This is the NoHo Arts District and, FYI, we are a theatre district. We have the highest concentration of theatres outside of New York City – 20 in a mile. That means we have actors honing their skills at one of our many acting classes and workshops. So when we come across a fun Improv class that’s free, we must share with our readers. So save your Thursday evenings for fast-paced Improv with Paul Storiale in the NoHo Arts District.
Free Improv Details:
WHERE: Email for location as it changes
WHEN: Thursdays 7PM - ?
But theatre locations sometimes change so it’s always best to check out their public Facebook page for updates.
What people are saying about NoHo’s Free Improv Workshop.
"I attend the Free Weekly Improv Workshop run by Defiance Theater in NoHo, and I love it. I’ve taken Improv classes at UCB, Groundlings, and several other free workshops, and this is right up there with the best. It’s fun, yes, but more importantly it's challenging. I can not only try out new characters and games, but I learn from the other actors in the class, and the amazing teacher. If you’re looking for an easy, jokey, practice improv space, this may not fit your bill. But if you are looking to become better at Improv, and see what you can do, then come ready to Defy." - Hayes D.
“I've been attending NOHO improv for over a year. It's a wonderful learning environment for people of all skill levels.” - Tim P.
What do you do in the workshop?
We play a lot of tough challenging games not designed for beginners. If you wanna learn fast, you gotta fail fast.
What do you get out of this?
Casting strangers is sometimes very scary, so this workshop gives us a chance to work with so many young people and gives us a chance to get to know them. Once we have a mutual trust and liking we can bring them into our theatre company or comedy sketch/Improv team. Most of our sketch/Improv teams, and even theatre company is made up of the people we met through the workshop.
What is your experience with Improv?
I did some workshops at Second City in Chicago. I was also part of an Improv show for four years at Pipers Alley. When I moved to L.A. 10 years ago, I began learning from Andy Goldberg who has worked with some of the best comic actors: John Ritter, Robin Williams, Bran Cranston and many more. That class teaches me much more than any of the schools could. These are comic actors and writers who have been doing it since the 70s - true, smart comedic acting skill. I was also able to learn from Richard Schaal before his passing. I loved hearing him tell stories of helping Viola Spolin write the book on Improv. But mostly I learn from people I watch and work with.
I create groups, work with them for a year and let them move on their own. I created and worked with Duchess Riot, an all female Improv group a few years back and those girls are now doing some brilliant work on stage and on screen. I also work with Chaos Comedy, a mixed group, and currently I created and am working with another all female Improv Group, “What’s her Face Comedy” and The Comedy Bandits, all in NoHo.
What’s the secret to Improv?
My Secret Opinion is: They say there are no rules, yes there are some rules. BUT…once those rules become instinct, there are no rules.
How do you feel about schools specifically for Improv?
GREAT! Do all of them if you’re able. I have seen people audition who went through those schools but still couldn’t manage to impress an audience and I’ve seen people who had no experience on stage and blow the audience away. For instance, I saw a guy last week, it was his first time doing Improv and the group couldn’t wait to see what he would do next. I'm pretty confident that I watched a future comedic star perform Improv for his first time.
Any advice for people who want to get into Improv?
Don’t try to get a laugh. You won't get it. But if you create a great character then you can make the audience cry or laugh, whatever you want. It’s your character. Create a good one then you can control your audience. And have fun no matter what happens.
FYI...This couple met at the NoHo improv workshop!
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