Scene Work, Shows, Teams

The Improv Life: Why Red Door Rocks!

An Improv Masterclass

The Improv Life: Why Red Door Rocks!

Well my first post-Covid show is in the books!

I booked Red Door at the Glendale Room, and they crushed it!

Pro-tip: you gotta watch great improv if you want to be a great improviser. And every time I watch Red Door I feel like I learn something new and unknown while being wildly entertained and engaged the whole time – that’s a standard we should all aspire too.

Every show is a masterclass in character work, space object work, transitions, editing, how to throw in jabs and pimps to throw your scene partner off but you low key know they can do it, and the power of having fun playing with someone you just really like fucking with.

Red Door rocks!

I encourage you all to go watch them ASAP!

And remember: you gotta study your craft if you want to master it.

#improv #theglendaleroom #reddoor #masterclass #theater #craft

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What I Learned About Space Object Work & Its Relationship to Character Work from Rich Sohn’s Pack Level II Class

Go Study with Rich Sohn

I just love studying with Rich in his Pack Level 2 Improv Class — I feel like I learn something new every time I work with him, or I look at something I’ve taken granted – like space object work – with new and fresh eyes, a renewed energy and focus to charge my improv with new purpose and intention.

Enjoy these quotes, and I hope they bring as much insight and learning to you as they did to me.

“We put too much weight on ourselves when we’re doing object work that it has to be perfect and that the audience has to get it; if you believe it, they believe it, and it gives you a chance to play an emotion.”

“Good object work creates structure from which you can express your character.”

“The tendency with object work is to show us that you’re doing it, but does that mean you’re actually experiencing the thing or indicating?”

“Indicating – Really charading your object work so that the audience gets what you’re doing; it’s not about actually doing the thing.”

“Indicating is residue of fear or lack of commitment. Person is not consciously doing it. There’s an artificiality to it.”

“The goal is to have the environment you create be as real for you as you can and be as useful for you as you can.”

“You find a way to express your character through object work.”

“Add an emotion to your object work to give your character some intention.”

“The audience sees the intention and forgives any issues with the object work.”

“The audience doesn’t care about the accuracy of your mime work if you’re character is acting with intention.”

“The audience’s eyes are looking at your character, not your craft (whatever space object thing you’re doing).”

“When you hit something in a performance class that makes you uncomfortable, it’s something you should invest in harder – it’s a sign of what your pressure points are.” – Rich said this in reference to the space object work exercise we did in class

Hey y’all, all I gotta say is: Go study with Rich!

PS: Neal Dandade is pretty badass too.

#improv #richsohn #packtheater #annoyancetheater #spaceobjectwork #character

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Meet Nuisance – My New Pack House Improv Team!

Meet Nuisance! My new Pack House Improv Team! We just had our first improv show last night, and it was a lot of fun!

It’s been a minute since I’ve been on a house improv team, so I’m looking forward to growing with these players and building something with our coach, John Conroy, that is uniquely ours. I’m really happy to play with them!

We’re going to be performing the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month at 8pm at the Pack Theater as part of House Night – that includes our sister team, Mindreader (great first show y’all!) and the Pack House Sketch Teams, Moonshot (my team as well!) and FEVER.

This is going to be a great season! Hope to see you at a show!

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Ka-Blahm-o! Comics No.1 was a Huge Success!

Hot damn! The premier of Ka-Blahm-O! Comics No.1 at Catsby was a success – this was a fire show with an all Latinx lineup!

I feel like I’ve really leveled up as a programmer this year, but if I’m going to be honest, I’m just lucky to know a lot of comedy superstars in the making.

It’s not just about me asking talented people to share their gifts with me and the audience; it’s also asking people to go out there and try something new outside their comfort zone and have that experience of adjusting their performance in real time to the audience’s response, the best teacher for any performer.

There was a little bit of everything yesterday, and I’m glad we just put it all out there and trusted ourselves to succeed and have fun.

I think the audience dug it, and that’s a win in my book.

Thank you to all the amazing Latinx comedians who performed last night and shared their genius with us. Thanks to Chad Damiani and Catsby for the slot and guidance. Thanks to the amazing audience who gave their full attention to an all Latinx show. Thank you to the Latinx Comedy Pachanga for the help with social media and producing.

And finally, special thanks to Frankie Estrella for doing all this crazy shit with me all weekend long. We filmed for a web series, drove up and down SoCal, had Del Taco and Fatburger, did two shows together + a workshop, and shared the glory of Ka-Blahm-O! with the world. I love you, brother. Thank you for doing all this with me.

#clown #improv #idiot #comedy #latinx #latinxcomedy #latinxcomedypachanga #LA #LAimprov #losangeles #catsby #chaddamiani #kablahmo

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The Improv Life: What I Learned About Editing from Rich Sohn

The Improv Life: What I Learned About Editing from Rich Sohn

I studied with Rich Sohn online this past year for his Pack Theater Level 2 improv class.

It’s a 4-week session, but you get a lot, and you get a close look at Rich’s improv philosophy, shaped by his years studying, performing, and teaching improv in Chicago, the mecca of our art form.

I liked the class so much I took it twice. And I want to take it a third time. I’m at a point in my journey where Rich’s philosophy and teaching style vibes with me well.

I learned a lot, but I learned about the importance of editing. Scene edits are the invisible fabric of a good show. A good scene depends on how well it’s edited. If you have enough good scenes stringed together, you got yourself a show you can hang your hat on at the end of it.

Pop quiz hot shot: you’re on the sidelines and your team is dying on stage, begging to be edited, but you don’t have an idea for a new scene – what do you do?

You get your teammates the hell out of there, and you trust yourself and your new teammate on stage to make a new scene and figure it out from there. Getting your teammates out of danger is more important than having some hot shot idea for an amazing scene.

A scene that goes on too long is risky. It affects the energy of the overall show. Teammates get insecure, feeling like their sinking in quicksand and being abandoned by their teammates, and the audience is weirded out by uncomfortable scenes that seemingly never end but feel like they should. Good editing solves all these problems and increases the likelihood of good scenes and good shows.

Basically, good editing saves the day.

Knowing how to edit is one of the most important skills an improviser could ever develop. This under appreciated ability can be one of the difference makers between an amazing, out-of-this-world show and a “Meh” show that leaves everyone feeling weird afterwards.

Thank you, Rich. Because of you, I know the importance and power of editing (and how to do it). I encourage all of you to go study with Rich Sohn ASAP.

Let’s talk tomorrow,

Fernando

#improv #edit #editor #cut #packtheater #teacher #class #team

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