Marcus Sams


Marcus's Info

Marcus Sams is a full time improv teacher and professionally working actor in San Francisco. He has taught for SF Acting Academy, Pictoclik Film Festival, and currently teachers for Leela, Improv w/Marcus, and at improv festivals and schools across the nation. He has a degree in Theatre Arts and his improv has been forged by the teachings of David Razowsky, Susan Messing, Joe Bill and Mark Sutton as well as many nationally known teachers. His teaching style combines theatrical craft, systematic approaches, empathy training, and leading with the heart. This combination yields truthful and grounded scene work that is fraught with honest hilarity and from a theatrical stand point, technically polished performances.

Sams has performed in over 45 shows in national improv festivals and in 2016 had the honor of opening for Joe Bill and Mark Sutton's BassProv at the Chicago Improv Festival's Secret Show. He has taught for The Gainesville Improv Festival 2011, The California Improv Festival 2014 & 2016, Improvaganza - Hawaii Festival of Improv 2015, and for the San Diego Improv Festival 2016, the OC Improv Festival 2016 and the San Jose Improv Festival 2016.

In October of 2014 he opened a duo class called Two Play in San Francisco. The goal was to train duos in the improv craft and the business to get them into festivals. After their first show, two of his duos have gotten into 6 improv festivals in the past year. Due to the classes popularity in October of 2015 he opened a second section of the class which sold out and he is officially training 10 duos.

He believes that improv is theatre and that it can have all the cathartic elements of scripted theatre when commitment to craft is pursued vigorously.

Currently Teaching at: Leela, Moment Improv Theatre

For more info:

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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