A free introductory improv class at the Magnet Theater allows beginners to experience the secret behind a form of comedy that allows performers to make things up as they go along. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
So, who wants to learn about improv? Hint: the first rule of improv is to always says yes.
"Improv is getting up on stage and making things up on the spot with no rehearsal," says Rick Andrews, an improv teacher. "In improv, we encourage people to say "yes and" to any idea that gets tossed out there in order to build a scene totally spontaneous."
At Magnet Theater on West 29th Street and Eighth Avenue, you can not only see improv shows but also take classes, including a free introductory class.
Like the rest of the folks here, I had to say yes to that, and everything else that came our way, from sharing sounds to introducing ourselves as superheroes, and yes, improvising little performances, like pet peeves.
At one point, I improvised as a worried mom with my teenage son who came home late.
No one tells a joke. You don't have to be funny. You just have to be honest. Perhaps that's why the majority of the people who take the class are not comedians, because "yes and" is a great life lesson.
"I hear that from students all the time. It's like, 'Improv is changing my life,'" Andrews says. "It focuses in on positivity, not negativity. It encourages you to take opportunities, to take risks where the only thing slowing you down is your fear."
"People always like the funny person," says one student.
"This was something I thought would kind of bring me out of my shell and really make me comfortable being in front of a lot of people and being assertive and funny," says a second student.
"I wasn't shy here because immediately, they showed me ways to come up out of the shell," says a third.
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