An AT&T ad executive hangs up the phone, grabs his jacket, and heads toward the subway to Hell's Kitchen. It's the late '80s, and at the New York comedy institution The Improv, a slew of up-and-coming talent, including Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock, are testing jokes and honing timing. In the next few years, they'll perform on television for millions. But for now, they're changing the life of one ad executive.
The founder of LA Stand-Ups, Joe Falzarano, quit his promising advertising career because he "hated being a suit" and preferred to nurture promising young comedians. With accomplishments that include producing the CableACE Award–winning Caroline's Comedy Hour for A&E, Falzarano helped launch the performing and writing careers of entertainers including Jon Stewart and Louis C.K. Today, Falzarano imparts his more than 20 years of industry experience to aspiring joke-tellers, teaching them tactics for perfecting a punch line, calming nerves, and subduing hecklers with a marshmallow gun. Falzarano maintains a supportive atmosphere where students learn how to use who they are to connect with an audience, and even lets students try out material at the Hollywood Improv.
In 1999, Matt Rosas made a decision. He traded in his corporate career working in marketing for Fortune 500 businesses to share his passion for surfing, which he felt since making his first surfboard in seventh grade. Now the owner and head instructor of the Malibu LongBoards Surf School, Rosas has more than a decade of full-time teaching under his belt. His fellow instructors, Christian Andersen and Jerry Angel, have a combined 45 years of teaching experience between them. Together, they demonstrate how to glide atop waves during private and group standup paddling and surfing lessons. They have teaching permits for Santa Monica, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles, Malibu, Ventura, and Santa Barbara, so students can surf the waves and mow the seaweed at an array of beaches. Alternatively, the trio also maintains a fleet of rental boards and the gear to go with them, so surfers can enjoy unassisted sessions on the water.
Harnessing a minimum of 500 hours of Yoga Alliance training, YogaWorks's expert instructors build lean muscles with traditional Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Vinyasa flows enhanced by inspiring music, ambient candlelight, meditation, and props. Their fitness classes further the body-shaping results of yoga, strengthening core muscles with Pilates, increasing endurance and lean muscles with TRX classes, and building stamina with resistance-based SculptWorks. Instructors also host exotic yoga retreats, which marry the excitement of travel to far-away locales with the benefits of yoga to bestow students with the confident grace required to approach a foreign yoga mat without startling it.
Those in search of further training can access online videos by subscribing to myyogaworks.com, which offers a free, 14-day trial for new users. Students can search for videos by workout duration, skill level, and the targeted area of the body.
Yogis Anonymous offers classes taught by top quality teachers, and is set in a relaxed, laid back environment with a welcoming community. They offer in-studio and online yoga classes, as well as events and workshops with guest teachers. Experienced instructors lead a variety of classes for practitioners of all levels, including Basic, Moderate, and Strong, which offer ascending breath work and pose challenges. Inside the studio, class-goers will find a soaring ceiling, honey-colored hardwood floors, and plenty of natural light to aid them on their yogic journeys towards strength, flexibility, and quiet minds. Yogis Anonymous was recently rated as "The Best Yoga in LA" by The Huffington Post.
Trapeze School New York’s expansion west meant Angelenos no longer had to cross the country to join the circus. At their outdoor studio on the Santa Monica Pier, highly trained instructors teach beginner, intermediate, and advanced maneuvers during classes on the flying trapeze, aerial silks, lyra, trampoline, and Spanish web. All of Trapeze School New York’s countrywide facilities in New York, Boston, Washington, DC, Chicago, and LA hold themselves to high safety standards that account for everything from equipment to instructors and safety belts. In an effort to bring their flying-trapeze instruction to surrounding communities regardless of funding, the school also gives lessons through their nonprofit branch of operations.
From 18 studios scattered around Los Angeles, Lori Moran Music Studios’ armada of instructors offers all-ages voice, piano, guitar, violin, and composition classes. With teachers who have worked on films such as Dreamgirls and Dance Flick, world-touring operatic productions, and Grammy-nominated choral CDs, the school can cater to virtually every musical taste—from classical to jazz to pop. Students choose the emphasis of their lessons, whether they want to work on their public performance skills, write their own songs, sight-read scores, or simply be able to play musical chairs during a power outage. Many will also get the chance to show off in recitals, concerts, and showcases.