Why take an improv class?
The Houston School of Improv is here to help those who have never been on stage learn how to do comedy like the professionals! If you're looking for a hobby, trying to improve inter-personal relations skills or even hone your acting chops; the Houston School of Improv is right for you.
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Focus on the Here and Now
Establish the Location
Be Specific: Provide Details
Change, Change, Change
For serious and emotional scenes, focus on characters and relationships
For humor, commit and take choices to the nth degree or focus on actions/objects
5 Reasons to Take an Improv Class
One of the most common reasons for people not taking improv classes is because they believe they are not funny or they don’t want to be funny. In truth, becoming funny is probably one of the last reasons to take an improv class.
1. To get outside of your comfort zoneYou are guaranteed to be pushed outside of you comfort zone in an improv class. We refer to your comfort zone as the saboteur, the things that tells you that you can’t do something, or that you are not good enough. One of our goals in an improv class is to get you to ignore your saboteur and get yourself to live up to your true potential!
2. Public speakingPeople would rather die then speak in public? How about doing a scene with a character, emotion and dialog in front of a group of people, with out any knowledge of what you are going to say a head of time? We will teach you how to be comfortable on stage, how to act instead of react and how to say things with purpose. One of the biggest aspects of principles of improv is trust, you will learn to trust those in your class and be trusted by them!
3. To discover a lot about yourselfOne of the principles of improv is characters. You will need to perform as a character on stage, a character different from yourself… amazingly enough you will learn a lot about yourself by playing a character with a point of view or opinion that is different from your own. Another HUGE part of improv is to have emotions… you will be asked to express realistic emotions, through those emotions you will be able to learn a lot about yourself.
4. To become a Yes Person!Improv classes will teach you that the fun is on the other side of Yes! Saying yes to things that you would normally say no to because your saboteur tells you that your not good enough, will help you believe in yourself and you own ability.
5. To become a better listenerIf you don’t listen while doing improv you won’t know how to respond. How often do you talk to someone that is just waiting for you to finish talking so they can say what they already are planning on saying? Improv will teach you to listen attentively… not just for words but for emotion, intention, point of view and so much more.
Level One: Intro to Improv
This class teaches the basic skills needed to be successful in improvisational comedy through games, exercises, and workshops focusing on communication, confidence, commitment, listening, focus, story-telling, and spontaneity.
Level Two: Beyond the Basics
In this class, students will learn the next steps necessary to becoming a successful improviser on stage. We will focus more on high-energy commitment to scenes, building unique characters, and exploring themes and patterns in a comedic way.
Level Three: Playing the Scene
Not all improv scenes are created equally, but that doesn't mean you can't be confidence about being in them. Level Three is all about attacking any and every kind of scene that comes your way.
Level Four: Playing the Show
Every lesson, game and activity moves towards the goal of performing at a professional level. Students in Level Four will learn how to perform in the context of a full show.
Meet the Instructors
Director of Education, and proud human being
Jordan stumbled upon the world of improv in 2014 when one of her friends told her she was "kind of funny sometimes" and should look into taking a class at ComedySportz Houston. You know, just as something to do for a few weeks. After taking Level 1 & 2, she auditioned and made the CSz Houston pro team. When she moved to Los Angeles for work in 2016, she joined the CSz LA team, studied improv at UCB (shout out to Will Hines, her favorite teacher!) and performed with lots of different improv groups in the area. In 2017, she wisely returned to H-town, and to CSz Houston. She performs regularly in CSz Houston matches, and recently launched a new late night show The Live Improvised Movie.
Jordan has a passion for helping students gain confidence, stage presence and energy. Improv taught her that it's OK to be herself, and she wants all her students to come to the same realization both on and off the field. Jordan's favorite person in the world is her amazing husband Ryan, who lights up her entire life and makes her every moment worth living :)
Level One Instructor, GM, and overall fun guy
Benji is the owner and general manager of CSz Houston. He has been a player on the team for 5 years and is the head of corporate entertainment bookings. Benji's production credits include the founding of Improv! The Musical - Houston's first completely improvised musical, making its way into its second year of running, (713) - An original Houston late night Comedy Show and Beer Babies - An improvised drinking show.
Instructor and beard extraordinare
Connor has been an improviser with CSz Houston for five years, a teacher for the High School League for three years, and is an alumni of the CSz Houston High School League program, having participated for all four years. He graduated from the University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance with a BFA in Theatre and a focus in playwriting and dramaturgy.
Instructor and voice like an angel
Emily Clay holds a Masters degree in Education from Louisiana State University. She began her teaching career in Baton Rouge in 2005 before moving to Houston and joining ComedySportz as a player in 2008. In the summer of 2017, she was a proud member of the finalist Houston team at the CSz Worldwide Championship. Beyond regular ComedySportz matches, she has performed in a wide variety of CSz productions, including numerous Unscripted shows, Improv! The Musical!, and The Live Improvised Movie at our home theater, as well as at Comicpalooza and The Houston Improv Festival. She is married with two young children, both of whom exhibit impeccable comedic timing, and works as the Intervention Specialist at their school.
Instructor and 2016 & 2017 MVP
Samir has been a proud member of CSz Houston since 2010. You can see him in ComedySportz matches (as a referee, player, announcer, or scoreboard operator.) He has represented CSz Houston at the CSz Worldwide Championships since 2013, including playing for Houston in the championship match in 2017. Samir has also taken part in a variety of other productions at CSz Houston, including the Unscripted series, Improv! The Musical, The EaDo Comedy Show, and The Live Improvised Movie. Samir has been an corporate/educational trainer for CSz since 2012, and coach in the ComedySportz High School League® since 2013.