Over the last few years, I have thought a lot about how we approach improv training, and I think we can do much better than we do. To develop mastery in any art form takes practice, not just reps. What is the difference?
Deliberate practice means focused, challenging exercises with specific goals, led by a coach or teacher who knows how to encourage you to be better. It means nudging students to get to that sweet spot of learning where they are reaching just beyond their current capabilities. Truly effective training is hard, it should leave you mentally tired. But when you practice like this, you get better.
Improv programs shouldn’t just be about filling a notebook with ideas that you might practice later. They should be about getting better now. You should be able to walk away on the last day knowing that you acquired skills that you can put into practice the next time you improvise.
If this kind of training sounds intriguing to you, think about studying with the me at the Improv Resource Center. We offer drop in classes and the Core Improv Program – 24 week program which teaches a specific process for improvising scenes. Find out more about it at classes.improvresourcecenter.com.
Improv Bootcamp is different. Instead learning a plethora of different concepts, we focus on a few specific ones and use a variety of exercises to practice each skill.
Updated Monday, June 19, 2017:
For the past three years, I have offered Improv Bootcamps in Chicago. It’s a type of intensive improv training focused on developing specific skills, through concentrated practice. It’s targeted toward students who have at least a year of improv experience, and are looking for a program that will challenge them and improve the way they play right away.
In a typical improv intensive you are introduced to many different concepts and exercises, often in classes of 20 people or more. It’s not uncommon to get only one try at a particular exercise before the class moves on.
Improv Bootcamp is different. Instead learning a plethora of different concepts, we focus on a few specific ones and use a variety of exercises to practice each skill. Typically students are given multiple opportunities to practice a skill over several days.
I’ll be having a 5 day Improv Boot Camp in NYC in August and I’m hoping to add more in other places soon. If you would like to hire me to come to your town for a 2 day or 5 day boot camp, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.