Another Amazing LA Improv Summit! EP.6 Was a Success!

Teams represented: Menudo, The Tango, Downtown Menagerie, The Story Goes, Ka-Blahm-O!, The Improv Council, and FernGully

So Much Freaking Talent

Well, we had another successful LA Improv Summit!

This was such a fun show!

Here are my takeaways!

– I’m loving musical improv; it’s so fun to just go out there and sing a made up song on the spot!

– I’m so lucky to have Kristen Gull go on that journey with me. We had some great songs, always being in connection with each other and being affected by the other. I can’t wait to do FernGully again!

– And big thanks to Barton Lewis for playing music for us! He brought a great energy to the show, and his presence and contributions were welcomed!

– The Tango has a really coo, grounded and patient style with lots of listening and calling out stuff and layering of facts to build a world. I dig their stuff!

– Downtown Menagerie put up a loving homage to Chinatown and other classic film noirs. They play with a certain rhythm, always keeping you engaged and playing with steam to take the story where it needs to go in due time.

– Menudo! Such a fun group! You could tell they really love each other because they play with a freedom you can only achieve from having a strong bond built on trust and liking being around each other.

– The Story Goes is amazing! Everyone needs to see them! I felt like I was watching a traveling theater company that goes from town to town bringing the magic of acting and writing to the masses.

– Ka-Blahm-O! Frankie Estrella, man, dude turns up to an 11 every show. He’s leader guitar and vocals and I’m bass and drums, and somehow it all works!

– Finally, The Improv Council was very special last night as everyone who played last night were people I’m on teams with either officially or unofficially. It was cool to share the stage with people I love and respect.

Damn, that was a lot! Long story short – go book all these teams and players; they all rock and deserve to be seen by everyone!

Next LA Improv Summit is going to be Saturday, June 11! Stay tuned for the lineup!

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The Debut of Ferngully!

Such an amazing time at the Coup de Comedy Festival at UCI!

Ferngully is Alive!

Well Ferngully had our first show at the Variety Pack!

Reed Brice and his team, Luna and Andra, along with the Coup de Comedy production team put up a great show!

And guess what, y’all – Ferngully is a 2-person musical team!

It was a “stars aligning” kinda moment with the last minute surprise of Greg Smith, a really cool UCI student, as our accompaniest.

We made up some really fun songs on the spot including Macho Man meditations on toasters and the necessity of trapping cats and neutering them before releasing – we stumbled upon a style! Such a fun set!

And the rest of the show was amazing!

Lizard Brain, Luna, and Andra had some great bits throughout, and trans icon Tuesday Thomas had a really fun set! Go check her out! Finally, Reed Brice has a beautiful voice – bravo!

The Coup de Comedy Festival is live for two more days at UCI, and all of it’s free – go check out their remaining workshops, panels and shows!

Plus, stay tuned for the return of Ferngully!

#thevarietypack #ferngully #tuesdaythomas #improv #sketch #standup #comedy #coupdecomedyfestival #UCI #theater #packtheater


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We Created a New Improv From – Formaggedon Was a Success!

I’m So Happy We Created a New Improv Form: The Jeffrey!

We did it! We created a new improv form last night – The Jeffrey!

Not going to lie, this experiment went better than I expected.

Here’s how we created the form:

1). I didn’t tell anyone my method until all the players were on stage.

2). I then asked the audience for the name of an improv from they’ve never seen. Hence, the Jeffrey

3). I then revealed my method: I was going to ask the players and the audience for what rules and parameters were going to guide this new form.

And I got 5! (2 from the players and 3 from the audience).

Here are the rules of the Jeffrey:

– Every 3rd scene is a 2-person scene
– Every edit is a monologue
– Takes place reverse chronologically
– Clap to wipe
– Every player has the ability to call “Sing it” on another player in the show, 1x only

And you know what? We pulled it off!

Everyone stepped up and did their darndest to bring the Jeffrey to life!

What I really loved was that almost everyone had an individual moment where they shined while weaving in moments where the ensemble came together and did some big group scenes – it felt real theatrical!

I forget: improv is theater.

Thank you to Juanito Velasco, Jamie Dana, Josh Heimendinger, Jennifer Choy, Karla Varney, Mernoosh Kiani, and Robert Souders for going on this wild ride with me; to the amazing fans and community of the Improv Collective, and to Bridget Steiner for hooking it up with the stage time and encouraging far out shows like Formaggedon.

Are we going to do Formaggedon again? I don’t know, but at least we know we can pull it off!

Check out the Improv Collective every Friday and Saturday at 9:30pm for great improv.

Go out there and try some crazy stuff on stage!

The Rules.
Our amazing cast; thank you.

#improv #ocimprov #improvcollective #formaggedon #writer #creator #director #theater #producer #showrunner #bold #ozzyosborne

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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: You Will Use Everything You Know

The Improv Life: You Will Use Everything You Know

Steve Martin’s standup memoir “Born Standing Up” is must-read for all comedians.

He describes things only other comedians would understand, like doing a show in front of a packed house but being thrown off your game because of the one audience member in the front row that you can make eye contact with.

Honestly, I discover something’s new every time I read it.

One of its most enduring lessons, however, comes from a time when Steve Martin was on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson for the umpteenth time.

During a commercial break, Johnny leans in close to Steve and tells him, “You will use everything you know.”

In that moment, Steve knew exactly what Johnny meant. And when I first heard it, I knew immediately as well.

You will mine every single experience for comedy. Or everything you’ve ever read, watched, or listened to, you will use it for something. All information, insight, gossip, revelation, newspaper headlines, magazines articles, and whatever is yours to use for bits.

And I’ve been using that strategy all month long in my one-improv-blog-a-day project. Coming up with a blog post every day was hard, so I literally pulled from every corner of my comedy experience, and I loved it!

I now have 30 essays on the improv experience, ranging from mediations on the journey, comedy history, and at least one how-to piece. I hoped people found value in what I wrote, and at the very least, some of these posts set up a bedrock of improv comedy insight for me to explore further.

Honestly, writing every day is a great habit to clarify your thinking and get ultra specific in what you want to say. And the more you write, the more insight is revealed to you, and all that knowledge stacks up on top of each other, leading to some major discovery down the line – and its the major discoveries that make this art form amazing. I encourage you all to write every day. Thank you for reading these past 30 days.

Fernando

#improv #sketch #comedy #stevemartin #johnnycarson #writer #usewhatyouknow #blog #bornstandingup #insight #knowledge #discovery #revelation

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