage the community.
  • Stay Engaged: Regular participation helps strengthen the community. Whether it’s asking questions, sharing experiences, or just chiming in on discussions, every bit helps.

Discord has opened up a new realm of possibilities for the improv community, making it easier than ever for us to stay connected, collaborate, and support each other. Whether you’re looking to discuss techniques, set up virtual shows, or just chat about your love for improv, Discord provides the perfect space to do so.

Remember, improv thrives on community, and platforms like Discord help ensure that our community remains vibrant, engaged, and supportive, no matter where we are in the world.

Keep improvising, and see you on Discord!

Anthony Francis

SRQ 2023

The team took to Sarasota for the Sarasota Improv Festival. See their shenanigans below.

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Join Woodstock at Countdown

Four nights of improv. One all-inclusive price. Every imaginable perk. Introducing the Countdown Improv Festival Woodstock Pass.

Calling all improv fans! The Countdown Improv Festival wants YOU to come and be a part of the best festival experience in the world, from August 9-12, 2023 in Tampa, Florida.

Prices start at $299 for 2 nights, including lodging.

Our all-inclusive 2023 Woodstock Pass is perfect for improvisers and fans looking to enjoy a weekend’s worth of innovative showstop-tier workshopslaughtercamaraderie, and unparalleled hospitality. Come learn, laugh, and mingle with old friends and new ones in Florida’s most historic and walkable neighborhood — and then, at night, rest your head in a comfortable bed at Tampa’s best hotel.

For one all-inclusive price, passholders will receive:

  • Luxurious accommodations at the official festival hotel, the Hotel Haya, located two blocks from the venue.
  • An all-access weekend pass offering access to all 77 festival shows across three separate stages.
  • Tickets to two festival workshops of your choice, plus access to additional workshops.
  • Festival green room and after-party access, including snacks, beer, and wine in the green room, and late-night meals at the after party.
  • festival swag box including a T-shirt, a commemorative poster, a name badge, and more.
  • Improv jams every night except Wednesday.
  • Access to internal festival communications, Zoom calls, and FB groups.
  • And more!

*Meals and travel to/from festival are not included in the Woodstock Pass.

Get details and register now.