Announcement: On September 10, 2022 at 10am US Central Time, I will be leading an online workshop on Hosting Short Form Games. Would love to see you there. You can sign up at Hosting Short Form Games – Workshop – Fish Sticks Comedy. The workshop is as free as you’d like it to be.
I love the process of putting on a workshop or training session – whether for performers, business people, or any group of people looking for ways to work better together. I’ve also enjoyed teaching online. Although certainly not as intensely as since the COVID-19 crisis, I’ve been teaching improv over Skype, Zoom or other technologies for years. You’ll see an expanded reference to that work below.
Please note that the below is a sampling of the workshops I teach. I’m happy to discuss additional topics to help you, your troupe or your business grow utilizing improv skills and principles honed on stage, in the training room, or online.
This course can be done as a survey or a series of workshops, and focuses on the implications of “Other-Centered Improv.” This approach has been developed primarily by Whit himself and informs choices made on and off stage — including in the design and implementation of this and other workshops he does. Learn how to improve your, your teammates and your audiences experience with this thoughtful, yet simple and transformative, mindset.
The Soul of Improv
This workshop has a lofty goal of identifying and communicating the foundational principles of improv and exploring how they are best put into practice. The net result is reduced confusion about all the schools and approaches of improv, which can appear conflictual, and greater freedom to connect with your co-performers and your audience members.
This workshop, which can be delivered online, is designed for performers who may not be as familiar with how improv is practiced and performed in the United States. Unlike any other course I’ve seen, we try to synthesize what has developed from the work of Viola Spolin, Del Close and others, as well as the approaches and concepts espoused in theaters/schools like iO, Second City, UCB, Annoyance, the Groundlings, and others rather than comparing and contrasting the various schools and iconic teachers. The goal is not to advocate for this approach over another, but to provide a wider perspective to inform and expand the work of improvisers who haven’t had direct experience with any or all of the primary US improv approaches.
The recent experimenting with doing improv has led to some innovations and some misses. Without claiming to have “the solution” to making online improv equivalent with in person improv, in this workshop you and your troupe will work through an Other-Centered Improv approach to making the medium more effective for you and your audience.
Making the Other Person Look Good
In this workshop, we explore how to manage our own and our partners’ very real, human reactions and emotions in a way that leads to more supportive improv and better shows for your teammates. And unsurprisingly, doing so leads to better shows for your team as well!
Ever have those scenes that inexplicably become boring? Has blaming them on scenes becoming “transaction scenes” or “teaching scenes” not been enough? Probably so. Because there’s nothing inherently wrong with transactions in scenes or teaching moments in scenes. To solve the scenes that go nowhere problem, you need a different viewpoint. A different focus.
Offers from the Deep End
This workshop is about ensembles becoming attuned to deeper offers than just what’s spoken by ensemble members. While depth doesn’t need to be a goal for each and every scene, an awareness of when opportunities to explore the human condition and how we react to meaningful, weighty aspects of our lives can lead to both funny and powerful moments in an improv set.
Hosting Short Form Games
Many of the best improvisers in the world struggle with hosting games, shows, or other improv performances. It’s a different skillset, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating when you feel so free in your improvisation but so clumsy when hosting. It gets to the point where improvisers just throw up their hands and resign themselves to just not being great at hosting. Well, I’m not going to give up on you! In this workshop, we will work through all the aspects that go into hosting a short form improv show. There will be ties to how Fish Sticks Comedy performs their short form shows, but this workshop will benefit any improviser who ends up being in front of an audience explaining what’s about to come next.
For Businesses and Organizations
The Light Bulb Workshop
Failure is something we all experience — but it is not something that we all manage well. Rather than see failure as discouraging and exposing, what if businesses and organizations saw it as opportunities for learning and growth? In this workshop, we discuss the implications of that mindset and establishing the environment necessary to gain from failures within the organization.
Today’s workplace is filled with more varied generational backgrounds, expectations and communication styles than ever before. While differences can be great strengths, they can also be a source of stress and disconnect if not approached properly. Our workshops on intergenerational communication explore what your team’s particular experience has been and provide tools, techniques, strategies and a mindset to increase the effectiveness of communication within multi-generational teams.
Workplaces that thrive today are collaborative. Every employee has something to offer and is a potential source of new, profitable ideas. But that’s not every workplace by a long-shot. Collaborative Culture workshops are designed to take your business team through experiences to understand and develop the tools and techniques that will lead to greater contributions and empowerment up and down your company or department’s hierarchy.
These and other workshops are provided through my improv troupe, Fish Sticks Comedy. For more info, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.