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Houston School of Improv

HOUSTON'S LARGEST & MOST EXPERIENCED TRAINING CENTER

 

Our classes improve public speaking skills, confidence, memory, and awareness - all within a safe and supportive environment. Improv isn't about being funny - it's about being you.

 

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.

01

Say Yes-and

02

After the `and` add new information

03

Don't Block

04

Avoid Questions

05

Focus on the Here and Now

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Establish the Location

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Be Specific: Provide Details

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Change, Change, Change

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For serious and emotional scenes, focus on characters and relationships

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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 zone
    You 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 speaking
    People 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 yourself
    One 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 listener
    If 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.

Every Level Ends with a Recital at The EaDo Comedy Show

Meet the Instructors

BrendonDuran

Brendon Duran

Director of Education

With CSz Houston, Brendon has taught countless workshops to students of all ages, corporate groups, and performers. He has also directed the hilarious productions Aladdin: Unscripted, Back to the Future: Unscripted, and The EaDo Comedy Show. By day, Brendon teaches for the Alley Theatre as part of their Staging STEM and Playmakers programs. As a performer, he has made audiences laugh in over 300 shows with CSz Houston, and his long-form troupe Flirt Reynolds, in comedy venues, theaters, and festivals (Out of Bounds Comedy FestivalThe Fracas! Improv FestivalHouston Improv Festival) across the country. He has also acted professionally in Houston at theaters including Horse Head Theatre CompanyThe Ensemble Theatre Houston and The Landing Theatre Company. Brendon has studied long-form improv at the legendary iO Chicago, and holds a BFA in Theatre with a focus in Acting from the University of Houston.

Brendon truly understands the connection between body and mind for an actor. Before taking classes with him, I had no idea that improvisation (a skill deeply rooted in relaxation and manipulation of the body) could free me up so much on stage during plays. If you are interested in personalizing your work as a performer, take a class from him. If you are interested in learning a little more about your own voice as an artist, take a class from him. If you are interested in a little F-U-N, well, you know what to do
— Tasha Gorel
Benji Cokksey

Benji Cooksey

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. 

Wow. Just wow. Best instructor ever.
— Cenji Booksey