Improv Warrior: Rick Andrews

large_rickandrewsImprov Warrior (n.) Someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty. An improvisor, who is not just a performer, but lives and breaths improv, heightens the art, cares for the art and brings it to new levels.

Today’s Improv Warrior is Rick Andrews who is on the board and one of the organizers of DuoFest in Philadelphia. He is also a teacher and performer at The Magnet Theatre in New York. On the first night I was at DuoFest I saw Rick and asked him where he was staying in Philly while doing the festival he said, “I’m going back to NYC every night.”

So get this, Rick would do a show, Dwight D. Eisenhower which was one of my favorites at DuoFest, host some of the hours with crazy positive energy and then when the shows ended, around midnight, he’d hang out and go to the after parties, then he’d hop on a bus at 3 a.m. in the morning, get on a train to get home to teach by 10 a.m. at The Magnet Theatre.

I asked Rick why he had to get back to teach, why couldn’t he just get a sub. It turns out Rick was so concerned about his new level 1 class that he wanted to get back to them to make sure they were taken care of. Sure it would be easy to just get a sub for the weekend, but that’s not Rick.

I’ve always said that improvisors are a different class of people and when I met Rick in NYC about a year ago, before DuoFest, he solidified that thought even more.

Rick is the definition of an Improv Warrior. His dedication to DuoFest, his students and the art form are way above and beyond. Rick is definitely and inspiration to all improvisors. Rick travels to festivals around the country and is available for workshops.

Nick Armstrong

Nick is an Actor, Improvisor and Writer living in Los Angeles, CA. On TV Nick is currently on AMC’s Story Notes and has been on the Emmy-Award winning shows The Office and Grey’s Anatomy. He has also made appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Parks and Recreation. Recently, Nick received a development deal for a TV Show he created for A&E. 

Onstage Nick has trained at The Groundlings and iO West. You can catch him performing regularly at the world-famous iO West in Hollywood, CA on the famed genre-based group Kind Strangers and LA’s Longest and Critically Acclaimed Harold Team King Ten. Nick is also the Camp Director and Founder of Improv Utopia. And if that wasn’t enough, he is also one of the founding members of the National Improv Network.

 

 

 

 

Top 6 Ways to Make a Successful Improv Team

fear-of-successSo you’re out of class, in class or a vet looking to start a new team. It’s exciting! You have the opportunity to do something new, maybe a new form, the Harold or who knows. I’ve been on a ton of teams…a ton. And I think I can safely say what works in making a successful improv troupe. This blog is a guideline to help lead you to making a successful troupe.

1. Have a plan: That’s right have a plan. You don’t need to know what you’re going to do form-wise yet, but have an idea on who you want on the team, why you want to do this, where you’d like to perform and what your goals might be.

2.Make a team of people you like: You can hold auditions that’s fine, but I recommend putting people on your team that you like. People you respect and like to be around that know how to improvise. An improv team becomes a family unit whether you like it or not. If you deny that aspect of it, your team will fail. Also, have people you’d like to hang out with outside of improv. Hang out! Get to know each other. It’s more than just rehearsal it’s a bonding experience.

3. Get an experienced coach: I can’t express this enough. If you don’t get a coach your chances of failure are huge. I don’t care if you’re a student or a vet you need a coach. For Vets this might not mean every week, but at least a tune up here and there. Having your teammates coach each other is a slippery slope and not recommended. You need to grow as a team and you’re going to need that outside eye. “But we can’t afford a coach.” I hear this so much and it’s annoying. You can if you care about what you’re doing and want to get better. Coaching fees range from $40-$80 for two hours depending on the experience of the coach. I can understand for a two-person show that can be steep but for most teams it comes out to about $10 a rehearsal. That’s a STEAL!!! Get a coach or you won’t get better.

4. Get committed: Make sure you get people that are committed performers and artists. Don’t put flakes on your team, even if they are talented. “Eh but she/he is so funny we can let that slide.” NO! It will take your team down. Don’t bend over backwards for a vet or talented person that is not committed. A true professional is committed.

5. Choose a decent team name: Fart Brigade, Laughy Taffy…NO! Stop it. Look to the successful improv teams for help on this: Beer Shark Mice, Cook County Social Club, USS Rock N’ Roll. Simple, clear and it means something to them. Your name says a lot about you as a team. The last thing a theatre or festival wants to list on their site is Fart Brigade.  It’s the gateway to your team. Tacky or pun driven names are a recipe for disaster and makes your work look cheap and underappreciated from the get go. Treat your audience and yourself like poets and scholars.

6. Rehearse regularly: I’m not talking everyday. I always recommend to my teams that they rehearse at least three to four times a month and hang out one day a month together. I think the hanging out is just as important as rehearsal.

I’m sure there are a ton more, but these tips are essential in guiding you in the right direction to make a successful team. Now it’s not perfect, such is improv, but it will help you. You can have a team of the most talented people on it and it may not work. Why? Who the hell knows it’s improv. Improv is like a rose, it is beautiful when it wants to be but can sometimes prick you with its thorn. Remember to come from a place of fun and love. If you at least start with this attitude you’re already well on your way!

Nick Armstrong

Onstage Nick has trained at The Groundlings and iO West. You can catch him performing regularly at the world-famous iO West in Hollywood, CA on the famed genre-based group Kind Strangers and LA’s Longest and Critically Acclaimed Harold Team King Ten. Nick is also the Camp Director and Founder of Improv Utopia. And if that wasn’t enough, he is also one of the founding members of the National Improv Network.

Del Close Marathon Going Strong at 15

DelClose15_small.jpg.300x360_q100What started as a 24 hour marathon in 1999 has grown every year in Manhattan. This year the festival featured over 400 groups from around the world on seven stages across the 56 hour span.

In some ways DCM hasn’t changed in years, but this year brought a few nice surprises. Old-timers will remember the street rituals of years gone by involving performers getting a suggestion miles from the UCB mainstage and performing a walking opening on their way, picking up more performers and confusing pedestrians as the blocks passed. The city of New York put a stop to the ritual a few years back, but word passed on hushed mouths that the ritual would take place this year to coincide with the documentary being filmed on the history of the marathon. The ritual is one of the purest forms of yes, and still floating out there and this year included a special treat when the 185 improvisors literally walked into a bar (McManus to be precise). But this time the bartender didn’t say he couldn’t serve 185 improvisors, he just kept pouring shots of some basement firewater as fast as he could.

The ritual did not end up on stage this year, but the press conference kicked off without a hitch. Amy, Matt and Ian greeted and bribed the press while sharing stories of Del and the 15 years of the marathon, including a nice history of one of the most notorious shows, Drunken Sonic Assualt). The conference ended with an unveiling of the UCB’s long promised Improv Manual.

The history of clumping theatres together has waned in the last couple of years since the opening of UCBeast. More east side venues were added this year making it easier for folks to stay on that side of town, even if the promotion for the east side shows was pretty non-existent.

A few scattered workshops popped up over the weekend, but one of the most unique events was the monthly UCB Diversity Program’s meetup. The diversity program – started by Caitlin Steitzer – is a fantastic program designed around building a better dialog around race, gender, age and sexual preference issues. More cities and festivals should strive to create programs like this.

If you’ve never been to DCM, keep in mind that this isn’t your traditional festival environment. You’re not going to have a lot of good conversations about the state of the craft or see a lot of shows from a comfortable seat. This is a party. This is a Las Vegas buffet of improv. Hundreds of groups doing 15-20 minutes and getting off stage. There are drunk shows and half-awake shows and phoned in shows to be found. But in the midst of that, there are also dozens of great shows you’ve never seen before trying new and exciting things. It can be a challenge to find them at Del Close each year, but each year they are there.

It was great to meet so many NIN members for the first time on the streets of Manhattan. We’ll be coming back again next year for sure. Look forward to a book review of the UCB Manual coming soon.


Currently Bill is an instructor at The Torch Theatre and producer for the Phoenix Improv Festival. He tours teaching and performing across North America.

Make My Job Easier! – A Wish List from Marketing

amazyn-wish-list3We are posting this with permission from Trish Berrong who runs the marketing for the Kansas City Improv Festival. We thought it was pretty helpful. Enjoy and thanks Trish!

From Trish Berrong:

I’m not on the selection committee for the Kansas City Improv Festival, but I do the marketing. Here’s the wish-list I sent to the committee last year in selfish hopes of making my job easier: 

HEADLINERS
—GOOD: generally recognizable (in the civilian population) names and credentials (SNL, 30 Rock, Daily Show)
—OK: kinda recognizable names and credentials (UCB, Second City, Groundlings)
—MEH: obscure names and credentials (anywhere else)

SHOWS WITH APPEALING, EASY-TO-EXPLAIN HOOKS
—GOOD: two guys fishing, improvised rap musical
—OK: improvised [insert genre here]
—MEH: longform or shortform with no POV

SETS YOU CAN MAKE SOUND COMPELLING IN ONE SENTENCE OR LESS WITH LITTLE OR NO IMPROV JARGON
—GOOD: Every show, a new play will be improvised in the style of such great works as ‘Glengarry Glen Ross,’ ‘Speed-the-Plow’ and    ‘House of Games,’ with all the rat-a-tat and grift of its actual predecessors. 
—MEH: [Troupe name] is a [descriptor] monoscene with [differentiating factor] by [cast description].
—YAWN: We generally perform Harolds, but recently have been expanding out to new and innovative forms.

Other things that would make selling a festival easier:
—Websites vs. Facebook pages
—Clear, interesting photos that show peoples’ faces and have something going on
—Submission videos we can easily pull a 1-3 minute, high-quality clip out of for promotion on the website

And a few other considerations: 
—Form/style/approach gives us something different from what we have in our city
—Cast members are also in-demand workshop teachers
—Set is easy to plug in anywhere in a show (things that make it hard: too dark or low energy, dramatically different vibe, complicated props/tech/set, etc.)
—Cast seems fun, professional and low-maintenance

DUOFEST Delivers!

DuofestLogoTwitterThree Years ago I met Amie Roe and Kristen Schier of The Amie and Kristen Show at the Seattle Improv Festival and they told me about DuoFest. Yeah it took me a while to get  to Philadelphia but I finally did and I was impressed! For those of you who have never heard of DuoFest it’s an improv festival with the sole purpose of showing two-person long-form improv shows.

DuoFest was an amazing and intimate experience. The headliners this year were Scott Adsit (30 Rock) and Jet Eveleth and they delivered! But DuoFest is more than just headliners. Two of the stand-out groups were Dwight D. Eisenhower with Russ Armstrong, not related, and Rick Andrews both out of the Magnet Theatre in New York who had a playful improv spirit, played fast and furious and wrapped the show up in a nice bow.

The most physical show you’ll ever see was the amazing 2-MAN-NO-SHOW out of Canada. I was lucky enough to meet this spirited duo at The Detroit Improv Festival last year and they did not disappoint this year. Were these guys ever onstage? They were on the walls, the audience and everywhere! They’re Improv Spidermen!

So what am I trying to say here? Go to DuoFest or at least submit to it if you have a two person show it’s definitely a fun time and in such a great city!

Nick Armstrong

Nick is an Actor, Improvisor and Writer living in Los Angeles, CA. On TV Nick is currently on AMC’s Story Notes and has been on the Emmy-Award winning shows The Office and Grey’s Anatomy. He has also made appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Parks and Recreation. Recently, Nick received a development deal for a TV Show he created for A&E. 

Onstage Nick has trained at The Groundlings and iO West. You can catch him performing regularly at the world-famous iO West in Hollywood, CA on the famed genre-based group Kind Strangers and LA’s Longest and Critically Acclaimed Harold Team King Ten. Nick is also the Camp Director and Founder of Improv Utopia. And if that wasn’t enough, he is also one of the founding members of the National Improv Network.

Bottle Us Up…You Could Make a Fortune!

HappinessinabottleI’m blown away! That’s right blown the freak away! The third year of Camp Improv Utopia happened over Memorial Weekend and I still have a smile on my face that seems to be tattooed there forever. Why? Because of the campers and the community that has been built.

I mostly perform at iO West in Los Angeles which has one of the best improv communities and still does. But what camp does is it brings people from all over the country, sometimes even other countries, and brings them all together for one weekend to share the same passion, philosophies and yes and attitude. Chef Rick, who makes amazing food there said it best, “If I could bottle up the joy and happiness you guys bring to this place I’d be rich.” He will be selling these bottles on Amazon.

When Del and the Committee brought long-form into reality back in the 60’s I’m sure they never thought how big it would grow and how it would build such a huge and awesome group of positive people. A group of people that say yes. What a concept. A group of people who accept you with open arms even if they’ve never met you and will support you, what other industry does this happen in? Certainly not at my old corporate job.

One of the campers who came from Florida said, “I flew to California on Friday morning knowing one person that would be at this camp and left Monday feeling as if I’d just had a reunion with 100 good friends.”

I wish this event could be televised on every channel in the world, so people could watch people getting along, being positive and supporting each other. I think the world could learn a thing or two from Improvisors.

Nick Armstrong

Nick is an Actor, Improvisor and Writer living in Los Angeles, CA. On TV Nick is currently on AMC’s Story Notes and has been on the Emmy-Award winning shows The Office and Grey’s Anatomy. He has also made appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Parks and Recreation. Recently, Nick received a development deal for a TV Show he created for A&E.

Onstage Nick has trained at The Groundlings and iO West. You can catch him performing regularly at the world-famous iO West in Hollywood, CA on the famed genre-based group Kind Strangers and LA’s Longest and Critically Acclaimed Harold Team King Ten. Nick is also the Camp Director and Founder of Improv Utopia. And if that wasn’t enough, he is also one of the founding members of the National Improv Network. We are always looking for better ways to serve the community

We Didn’t Get Into Improv to Play It Safe!

bunny_slope_hidI’ve been coaching for around 10 years now. iO teams, indie teams and workshops across the country and I find one of the hardest things to try and teach improvisers is the importance of taking a risk. Jumping and hoping someone will catch you.

 

This, I feel, is one of the most important things in improv. Why we get into improv. When I first started skiing, way back when, my instructor told me, “Hey if you don’t fall down you’re not trying.” It seemed silly. I didn’t want to get all wet and nasty. I’ll just take it easy and hit the bunny slopes so I don’t get messy. Well that was no fun and I eventually stopped skiing because that’s all I ever did. I never tried to fall and get messy and therefore lost interest and never got better at it and always stuck to the bunny slopes. I feel this is the same in improv. The biggest thing students and some performers have a fear of is being afraid to fail, to fall flat on their faces in front of an audience or an instructor. Why? What will happen? You won’t land that huge sitcom? You won’t get that agent? That girl or guy you’ve been eyeing will get up and leave? You’ll embarrass yourself? We didn’t get into improv to play it safe. Live dangerously onstage and great things will come to you!

You should be doing improv to make yourself a better performer, a better artist and better ensemble member. Stretching, evolving and pushing the boundaries of everything you’ve been taught and then breaking through that. The wonderful and awesome teachers and coaches have given you a great foundation now it’s time to put your stamp on it. What do you think about the world? Tell us in your characters.

I can guarantee you that your favorite improvisers have fallen on their faces a thousand times over. I bet the reason those improvisers are your favorite is probably, not just because they’re funny, but the fact that they are doing something extraordinary and taking a huge risk and a huge leap off of a cliff knowing that their fellow ensemble will catch them. And even if they don’t get caught they know how to land on their feet.

Do yourself a favor don’t just stay on the bunny slopes, every time you go to rehearsal or do a show make sure you hit the black diamonds! You’ll have more fun and surprise yourself.

Nick Armstrong

Nick is an Actor, Improvisor and Writer living in Los Angeles, CA. On TV Nick is currently on AMC’s Story Notes and has been on the Emmy-Award winning shows The Office and Grey’s Anatomy. He has also made appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Parks and Recreation. Recently, Nick received a development deal for a TV Show he created for A&E.

Onstage Nick has trained at The Groundlings and iO West. You can catch him performing regularly at the world-famous iO West in Hollywood, CA on the famed genre-based group Kind Strangers and LA’s Longest and Critically Acclaimed Harold Team King Ten. Nick is also the Camp Director and Founder of Improv Utopia. And if that wasn’t enough, he is also one of the founding members of the National Improv Network. We are always looking for better ways to serve the community.

Choosing your dental insurance

Choosing a dental insurance plan is almost as big of a decision as choosing a dentist. And in some ways, picking a plan is more challenging. One or two visits to the Cavitations The Silent Killer for a checkup and cleaning will likely be enough for you to figure out whether you and the practice are a good fit over the long term. But you may not discover problems with your dental insurance until you really need the coverage

 

Understanding Dental Insurance
Unlike health insurance, which people rely on to pick up the costs when they are faced with big healthcare bills, dental insurance primarily focuses on covering low-cost, preventive treatments. Most plans will cover 100% of the cost of preventative care such as cleanings, checkups and x-rays, 80% of basic treatments such as fillings, and 50% of more complex and costly procedures such as root canals and crowns. And typically, you will need to be a member of a dental insurance plan for at least a year before coverage for the costlier procedures kicks in, and up to six months for some basic restorative services.

The typical cost of an individual dental insurance policy is around $350 a year. For a family, the cost is around $550, annually. If you pay out of pocket for two checkups and cleanings and a set of X-rays, your cost, on average, will be around $375-$400, according to the American Dental Association. So, with a dental policy, you’re basically pre-paying for your essential preventive care, with a little assurance built in that if you need a couple of fillings, or chip a tooth, you’re also covered.

You can buy dental insurance from an independent insurance agent, from an online marketplace such as dentalplans.com, or from the Obamacare health exchanges.

Dental Insurance Caps, Limits and Deductibles
Most dental insurance policies cap coverage at $1000 -$1,500 a year. When you reach your annual cap, you will have to pay for your dental care for the rest of the year. Given that the average cost for a crown is $750-1200, and the cost of a single implant starts at $1500, you can exhaust your annual dental allowance fairly quickly.

Most dental insurance plans are also likely to have a “deducible,” an amount that you will have to pay out of pocket for dental services before your insurance will begin to cover their portion of the costs – typically $50 for an individual annually, and $150 for a family. But if you buy an insurance “bundle” that includes health and dental coverage, make sure that your dental plan deductible is separate from your health insurance deductible. It is not unusual for health insurance plans to have multi-thousand dollar deductibles before coverage begins. Unless you’re likely to rack up thousands in medical bills annually before you need dental care, you’ll ideally want your dental plan to have a separate deductible.

What Kind Of Dental Insurance Is Best?
If you have a dentist and really want to keep working with him or her, ask your dentist what insurance plans the office accepts and recommends. If you don’t have a dentist, or you don’t mind going to a new dentist, check the Rejuvenation Dentistry NYC one of the hugest rated professionals now a days.

Websites such as Consumer Advocate can help make it much easier to find the right dental insurance coverage. Consumer Advocate ranks both dental insurance and dental savings plans, based on the following criteria: the number of dentists in the plan’s network, the savings that you can expect from a plan, the cost of coverage (your premium), the annual maximum cap, and the dental treatments that a plan covers.

If you know what insurer you prefer, but need help in selecting a plan from among that insurer’s offerings, a web page dedicated solely to detailing the different benefits of an insurer’s plans, such as CignaDentalPlans.com, is a great way to compare plans and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Dental Insurance That Covers Everything
If braces, dentures or bridges are something you or a loved one does or will need, make sure the insurance plan that you choose covers them. And check to make sure that the amount of coverage offered makes sense to you – $1000 coverage specifically for braces may be just what you’re looking for in a dental insurance plan, or may not meet your health and/or financial needs at all.

Dental insurance typically doesn’t offer extensive coverage for major restorative processes such as a full set of quality dentures, and processes deemed cosmetic such as veneers or dental implants aren’t covered by many traditional insurance policies. If you need a significant amount of restorative work, are ready to address long-term dental problems, or (as noted above) don’t want to wait a year before you can get that missing tooth replaced under your insurance plan, you may wish to look at a dental savings plan.

Dental savings plans offer discounts of 10%-60% on average dental care rates, for members who pay an annual fee. Dental savings plans are an affordable alternative to insurance, have no annual caps, no waiting period is applied for accessing care, and no restrictions on obtaining care for preexisting conditions. The best and most comprehensive website for comparing dozens of dental savings plans is dentalplans.com.

Websites can help to narrow the options, but only you can choose the plan that’s right for you and your loved ones. Carefully consider your options – dental insurance, a dental savings plan or self-insurance, and choose the dental plan that’s right for you.
 

So what’s my point? While on the road I still see this struggle. We want to do better but are afraid to go out of our circle sometimes to get that help or we think it’s cheaper if we just take care of it ourselves. We have too much pride in what we’ve created sometimes. Or we just don’t want to spend the money. It’s okay to ask for help. And it’s okay to spend money. If you do spend that money you’ll get more in return and it will save you time to do the things you need to do with your theatre like focus on your shows, scheduling and being an Artistic Director.

 

Remember we are improvisers and we need support even if it’s outside support. If your dream is to run a successful theatre then do it. But you’re going to need a helping hand. Let professionals handle all the hard stuff so you can focus on the stuff you’re a professional at.

Written by: Nick Armstrong

Nick is an Actor, Writer, Improviser and Director living in Los Angeles, CA. On TV Nick has been on the Emmy-Award winning shows The Office, Parks and Recreation and Grey’s Anatomy. He has also made regular appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Onstage you can catch Nick performing and teaching regularly at the world-famous iO West in Hollywood, CA with LA’s Best Harold Team King Ten and The touring Genre-Improvised Show Kind Strangers. Nick has also trained at the famed Groundlings Theater. He is the Founder and Camp Director of Improv Utopia an annual camp for improvisers. For more information visit www.nickarmstrong.com orwww.improvutopia.com 

Improv is Spreading Like a Wildfire

boise-wildfire_91_600x450Gone are the days of major cities owning all of improv. Those days are gone just like rotary telephones and one dollar gas. The improv community in the United States reaches far and wide now. Last year alone, I was able to visit improv communities in Phoenix, AZ (The Torch Theatre/NCT Phoenix), San Francisco (SF Improv Festival), Roseville, CA (Blacktop Comedy Theatre), Detroit, MI (Detroit Improv Festival/Go Theatre, Denver, CO (Voodoo Comedy Lounge, Group Mind Foundation, Bovine Metropolis Theatre), Cedar City, UT (Off The Cuff Improvisation) Los Angeles, CA (iO/LA Improv Festival) and last but not least Camp Improv Utopia in California. These are just some of the ones that are out there now there are a ton more.

 

It was mind blowing to see the great work being done in other cities that aren’t Chicago, LA or NYC. I was almost envious at some of the stuff that these groups were doing. Taking it to the next level, experimenting and taking huge risks. Sure sometimes it fell flat on its face but other times it was brilliant. Such is improv. We are wrong to think that the best improv can only be done in the bigger improv cities. That’s just naïve. There is great work being done outside the walls of those great cities and I’ve seen it and am continually impressed by it.

 

I think there is a lot we can learn from these thirsty improv communities too. Passion, commitment to the art form and taking risks. It seems that improv in Chicago, LA and NYC are more focused on industry vetting then experimenting and growing. And it’s not their fault. Improv has become and industry standard in the casting and TV world. They come and take players and writers from these institutions all the time so it’s going to attract that kind of student, writer and performer. And they should because there is some amazing talent there. But it also makes it extra hard to have time to rehearse, experiment and do something new because the focus is elsewhere.

 

I leave you with this, Del Close said to treat your audience like poets and scholars. Shouldn’t we still honor that no matter what? Improv means it’s all about taking risks and making bold choices, so shouldn’t we live that way too? If people didn’t grow their art we would have only been introduced to Picasso’s Blue Period, The Beatles cover songs and the Harold. We would have never had the chance to see Picasso’s Cubism Period, The Beatles own material or forms like the JTS Brown and the Deconstruction.

 

Be bold, follow your fear and see improv everywhere!

Written by: Nick Armstrong

Nick is an Actor, Writer, Improviser and Director living in Los Angeles, CA. On TV Nick has been on the Emmy-Award winning shows The Office, Parks and Recreation and Grey’s Anatomy. He has also made regular appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Onstage you can catch Nick performing and teaching regularly at the world-famous iO West in Hollywood, CA with LA’s Best Harold Team King Ten and The touring Genre-Improvised Show Kind Strangers. Nick has also trained at the famed Groundlings Theater. He is the Founder and Camp Director of Improv Utopia an annual camp for improvisers. For more information visit www.nickarmstrong.com orwww.improvutopia.com

Welcome to the National Improv Network!

62116_451764218228461_1211590182_nHi there! Thanks for being a part of National Improv Network. If this is your first introduction, welcome! If it’s your tenth, thank you for stopping by again. The site was created by improvisers for improvisers with the idea that we want you to succeed in every aspect of your theatre from performances to the business end.

We recognize that the improv community is growing. There is now a troupe or theatre in every major city in the United States. Several wonderful, new improv festivals have popped up across the country in the past few years.

We want to connect you to them. We want the improv community not to be defined by state lines, but by one community linked together, expanding the art form and growing it into a national scene.

For those already in the improv community, whether as a performer or as an avid audience member, we know that improv is great and a true art. We at National Improv Network want the general public to see it the same way. Right now, improv is not widely recognized as competing with stand-up, sketch or theatre. We want to help raise the visibility of improv to the general public. We feel that if we can get a national effort and raise the awareness of improv that in turn provide more opportunities to perform, bring more customers to our venues and help your local improv theatre grow.

Please consider us a resource for you. To help you grow, to connect you to the greater improv community. Everything we roll out is designed to help you grow internally and externally. We believe that together we are better, just like an improv ensemble but on a national level.

Nick Armstrong, Bill Binder and Kate Anderson

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