Max Schafer Improv Pioneer

max schafer improv
max schaferI was so excited to interview my dear friend Max Schaefer, who studied with Viola Spolin and Paul Sills. Max had great tales about his experiences learning improv from Viola and working with Paul at Playback theatre. He is high energy and a living example of “yes, and”. We had a lot of laughs and hope you will as well!
 
Max Schafer leads Spolin workshops around the world. He is the author of “Viola Spolin’s Theater Games for the Classroom” Multimedia CD. He has studied under and was directed by Viola Spolin. He was stage manager for Paul Sills. He also studied with Carol Sills, Aretha Sills, Alan Arkin, Dick Schaal, Avery Schrieber, Bob Moyer, and Gary Schwartz.  Max teaches Spolin improvisation around the world. He has been a distinguished certificated classroom teacher for over 40 years. He is a computer programmer and software publisher. He is a toy inventor and president of a toy company. He is originally from Detroit, Michigan. He now lives in Los Angeles. He runs a Music Improv group. His current Spolin workshop in England on Zoom can be found at https://www.eventbrite.com/…/online-improv-elective… Max runs the World Spolin Network, Musical Improv Network, and Dance Improv Network on Facebook. His “Art Rods” can be found at www.funartrods.com. Paul teaching Spolin games at The Nursery on June 13. This workshop filled up quickly but be on the lookout for Paul Click here for The Nursery Theatre You can follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/max.schafer1

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Stephen Davidson – Joyful Improv

stephen davidson improv
stephen davidsonWhat a delight to get to know Stephen Davidson! Stephen is a totally joy-filled improviser who is the Artistic Director of The Improvised Play, Improvable, QI: Queer Improv, Carmen: A gender-swapped Film Noir Fantasy, and of Zeal: The Pride Improv Festival. Stephen is the author of two books about improv, Play Like an Ally and Improvising Gender. Stephen teaches improv independently and through Improvable, with the Free London Improv Project, City Academy, and Hoopla Improv. He has taught and performed all over the world. We chat about his improv origin story and so much more. You’ll understand why his students love him.
 

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Clay Drinko and his new book Play Your Way Sane

Clay DrinkoI’m so excited to share the great news that my dear friend Clay Drinko’s book, Play Your Way Sane came out today! Clay is an improviser, author, coach, Dad who writes a blog for Psychology Today about Improv and mental health. This is a wonderful, very readable book for everyone! In Play Your Way Sane, Clay offers 120 low-key, accessible activities that draw on the popular principles of improv comedy to help you tackle your everyday stress and reconnect with the people around you. Divided into twelve fun sections, including “Killing Debbie Downer” and “Thou Shalt Not Be Judgy,” the games emphasize openness, reciprocation, and active listening as the keys to a mindful and satisfying life. Whether you’re looking to improve your personal relationships, find new meaning at work, or just survive our trying times, Play Your Way Sane offers serious self-help with a side of Second City sass.

 

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Brian Palermo Improv at the Groundlings

Brian Palermo

Join me and meet the multi-talented improviser, actor, and true gentleman Brian Palermo. In his early days at the Groundlings, Brian was lucky enough to play with, learn from, and direct a gaggle of Big Name Comedy People that include Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Will Ferrell, Maya Rudolph, Lisa Kudrow, and many others. 

I met Brian at the Vintage Improv Festival this fall and loved his style of teaching. In our chat, we talk about his career in film and TV and his many years with the Famous Groundlings improv group. He is a beloved improv teacher; he’s been a regular in The Crazy Uncle Joe Show – which is The Groundlings’ weekly long-form set – every Wednesday for 19 years! The longest-running long-form set in L.A.   https://www.groundlings.com/shows

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Francine Wolf and Leigh Shein keep people laughing with Pants Optional Comedy on Zoom

Francine Wolf and Leigh Shein
Leigh Shein and Francine Wolf

Join me and meet Meet Francine Wolf and Leigh Shein of Pants Optional Comedy. They share their lengthy experience in improvisational theatre and tell us about how they are adjusting to virtual shows on Zoom to entertain and keep people laughing.

Pants Optional Comedy is an online improv comedy short-form show with an emcee and actors from Ohio, Florida, and the United Kingdom.  The show was conceived in May 2020 when producer, Francine Wolf of ZaZu Productions, LLC, was quarantined at home and live and on-stage acting was halted.  Having toured with a one-woman improv show, “Half-Baked Boomer,” for the previous two years, Francine thought it would be more fun to do improv with seasoned improvisers and friends.
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Jay Sukow Improv Interviews

Jay Sukow Improv Interviews

Join me today to meet Jay Sukow, an actor, director, filmmaker and improviser, who has been performing scripted and improvised work professionally for over 20 years. Jay has trained with improv legends that include Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Jon Favreau, David Razowsky, Keith Johnstone, Dick Schaal, Del Close, and Mick Napier. Jay is a faculty member of The Second City and has performed regularly as part of their “Those Who Can’t” Faculty Jam.

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Robert Lowe Atlanta’s Godfather of Improv

Robert Lowe

Join me and meet a man who is lovingly known as the Godfather of improv. During his thirty-nine-year engagement in Improvisation Robert Lowe has been a player, an Improv dancer, a teacher, a director, a producer, and a pioneer in the uses of Improvisation for purposes other than performance. He has taught Improvisation, and stand-up comedy, in addition to personal advocacy.

Apple Podcasts

 

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Kay Ross Imagining Possibilities through Improvisation

Kay Ross was born in Scotland, grew up in Australia, and has lived in Hong Kong for 25 years. She has been acting since she was a teenager, did stand-up comedy for a while, has been performing with short-form improv team People’s Liberation Improv in Hong Kong for 11 years, is a member of the Applied Improvisation Network, and leads Applied Improvisation workshops in Hong Kong and around Asia for companies, universities and community organizations.

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David Razowsky – Improv is Acting Coach

There is so much we can learn from the great Improv Coach David Razowsky who draws improv wisdom from his extensive experience with Chicago’s Second City, performing with the likes of Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris, and Rachel Dratch. David developed a simple approach to improvising: Your present awareness is the only thing you need to create compelling, smart, truthful, and surprising scenes. Period. No games, no preconceived premises, no ideas, no ego. All that matters is now.

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