Workshop Descriptions

A basic registration will get you into any BASIC WORKSHOP listing you see below. You must be registered for BASIC before you can add a MASTER CLASS. Register right here.

SATURDAY

10:00-1:00p: VIDEO PRODUCTION BADASSERY (MASTER CLASS)
w/ Brock LaBorde (Los Angeles, CA) and Jonathan Evans (New Orleans, La)
Want to make videos of your sketches, but don’t know where to start? Jonathan and Brock are going to give you all the production secrets they know about that, from developing your rough ideas, writing and revising, storyboarding and pre-production, working on-set, post-production, and how to distribute your finished product in today’s ever-changing media landscape. Come with your favorite video idea and they’ll workshop the hell out of it in the second half of the class

10:00-1:00p: STORYTELLING (MASTER CLASS)
w/ Giulia Rozzi (New York City)
Take your personal experiences and turn them into an entertaining, engaging, and funny performance! Whether you want to perform in front of an audience or simply get better at telling a good story – this one day workshop will introduce you the art of comedic storytelling and help you get more comfortable being yourself as you share stories about yourself. Through verbal and written exercises we’ll find what stories to tell, work on point of view, character, and finding the truth in the tale. Each student will be coached on a story (or two) and receive guidance and feedback from the instructor and other students. The goal is for students to leave class with a stronger stage presence, increased confidence, improved delivery and more ideas for stories to tell. Students should bring a notebook, pen/pencil. and any story ideas they may already be working on to class. ( It’s okay if you don’t have any ideas yet.)

10:00-11:30a: REMOVING YOUR FILTER (BASIC WORKSHOP)
w/ Katie Holcomb (Richmond. VA)
People say that our everyday lives are improvised, and that’s sort of true. But life is way longer than an improv show, and the stakes are higher, so most of us develop the ability to censor our thoughts and feeling really well because we don’t want to live with the fallout. How much of those polite, tongue-biting tendencies do you bring with you onstage? In this workshop, performers will go through exercises to help them follow their impulses, remove their filter, and stop being so damn nice all the time.

10:00-11:30a: 3 PERSON SCENES (BASIC WORKSHOP)
w/ Chris Trew (New Orleans, LA)
Look, we could all use a little practice with those mysterious 3 person scenes, right? They come up in every show and they are often plagued with the same sloppy starts. Let’s use this time to workshop ways to improve the chances that are 3 person scenes won’t be messy.

11:30a-1:00p: CAPTIVATING (BASIC WORKSHOP)
w/ Shyla Ray (Houston, Tx)
You can have more riveting scenes and more thrilling shows. Let’s make those goosebumps pop! This session will hone moments of suspense, anticipation, and tension to further your skill with improv that powerfully captures the rapt attention of an audience, and never ever ever lets it go.

11:30a-1:00p: LET’S GO ON A DATE (BASIC WORKSHOP)
w/ Tami Nelson (New Orleans, La)

1:00p-2:00p: LUNCH BREAK

2:00-5:00p: BIG ASS CHARACTERS (MASTER CLASS)
 w/ Katie Holcomb (Richmond. VA)
This workshop focuses on ways to help performers make big, bold character choices. Katie will guide students through exercises and scenes to help click into fully-formed characters quickly, and use them to further the momentum and game of their scenes. Being a big character doesn’t have to equal being the loudest person onstage- it’s just about making strong choices.

2:00-5:00p: STORYTELLING (MASTER CLASS)
w/ Giulia Rozzi (New York City)
Take your personal experiences and turn them into an entertaining, engaging, and funny performance! Whether you want to perform in front of an audience or simply get better at telling a good story – this one day workshop will introduce you the art of comedic storytelling and help you get more comfortable being yourself as you share stories about yourself. Through verbal and written exercises we’ll find what stories to tell, work on point of view, character, and finding the truth in the tale. Each student will be coached on a story (or two) and receive guidance and feedback from the instructor and other students. The goal is for students to leave class with a stronger stage presence, increased confidence, improved delivery and more ideas for stories to tell. Students should bring a notebook, pen/pencil. and any story ideas they may already be working on to class. ( It’s okay if you don’t have any ideas yet.)

2:00-3:30p: HUMOR WRITING FOR IMPROVISERS (BASIC WORKSHOP)
w/ Lauren LaBorde (New Orleans, La)
We all know that we can use the fundamentals of improv to write sketches, but you can also use them to approach other forms of funny writing. This workshop will take skills learned in improvisation, including game, pattern work, heightening and mapping, and apply them to writing parody, character pieces, and other forms of humor writing. The workshop will be a mix of active improv games and writing exercises.

2:00-3:30p: STARE INTO THE VOID (BASIC WORKSHOP)
w/ Kaitlin Marone (New Orleans, La)
This workshop will focus on practicing mindfulness and presence in improv scenes. We will work on building scenes collaboratively with scene partners by remaining present, flexible and open to discovery. We will do this by practicing clear communication, close listening, and detaching ourselves from our original assumptions about scenes. We will use these tools to build simple, fun scenes and surprise ourselves with how weird we are. This is a workshop for people of all levels who are control freaks, stage-panickers, day dreamers, people who can never be alone, people who worry that they are boring and especially people who secretly just wait for other people to stop talking so they can say the thing they want to say. You know who you are.

3:30-5:00p: BECOMING BOX OFFICE (BASIC WORKSHOP)
w/ Derek Dupuy (New Orleans, La)
Your sketch or improv troupe will have it’s best shows when you perform in front of a full house. But how do you pack the house and create a great reputation for your troupe? This workshop focuses on building your brand on and off the stage through a variety of methods that get you a great social media presence, excellent word of mouth, and a unique live experience that keeps people coming back. Don’t simply rely on a Facebook event. Learn how to make your troupe the one everybody is talking about.

3:30-5:00p: STRANGER DANGER (BASIC WORKSHOP)
w/ David Pijor (Richmond, VA)
We’re often told “avoid scenes with strangers, don’t ask questions, no transaction scenes, don’t do teaching scenes, blah blah blah”. Well, fuck those rules. Let’s do nothing but those kinds of scenes. In this class, we’ll work on harnessing the power of the straight/absurd character dynamic to help hoist us out of these common improv scene traps.


 

SUNDAY

10:00a-1:00p: STAND-UP COMEDY STARTER KIT (MASTER CLASS)
w/ Jamie Campbell (Chicago, IL)
­ If you’ve always wanted to try stand­up comedy but have no idea where to begin, this is the workshop for you! If you’re someone who has been planning to try stand­up, but you’re waiting “until you’re ready,” this is the workshop for you! This two­hour course will give you writing exercises and information on how to begin navigating your local comedy scene. You’ll learn basic stage and open­mic etiquette, and will explore different types of comedic styles and joke structures. This class is designed to be the spark that ignites a fire for doing stand­up. After that, it’s up to you to either fan the flames or let them burn out.

10:00a-1:00p: DON’T THINK. FEEL. (MASTER CLASS)
w/ David Pijor (Richmond, VA)
“I don’t know what to do next!” is a common problem that improvisers face, especially when working within the confines of 2 person scene work. However, if you know how and why a character feels about any one of the active elements in the scene, the answer to “what to do next” becomes much clearer. In this class we’ll focus on establishing honest, specific and consistent emotional perspectives at the top of the scene and then explore how our strict commitment to these choices can make navigating a scene easier on us and tons more fun.

10:00a-11:30a: THE BODY IN PERFORMANCE (BASIC WORKSHOP)
w/ Joseph Meissner (New Orleans, La)
We process information, generate opinions, and make choices not just with our brains, but with the pelvis, the gut, the heart, and other places inside (and outside) the body. We’ll practice making astonishing, fully realized and committed choices with our entire bodies at lightning-speed, choices that defy reason and fire faster than the conscious mind.

10:00a-11:30a: TBD

11:30a-1:00p: LET THE CHARACTER DO THE THINKING (BASIC WORKSHOP)
w/ Mike Yoder (New Orleans, La)
This workshop will focus on character driven scene work. You will learn technics for quickly hooking into a strong character, starting with physical expression and leading into personality and ideology, then filtering all your reactions and declarations through that. Which allows one to free their mind, by separating oneself from their own self-consciousness, and letting the character do all the work/thinking for them. It will also have an emphasis on relationships, needs and wants, and how those drive people/characters and their actions within a scene.

11:30a-1:00p: QUICK DRAW (BASIC WORKSHOP)
w/ Emily Slazer (New Orleans, La)
When an improviser pulls the trigger a second too late, the whole scene hangs in the balance. With this workshop, we’ll explore the concept of short form improv as a tool to aid long form players in rapid fire decision making, removal of filter, and the discovery of joy in every scene. We will use only the most content creating short form exercises, utilizing the very best elements of the form. Blending these with focused scene work, we’ll implement the principles shaped by short form players and develop our scene work through a fresh perspective.

1:00-2:00p: LUNCH BREAK

2:00-5:00p: MAKING IT MATTER NOW (MASTER CLASS)
w/ Jamie Campbell (Chicago, IL)
This workshop about getting to the meat of what is important in a scene, and doing it quickly. Creating the WHO/WHAT/WHERE of a scene right off of the bat allows the scene to grow quickly, and it allows the content to be important to the lives of the characters (and a bonus is that the audience is much more invested in the action)!

2:00-5:00p: YOUR STRENGTH, TO THE MAX (MASTER CLASS)
w/ Shyla Ray (Houston, Tx)
What is your individual improv strength? Improvisers are different and they have things they naturally do best. You’ll learn to identify your biggest improv superpower and how to capitalize on it more than ever before! The session will focus on what you already love doing on stage, but take that skill to a whole new level and max it out. You’ll also explore all five strengths and learn how to compliment the different styles of your friends and teammates.

2:00-3:30p: MUSICAL IMPROV 101 (BASIC WORKSHOP)
w/ Emily Mange (New Orleans, La)
Learn the basics of musical improv from basic rhyming to in-the-moment song creation, and answer all of your questions, like “how will I make sure I rhyme?” “How will I know what melody to sing?” And “what the fuck is musical improv?”

2:00-3:30p: THE BEAST OF LIVE SKETCH (BASIC WORKSHOP)
w/ Derek Dupuy (New Orleans, La)
Sketch writing for video and one off appearances is a popular thing to do. Producing a live sketch show with your troupe is an entirely different animal. This workshop focuses on teaching you how to build a machine of a live sketch show that runs smoothly. Learn how to work as a group towards a big show, how to use everyone’s talents the most, how to set a lineup properly, the nuances of flow and energy, respecting your audience, how to get creative with tech cues, and more. Live sketch is a beast. Learn how to tame it.

3:30-5:00p: HUMOR WRITING FOR IMPROVISERS (BASIC WORKSHOP)
w/ Lauren LaBorde (New Orleans, La)
We all know that we can use the fundamentals of improv to write sketches, but you can also use them to approach other forms of funny writing. This workshop will take skills learned in improvisation, including game, pattern work, heightening and mapping, and apply them to writing parody, character pieces, and other forms of humor writing. The workshop will be a mix of active improv games and writing exercises.

3:30-5:00p: ACTING FOR IMPROVISERS (BASIC WORKSHOP)
w/ Joseph Meissner (New Orleans, La)
Interested in doing some acting? There are many opportunities in New Orleans now for comedic performers to do work on movies, tv shows, and webseries. Learn the basic tools for analyzing a script and delivering a grounded, spontaneous, and natural-seeming performance.