Improv comedy isn't just about making audiences laugh. It's also a great way for performers to sharpen their wits and reaction time, as well as to overcome public-speaking anxiety. That's why the instructors at Endgames Improv offer so many classes and workshops, helping novices improve everything from group dynamics to scene work to sketch writing. But Endgames Improv's bread and butter is really its jam-packed schedule of comedy shows. Read on to learn about a few of them:
"SF Tonight": During this weekly show, comedians skewer San Francisco's local news stories, using real headlines as their inspiration.
"#ThrowbackThursday": Audience members submit their old photos to Chivalry Club, a long-form improv team, who uses those sometimes-embarrassing pics as the basis for their weekly show.
"Inside Baseball": This variety show is kind of like a comedy smorgasbord, combining the best of local sketch, standup, and improv into one must-see event.
Since its founding in 1939, Barbizon Modeling & Acting Academy has been getting camera-addicted women, men, and kids used to hearing the phrase "lights, camera, action!" without melting into a big puddle of nerves, intimidation, or just plain ole' disbelief. Today, the agency continues this mission of preparing young and fresh talent for a potential life in front of the lens, hosting workshops and programs designed to cover the ins and outs of modeling, acting, singing, and even dancing. Recent graduates include Disney Channel's Nina Lu, Lyndsy Fonseca of CW's "Nikita", and E!News host Giuliana Rancic.
Owen Walker, the guru of the Action Theater method, and he is now one of the method’s six designated senior teachers.
The Action Theater method approaches physical improvisation and theater from three angles: language, voice, and movement. Classes give special attention to being fully present, connecting with a scene partner, and urging students to focus on how they do something, rather than what they do. The end result not only can transform a student’s performance on the stage, it can also enhance everyday skills such as empathy and spontaneity. Thus, though the technique is rooted in the theater, it can also benefit non-actors, much like a playhouse’s cell-phone-activated trap door.
Though Action Theater sometimes features a discounted price online, this Groupon still offers the best deal available
Red Hots Burlesque embodies a devil-may-care attitude and swooshy flair that brazenly challenges the media's unrealistic beauty standards. And that particular brand of burlesque has captured the imaginations of The New York Times, Current TV, and Yelp users alike. The outfit celebrates femininity in all its forms and skewers the prudish during their raucous stage shows and private performances. And for aspiring burlesque legends, Red Hots reveals trade secrets during classes at its School of Shimmy. The courses help individuals feel comfortable with their own bodies without the implication that that's only acceptable in the context of a fitness class. They even waive tuition for survivors of breast cancer.
At City Dance Studios, classes are tailored for students with various levels of experience to ensure everyone can enjoy the art of self-expression through movement. Lessons introduce students to
a diverse array of dance styles ranging from classical ballet and jazz, to contemporary hip hop and exotic Bollywood, and West African. Each of the five spacious studios (they range from 900 to 2,400 square feet) are equipped with sprung hardwood or Marley floors and are surrounded by mirrors, so budding dancers can keep an eye on their form and keep pet parakeets occupied until the class has ended.