Marcus Sams


Marcus's Info

Marcus Sams is the founder of Moment Improv Theatre as well as the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Improv Festival. He has performed improv since 2001 and has been in 70+ national improv festival shows, including the “Secret Show” at the Chicago Improv Festival, where he opened for BassProv with his duo Liss n’ Sams, featuring Joe Liss of Second City. He was the “Master Teacher” a the Alaska State Improv Festival in 2017 and has been a headlining act and teacher at the KC Improv Festival, Out of Bounds Comedy festival, and Seattle Festival of Improv, to name a few.

Marcus has also taught improv to large companies such as Google, Microsoft, Airbnb, Ebay, & Electronic Arts to name a few in a long list. Marcus believes that improv skills are life skills and that anyone can participate in this magical and transformative art form. He has a systematic and heart-centric approach to improv that breaks down improv concepts to their core units and delivers usable tools to the working player. Marcus was originally trained as a stage actor and brings this respect for stagecraft and training to the improv world. He believes that improv is not a crap-shoot and that once one learns the craft of improv, it frees them up to experience a deeper level of play. Marcus has written over 240 hrs of curriculum for Moment Improv Theatre and currently teaches 3-5 classes per week. An interesting thing to note, Marcus is also the only African American improv theatre and training center owner on the West Coast, Yes&, he hopes to influence and help change that within his lifetime.

More info about Moment Improv Theatre can be found here:

Currently Teaching at: Leela, Moment Improv Theatre

For more info: http://

Marcus's Workshops

Explosive Scene Initiations
Deep Tissue Listening (Never Miss an Offer)
Scene Work: Expanding and Forwarding
The Scenic Sidecar: Hopping On and Off Narrative
World Creation - A 4 or 8 hour Space Object Intensive
Character Creation and POV
A Crash Course in Fun, Connection and Awareness
Don't Try So Hard - A Crash Course in Effortless Improv
Short-Form Mania!
Effortless Improv

"Working with Marcus is a truly inspiring experience. He comes to every class with an amiable zest that makes you want to get down to business. Unlike any other instructor I've worked with, Marcus' instructions and explanations are clear, concise and, most important to the working player, immediately useful. From the moment Marcus starts addressing you, it is clear that he is working with you, not just throwing information at you. He asks you if what he said makes sense, listens carefully to your response, and instructs accordingly. You would never know Marcus is such a gifted and experienced player by the nurturing manner with which he teaches. Marcus is very supportive and refrains from talking down to his pupils. If you disagree with a direction, and Marcus believes you are justified in your disagreement, he has no issue with conceding and proceeding with the instruction. He works diligently to make sure everyone is on the same page and understanding the material so the group progresses together.” The work Marcus leads students through is rigorous and deep, but the results are evident and lasting. Marcus' refreshing and unique teaching style not only forges adroit improvisers, it also produces more enlightened people and lasting friendships." - Jonathan O.

"Marcus Sams is a wonderful instructor and I keep finding myself taking his classes over and over again for the last three years. He has a way with words that makes his lessons easy to comprehend. He has great energy and enthusiasm that makes his classes so much fun! And he's hilarious! He has a lot of passion for the craft and it shows in his teachings. He is definitely one of my favorite improv instructors because I like how organized and structured his lessons are. In addition to his teaching at Sunday School, he also teaches classes at Leela and Endgames. Look for him. He's fantastic!" - Aimey T.

"My improv duo, Off One Letter, has been studying with Marcus Sams in his "Two Play" class for a year, during which time he helped transform us from a couple of fledgling improvisors into a seasoned duo. Thanks largely to Marcus, were accepted into the 2015 San Francisco Improv Festival based on our first-ever show! Marcus has been performing and teaching improv for years, and is undeniably passionate about the craft. His expertise allowed him to instantly identify areas where we needed to work, both as a team and as individuals, and he created targeted activities to solidify techniques and concepts. His feedback is honest and direct, but also supportive and genuine. He truly wants all his students to succeed and have fun, and invests his boundless energy into his classes. You will have fun and laugh until it hurts in Marcus's classes and workshops! In addition to the top-notch improv training, he helped us develop our format, produced shows for us, and provided industry pro tips and advice to help us succeed. Marcus is the best!" - Erik R.

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