Team bonding better than team practice?

What did you do for your set?

This past weekend I had the pleasure of performing at the Orlando Comedy Festival with two great groups. The Conglomeration and The Unwritten Sketch Show, Improv U’s mainstage cast. 

Unwritten hadn’t performed together in over four months and with us moving to Central Florida I wasn’t sure how that would go. Could we play well together even after all this time apart? 

It was Friday evening when the team arrived at our door. Patrick, Diane, and Tony. Brian couldn’t make it, but we texted him with updates. 

The four stayed at our house. We stayed up late passing the remote and sharing YouTube videos, talking, and sharing updates. In the morning I made French toast and then we all piled into Diane’s Civic and set off to Deland for the day. 

My friend Steve took me here last week and it was so nice I had to show it to everyone. We walked around the bookstores and sipped cocktails. 

We experienced a new place together. We talked about what we were passionate about and we also talked about our plan for the show. What will our set be? We decided to do the set that was in front of us and not what we had done before. 

We didn’t run sets or practice. We talked about what felt fun to do. We talked about the big picture. 

“I want to get weird with it,” I said. 

“I want to do things in the audience.”Diane chimed in. 

“I don’t care what we do so long as I get to do it with you amazing beautiful people.” Said Patrick. This was normal for Patrick. We chatted some more then we all took naps. 

We got up, piled into the car and headed to the festival. 

Our set was fun. We played with each other and supported one another. Not because we ran the set a bunch of times but because we ran the friendship. We spent the day connecting and that was everything. 

How important is the connection between the players? We focus so much on form or “getting better at improv” but what about connecting with who you play with? 

In improv you really have to trust your fellow performers. So much of what makes improv great is the way we play together. 

The more we trust the better we play. 

As I mentioned earlier I also got a chance to play with The Conglomeration! This group is made up of The Mayor of Improv Darryl Knapp and actor, published poet, professional clown Victoria Dym. I love playing with these two, but we also don’t live near each other and while we do rehearsal sometimes for the most part we don’t. 

I walked into the green room and greeted Victoria. She was looking a little nervous. 

“We need to connect.”, she said.

So we found Darryl and the three of us huddled close in our chairs. 

We briefly discussed the form and opening suggestion and quickly moved to intentions. “I want to make you both look good. I want to support what you do and give you a bunch of gifts.”, I said. 

Victoria does something very special before the show. Often times improvisers will say “I’ve got your back.” Victoria does it differently. 

“I want to do a show with you”, said Victoria. 

“I want to do a show with you too”, said Darryl.

We all repeated this and patted each other on the back. 

When we got on stage I felt confident. That confidence would stay with me through the night. It also reminded me that training the skill is only half of what it means to perform improv. We need to nurture the relationships too. 

A big thank you to Matt Gervia for shouldering the weight of this festival and holding a space for us to perform. If it wasn’t for your hard work and dedication these special moments and insights may have never come. 

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.


5 Soft Skills You Can Learn from Improv Classes

Improv classes offer a multitude of soft skills that can benefit you personally and professionally. From honing your communication and adaptability to nurturing your creativity and teamwork, the skills you gain from improv are highly transferable. So, why not give it a try? Sign up for an improv class, embrace the spontaneity, and watch as these soft skills become second nature. Prepare to become a better communicator, a more adaptable individual, and a creative problem solver, all while having a blast along the way.

  1. Communication: Improv classes are an excellent platform to sharpen your communication skills. Through various improvisation exercises, you learn to actively listen, respond effectively, and communicate your ideas clearly and confidently. Improv teaches you the importance of listening to understand, building upon others’ ideas, and collaborating in the moment. These skills translate into better communication in both personal and professional settings.
  2. Adaptability: Improv is all about embracing the unexpected and adapting on the spot. In improv classes, you learn to think quickly, make decisions on the fly, and adjust to new situations. This ability to adapt and go with the flow is a valuable skill in a rapidly changing world. Whether it’s dealing with unforeseen challenges at work or navigating unexpected social situations, improv equips you with the resilience to handle anything that comes your way.
  3. Creativity: Improv classes are a breeding ground for creativity. By letting go of self-judgment and embracing your imagination, you unlock your creative potential. Improv encourages you to think outside the box, explore new ideas, and approach problems from different perspectives. These skills can enhance your problem-solving abilities, spark innovation, and help you approach challenges with a fresh and creative mindset.
  4. Teamwork: Improv is a collaborative art form, and it teaches you the value of teamwork. In improv classes, you work closely with others to create scenes and narratives spontaneously. You learn to trust your scene partners, support their ideas, and build upon each other’s contributions. Improv fosters a sense of camaraderie and unity, teaching you how to work effectively in a team, compromise, and create something greater than the sum of its parts.
  5. Confidence: One of the most significant benefits of improv classes is the boost in self-confidence. Through improv exercises and games, you learn to step out of your comfort zone, take risks, and trust in your abilities. As you overcome challenges and experience success in the supportive environment of improv, your confidence grows. This newfound self-assurance extends beyond the improv stage and can positively impact various aspects of your life, from public speaking to job interviews.


Unleash Your Creativity: The Benefits of Improv Drop In Classes

Improv drop-in classes offer a unique and exciting opportunity to explore the world of improvisation, even if you have no prior experience or commitment. These classes provide a relaxed and supportive environment where individuals can unleash their creativity, improve communication skills, boost self-confidence, and have a whole lot of fun. In this blog post, we will delve into the benefits of improv drop-in classes and why they are worth considering for anyone seeking personal and professional growth.

Benefits of Improv Drop In:

Unbridled Creativity

Improv drop in classes are a playground for creativity. They encourage participants to think outside the box, embrace spontaneity, and let go of self-judgment. Through various improvisation games and exercises, individuals tap into their imagination and learn to trust their instincts. The freedom to explore and create in a non-judgmental space allows for the emergence of new ideas, perspectives, and innovative thinking.

Enhanced Communication Skills

Effective communication is a vital skill in both personal and professional settings. Improv drop in classes provide a platform to improve verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Participants learn to actively listen, respond authentically, and collaborate with others in the moment. The exercises focus on clear and concise communication, adaptability, and building rapport with fellow participants. These skills can be transferred to various areas of life, including public speaking, team collaboration, and conflict resolution.

Increased Self-Confidence

Stepping outside your comfort zone and taking risks is an inherent part of improv. In drop-in classes, participants are encouraged to let go of inhibitions, embrace vulnerability, and trust in their abilities. This process cultivates self-confidence and self-assurance. As individuals conquer challenges and experience success in the supportive environment of improv, they gain a newfound belief in themselves and their capabilities. This boost in self-confidence can have a positive impact on various aspects of life, from presentations at work to social interactions.

Stress Relief and Fun

Improv drop-in classes offer a break from the demands and stresses of daily life. Engaging in playful activities, laughter, and spontaneous creativity brings a sense of joy and lightness. The supportive atmosphere and the emphasis on having fun create a positive and uplifting experience. Improv provides a healthy escape, allowing participants to let go of worries, reduce anxiety, and recharge their energy.

Building Connections

One of the beautiful aspects of improv drop-in classes is the sense of community they foster. Participants come from diverse backgrounds, yet they unite in their shared pursuit of creativity and personal growth. The collaborative nature of improv encourages connection, trust, and empathy. By engaging in group activities and working together towards a common goal, individuals develop lasting friendships and build a network of like-minded individuals.

Improv drop-in classes offer a wealth of benefits for individuals seeking personal and professional development. Whether you’re looking to boost your creativity, enhance communication skills, increase self-confidence, relieve stress, or build connections, these classes provide a supportive and enjoyable environment to explore and grow. So, why not step out of your comfort zone, embrace spontaneity, and join an improv drop-in class? Unleash your creativity, expand your horizons, and discover the transformative power of improv in your life.

To get started, check our improv drop in schedule or contact us to bring a class to your area.