Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Importance of Constantly Taking Classes

I found myself in a bit of a rut lately. It was probably started when I didn't get onto a PIT Musical Team, then didn't get onto a PIT improv team, then UCB was a shot in the dark.

I always tell people that I did all the classes at once because I wanted to be able to not have to start over at 101 and have to relearn everything multiple times. But, after finishing off all three, I have no more classes I have to take.

I am a part of The Battery which is a spectacular house team at the Magnet, I created Humphrey, a krompf team full of people I think are amazing and love playing with, and I ended up doing Supernova with the team War which is good fun.

You'd think 3 practice groups would be great, which is awesome, but after a while, I missed the class atmosphere. I felt like I was falling into similar moves or worse starting to question the moves I was doing. I started to be more hesitant on stage because I don't perform as much as I used to.

Ed Herbstman said that it took him about 8 years to get good at improv. The first two years he thought he was amazing, the 3rd year til 8th was just trying to figure out if he was shitty or not.

So, this weekend, I got back into taking classes. I was able to get back into the musical scene and take Musical Level 3 with Michael Lutton. He is a spectacular performer and teacher and I would recommend his classes to EVERYONE. He really lays down the simple rules for musical form and when the class understands those rules, they shine.

I also am taking a "Work On You" improv hub class with Nick Feitel. Nick created supernova and he's also been in the improv scene and trained with lots of people. The price combined with curiousity made me want to take it. I unwittingly took it at the same time as my supernova team practices, which is my problem because impulse buys are always at 1am in the morning, but I'm working it out.

I already feel more exhilirated. I'm working harder on VO and I'm starting to get better at improv. I feel the fun coming back. I feel that exhausting feeling of doing a lot of improv. It feels amazing.

So, here's my advice. Take Magnet Classes in improv and even Musical improv. You can retake the classes for 1/2 off, levels 1-3 and if you're on a house team or just a good student some teachers will let you take the class for free or big sib. That is phenomenal. I was on a musical house team at pit for about 2 years and I only remember being offered a free class in a big sib style once. With magnet, every month there is 5-6 big sibbing opportunities.

Magnet is the best, by far, for people who just want to improv more and more. I've emailed pit about discounted second rounds of classes and they've said a resounding no. It's unfortunate. I was this close to retaking level 4 or 5 there but the price tag is just too high.

I've come to a bit of a revelation. I've only really made it onto teams when I was doing lots of classes. The moment I stopped or just held back, suddenly the auditions weren't that good. Maybe there's a correlation. Who Knows!

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