Past Meetups (52)

What we're about

Join the one and only Improv Social Network (ISN) as we host improv sessions, as well as other fun activities such as trips to comedy and improv clubs, charity events, social get-togethers , BBQs and much more! Our goal is to grow and support the improv community with our sole focus being YOU, our members. This is a non-pressure group, come out when you can and enjoy the time you have!

We look forward to meeting you at one of our up-coming sessions! Welcome to the group! :) We also hold meetups in the following cities in the GTA: Toronto, Missisauga, Oakville, Milton and Guelph

A few benefits of joining the always hilarious and spontaneous ISN ...

- Mingle with fun, creative and adventurous like-minded people and make a few new friends along the way!

- Enhance your communication skills, increase your confidence and get those creative juices flowing in a supportive and friendly environment. Many of our members have also commented that our sessions provide a great opportunity to connect with others, overcome fears of public speaking, anxiety and stress. You do not have to be a funny person, just come with a positive attitude. And best of all, no experience required!

- The extremely experienced and talented instructors to coach and support you through the hilarious world of improv!

- You'll learn and practice the fundamentals of improv comedy including: accepting offers, using "yes, and..." to forward a scene, the dangers of "blocking" and using questions to stall a scene, when and how to use low/high status to grow a scene, the benefits of a positive attitude, the best ways to support your team mates, using emotions and character development, making eye contact, listening to others, and other improv techniques.

One final word on improv, one of the biggest misconceptions people make about improv is that you need to be funny. This is completely untrue. One key point to focus on in improv is to be honest, don't strive for jokes. Be sincere and truthful in your scenes and the funny will come naturally. In the words of the great improviser Charna Halpern, "Audience members laugh at things they can relate to, but they cannot empathize if the performers are insincere."

Event Details...

ISN starts each session with a series of fun and interactive warm-up exercises to ensure everyone is comfortable with the fundamentals of improv and each other.

After we have warmed-up our bodies and minds we'll jump into a hilarious set of improv games. You'll have plenty of opportunity to embrace your inner goof-ball as you practice your spontaneous and creative side among your supportive peers.

In addition to this, and for more challenging play time, we'll also explore skits, sketch comedy, acting, character development, physical comedy, when and how to use emotions, the importance of "Yes, and...", offers and blocks and other more advanced improv comedy techniques.

And now a brief description of our talented and experienced improv instructors...

Andrew Zanella

Andrew started in improv by enrolling in the Secod City improv training program. He graduated, with honours in laughter, two years ago. Besides performing on stage at the famous John Candy Blackbox Theatre in Toronto and at Second City's training centre Theatre Andrew also has been performing in front of audiences in Oakville for the past 4 years. Andrew also ran, and was co-founder of The Improv Guys meetup group for several years. He is BACK and ready to continue his passion of teaching and performing with fellow improvisers in the GTA.

Lauren Stein

Lauren started her life as an actor. After formal training in Speech and Drama and Communication Skills with Trinity Guildhall, and becoming a Bachelor in Drama at Guelph, Lauren's real education began in improvisational theatre at the Impatient Theatre Company in Toronto (now defunct--tear.) She trained with some of the world's best Master Improvisers in the Catskills with Artistic New Directions, and continues to train and per4m with them Off-Off-Broadway in New York City every November. She took her passion to the next level by getting a Master's degree in Expressive Arts Therapy. Lauren has written a book about the therapeutic benefits of improvisational theatre (ask her about it, she loves to talk about it!)

Training aside, Lauren is an internationally sought-out teacher and performer, spreading her craft across Europe (Ireland, Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland), to Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and beyond!

Lauren's positive and always energetic attitude, combined with her creative and unique sense of humour, shines through in her improv performances and teaching methods. She looks forward to sharing her improv insights with others and making a few new friends along the way.

Rochelle Gunn

Rochelle is a Human Resources and Coach practitioner with a funny bone who took up improv as a way to help herself and others experience the enhanced business and professional benefits of improv's creative process. Trained in Oakville, Rochelle uses her improvisational training to perform on stage in Theatresports competitions and as an extra in film and television. She has been cast in a talk show, several TV shows, two films and a commercial for a major retailer. Known as a one take wonder, Rochelle is passionate about improv and enjoys sharing the magic of it's professional development benefits to everyone as a way to boost their potential in all aspects of life.

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Top 10 poor excuses to not do improv ...

10. "I have to wash my hair" ... while we endorse proper scalp
hygiene, our participants find we offer a convenient schedule to work around follicular care and maintenance

9. "My hamster died" ... hmm, actually this is a good excuse,
our condolences to you in this difficult time, please feel free to rejoin us once the mourning period for Sparky is complete

8. "I have this rash" ... I'm not a doctor, but if I were a
doctor I'd probably tell you to go see a doctor

7. "There has to be a catch" ... The Improv Guys simply love
improv, this isn't a front to get you to buy a timeshare or invest in some crazy scheme (you're giving us way too much credit if you think we're that clever!)

6. "I am a very shy person" ... have a drink! they don't
nickname our instructor "Hungover" for nothing

5. "I heard improv is kind of lame" ... if by "lame"
you mean awesome, hilarious and better than a cozy night by the fireplace, then lame it is

4. "I don't like to have fun" ... there is only one cure my
friend, and that is improv!

3. "There are voices inside my head" ... that's okay, as long
as you share with us what they are saying

2. "I have no background in theatre or performing of any kind"
... not a problem, we usually have a good mix of newbies and veterans, all in a comfortable and supporting environment.

And the number one poor excuse to not do improv ...

1. "I am not a very funny person" ... you do not need to be funny, just willing to have fun, that's the beauty of improv!

Website: http://andrewzanella.wixsite.com/improvsocialnetwork

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theimprovsocialnetwork/ (https://www.facebook.com/groups/improvguys/)

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsOe9IGLDS8VXVawJnR4vCg

Twitter: @ImprovSocNetwk (https://twitter.com/ImprovSocNetwk)

E-mail: theimprovsocialnetwork.@gmail.com

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