5 Ways Musical Improv Can Help Your Play-Style!
Musical Improv, to many, can be a daunting task to face as an improviser. “I have to make a song while keeping a story and playing archetypes?!!! Wha-How-Why?!?” We hear ya, it can be difficult. But, it can also have humungous upside to not only playing Musical based formats, but across your level of skills as an improviser. So here are 5 ways that Musical Improv can help your overall play-style.
1.) Finding the Purpose of Patterns
Songs are very formulaic. Usually consisting of a Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus structure. Learning to create these on the fly, and follow and stick to these patterns increases your awareness in finding them. Whether you’re trying to figure out the perfect structure for a dramatic solo in a Musical format, or trying to find the pattern of a game in a Harold, the more your brain can be shown these patterns, the quicker it picks up on the idea of finding them, connecting with them and finding a purpose for the pattern in the scene.
2.) Dance Like Nobody Is Watching!
In Musical Improv, we focus on what makes musicals so great. The first thing everybody notices is, the spectacle. This can be in the form of scenery, impressive lighting (which we don’t have in Improv), or DANCING!! You focus on shared movements, getting connected with your scene partners and learning how to find the beat, wash, rinse and repeat!
3.) Create Deeper Characters!
In Musical Improv, we often will see a character progress throughout the show. Although this is not always necessary or good for every format, it’s great to learn this skill and expand it. If you can create a character that can be sustained for a 30 minute musical, that grows, shows layers and is entertaining. Your next set of a montage format will be riddled with unique, interesting and engaging characters!
4.) Listen, Listen, Listen!
In every Improv format, it’s important to listen to your scene partners and what’s happening on stage so you can find the perfect place to cut, the perfect moment to do a tag-run etc. In musical improv, that’s telling a story and sometimes through song, you have to always be listening, engaged and ready to collaborate!
5.) Comfort Zones Are Made to Be Broken!
If you feel uncomfortable because you’re not a good singer, it’s fine. Feel like you can’t make up killer rhymes? That’s fine too! Improv is about testing your limits as an artist, expanding your knowledge of tropes and genres, and most importantly, it’s about growing!
If you’re interested in learning more about musical improv, take a look at our 3-Week Intensive starting Saturday May, 13th at The Kick Comedy Theater in Westport! Taught by our own Colin Sandall, Musical Director and former Co-Director of Presto!: A Musical! CLICK HERE to learn more about the class and get enrolled today!
As April leaves us with it’s showers, we look forward to the flowers that await us in May! We have a lot of exciting things happening, to name a few… NEW CAST MEMBERS, A BRAND NEW FORMAT (“The Shredder”) and NEW WORKSHOPS!
This May, we will be debuting our brand new format, The Shredder, based on the classic Improv format The Armando. In The Shredder, you’ll see an Improviser, Stand-Up Comedian or local guest artist tell a true story based on a suggestion from the audience. Then, our company of actors will create scenes based off of the story told by our storyteller.
This new format will premiere May 13th at 8:00 P.M. Only at The Kick Comedy Theater in Westport. For tickets, click on See A Show above and get your tickets now, you won’t want to miss this one!
This May, we will also be offering another workshop in our ever-growing and always popular 2-4 Week Workshop series! Starting on May 13th, Colin Sandall will be teaching Format: The Improvised Musical! This class takes place over 3 consecutive weeks from May 13th-June 3rd, every Saturday from 3:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M. at The Kick Comedy Theater in Westport. For more information, CLICK HERE to learn about Colin, and what this class is all about!
WELCOMING OUR NEW COMPANY MEMBERS TO THE KC IMPROV COMPANY!
In April, we had over 50 people audition for our company, and after an inspiring and hilarious audition process, we are happy to welcome 5 new local improvisers to our cast of company actors. So please help us in welcoming…
Luis was born in NYC and raised in NJ. He has always had a great appreciation for comedy, specifically improvisational comedy. He watches SNL and Will Ferrell bloopers religiously. In between those two things, he can be spotted watching The Notebook, Game of Thrones, and Marvel movies. His company moved him here from Orlando, where he studied improv at SAK Comedy Lab. He and two other improvisers won first place last year at an improv tournament in Orlando. Additionally, he and his Orlando troupe will also be performing at Del Close Marathon in NYC this summer. He has fallen in love with improv and hopes he can continue to build his skills by working with other great improvisers. He is thrilled about becoming a cast member at KCIC.
Anne Cuddy is a writer, performer, and nightmare originally from Minneapolis, MN. She has been improvising in Kansas City for three years in various ensembles including ComedyCity, The Other, Sing! the improvised musical, 5’ 10” Club, and Smuddy. When she’s not sleeping or eating cookies, Anne can also be seen as the host of Hallmark’s youtube series, “How 2 Say It.” Anne is delighted to have tricked KCIC into letting her join their talented cast.
Born and raised in Brazil, Gabi’s first exposure to improv was during a KC Improv Company drop-in class early 2014, when she was hoisted up in the air across the room and fell in love with improv. After completing the KCIC training center courses, she was invited to join some indie troupes, with whom she had the pleasure to perform all over the country, including Planet Comicon, Del Close Marathon, Chicago Improv Festival, Denver Improv Festival, Kansas City Improv Festival and many more. She hugged Amy Poehler once and that was the best day ever.
Jeff McAuliff is excited to be joining the KC Improv Company! He recently received training and coaching over the past year from the KCIC Training Center and he is currently a member of the KCIC Conservatory program. Jeff has performed in the Improv Thunderdome Championship (‘Katie Keurig’) and continues to play with former Underground Throwdown champions ‘Mortal Wombat’. He is also the other half of “Jeff Squared” with KCIC cast member Jeff Smith. When he is not performing, Jeff enjoys playing the guitar and being outside.
Joe Carey is a filmmaker and improvisor working out of KC. He has performed with some of the best talent this city has to offer. His films have screened all over the country, including at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood, as well as the Cannes Film Festival. Don’t worry, he’s still humble.
You can see them in the very near future gracing our stage at The Kick Comedy Theater! We’re excited that our company of actors has grown to over 35 local improvisers, working and playing in Kansas City for all of our wonderful fans!
Keep your eye on our website for more updates and details about what we’re doing as a company, and to get some helpful Improv tips from some of our company members.
The KC Improv Company – Laugh Loud, Laugh Local!