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


The Improv Life: I Miss Going to Canter’s After Shows

This Pastrami Rueben was amazing.

The Improv Life: I Miss Going to Canter’s After Shows

That post show come down is a doozy, man.

The better the show, the hotter the crowd, the tighter the set, the bigger the high.

It’s like you got energy for days.

Like I don’t need to do drugs because I do shows. The high of a great show is unmatched by anything else.

I want to say it’s adrenaline, but if I was an adrenaline junkie I would put myself in unnecessary dangerous situations just for a whiff of a high.

Nah, man, the stage is its own drug. When you’re in a fire improv set in front of a packed house, or your sketch is landing with the audience exactly how you wanted it to, or you’re doing some crazy clown bit that is pushing your limits and the crowd is with you every single step of the way, you’ll feel higher than you’ve ever been.

So how do you cool down? Well, me, I’m going to a diner* with some friends (or sometimes solo).

*For the purpose of this essay I consider Del Taco a diner.

I’m going to sit down, order some coffee, get some good food, and chat with some buds.

And one of my favorite places to do that is the world famous Canter’s Deli in Hollywood. My good friend from Cal, Alan J. Miller, introduced me to Canter’s just before I started going to LA to do comedy.

We saw a great show at UCB Franklin with his cousin, and then we went to Canter’s, and I loved it. Place just radiated good vibes with it’s awesome food and stuck-in-a-time-capsule ambiance.

I didn’t know it then, But Alan was introducing me to a place I would fall in love with. Once I started coming up to LA more to do shows, especially at the Pack Theater, Canter’s became a frequent stop. I even got my OC team to go with me once, and it was amazing.

Not going to Canter’s for over a year and a half was hard because of a). The amazing food, company, and ambiance, and b). I didn’t have a reason to go because I wasn’t doing shows, and that broke my heart.

I just want to get back to a place where performing in LA every week is normal, with the occasional visit to Canter’s peppered in to cap a great night of LA comedy.

#improv #sketch #food #losangeles #canters #pastramiruben #show #performer #theater #packtheater

Love you Canter’s.

The Improv Life: What I Love About Producing Shows

The Improv Life: What I Love About Producing Shows

So between Sunday and yesterday, I produced two amazing shows on Twitch, each with their own concepts, voices, audiences, and great lineup of writers and performers.

Writing and performing are two things I live for, but doing it with people who you genuinely like and excite you creatively, takes those two passions to another level.

And that’s what I love about producing shows – the level of talent and creativity you are a witness to while being a participant.

People are just so damn talented. It’s always a trip (the good kind) to see how people create, how their worldview and life experiences affect the art they bring into the world.

A lot of times I’m just in awe of what people are doing on stage or the writing they’re sharing. I have a front row seat, just thinking to myself, “How are they doing this? Who thinks like this? This is amazing.” And sometimes I’ll even forget to hop back into the show because of how much fun I’m having as an audience member.

Don’t get me wrong: there are bad shows. But the less we talk about that, the better (this isn’t the moment).

It’s just that everyone walking around is a secret genius, and when a person finds the platform that best fits their gifts, you can see that genius on display, and be witness to a singular energy you’re never going to see again in this specific moment. Yes, I’m a sentimental bastard, but that’s because I want to hold onto things that will be erased by time, and every show unfortunately – good or bad – will be erased by time.

So I guess what I really love about producing shows is witnessing amazing talent in a moment that will never be again.

Thank you to all the amazing artists who did the 69 Steps with Jon Lopez and the Dazed and Confused Poetry Club to all the tech people who made it possible, and to the Pack Twitch Channel and San Antonio Learning Annex for hosting us.

#poem #improv #blog #producer #writer #performer #packtwitch #sanantoniolearningannex #packtheater #learning #shows #theater


11 Reasons Why You Should Study w/Neal Dandade

Neal and I at the Pack this past Summer for an amazing Improv class.

11 Reasons Why You Should Study w/Neal Dandade.

If you ever get the chance to study with Neal Dandade, go for it! He is amazing! Here are some reasons why:

1. Neal will teach you how to work in an ensemble and how to adapt your unique individual improv style to fit whatever group you’re working with.

2. Whether taking the class solo or with a friend, you’ll learn to be malleable and responsive to whatever happens in a scene.

3. Neal practices what he preaches too — just check him out every Monday Night at the Pack Theater with Dingleberries, a group of Chicago improvisers who love to fuck with each other.

4. On top of that, his enthusiasm and positivity is down right infectious, and you can’t leave class not liking this man and whatever he’s taught you that day.

5. Seriously, it’s super awesome to be around a guy who is so positive and welcoming.

6. Don’t underestimate the power of these two traits in a teacher.

7. Neal doesn’t judge! His acceptance of students of whatever level they are at makes it extremely welcoming.

8. I don’t feel like I have to please him, or fear disappointing him. He’s chill in the sense that he is there to teach and accept and help you out in this particular step of your journey.

9. I’m not saying I don’t feel this with other teachers. It’s just that with Neal I can let my guard down and be vulnerable.

10. Being vulnerable is when you can be most affected, therefore, be most teachable.

11. Neal will make you feel safe, vulnerable, and from there you will learn.

Level 2 Improv at the Pack Theater last year was a blast because of him, not to mention my amazing classmates, who were a pleasure to work with.

Neal now teaches Improv Level 1 at the Pack Theater, and you should consider studying with him!

Trust me, it’s a choice you won’t regret. Sign up today!

Here is the link! => https://www.packtheater.com/product/improv-i-may-june-2019/

Love you, Neal!


#improv #packtheater #laimprov #teacher

It was a great class!


The Improv Life: Neal Dandade Is The World’s Most Approachable Improv Teacher

Neal is amazing. Study with him today.

Why You Should Study with Neal Dandade

I think a lot of improv teachers like to surround themselves with a shroud of mysticism and status, consciously or not.

As the carriers of knowledge and bearers of truth, not to mention amazing improvisers, they are intimidating.

That wall of experience and expertise is a hard barrier to cross. And some students never cross it.

None of this applies to Neal Dandade. In fact, he is the exact opposite. He is one of the most approachable human beings you’ll ever meet.

Yes, he’s experienced, knowledgeable, and talented, but those things are not the first things you encounter when talking to Neal.

Always with a big smile, there is nothing insincere in Neal’s interactions with you.

As a student, that’s tremendous. Neal’s openness and absence of judgement makes it easy for you to feel safe and comfortable around him. And because you feel those things, it’s easy to take risks in his class.

Whatever you do in class, whether the whole class is cracking up at your performance or left scratching their heads because of your choices, Neal is able to sum up what you did perfectly.

But here is what’s most amazing: he’s able to do that while stating how your choices are a reflection of your unique improv style.

Neal makes you aware of how you play, and he pushes you to use that awareness to break bad habits, move out of your comfort zone, and propel your own growth.

Study with Neal today. Get all the benefits of training with an improv guru without the angst of possibly disappointing one.

He’s sweet, sincere, knowledgeable, and cares — what else can you ask for?

Studying with Neal for my Level 2 Improv Class at the Pack Theater was a happy accident, and I can’t recommend any further why you should study with him. I probably could, but that’s for another post.

Thanks, Neal!


#packtheater #improv #teacher

Update: since this blog post was published, Neal Dandade is now the teacher of Level 1 at the Pack Theater! Neal is amazing, and you should consider taking his Level 1 class. Whether an advanced performer or a beginner, you will get a lot out of his Level 1 class and from working with him. Follow this link to learn more => https://www.packtheater.com/classes/improv/

Also, you can catch Neal every Monday Night at the Pack Theater at 10pm with his awesome team, Dingleberries! Neal, Rich Sohn, and Timmy Mayse put on one of the most fun and unique shows in all of LA that I guarantee you won’t find elsewhere! You will leave having a great time! Check it out!