National Improv Network Launches Free Teaching Tool

In honor of the National Improv Network’s “Year of the Teacher,” we are happy to announce The Teaching Tool, for both traveling teachers and for those who teach as part of their home theatre’s training program.

Like NIN’s submission tool, where improv troupes can curate an online resume to instantly submit to festivals, individual teachers will be able to maintain a professional resume with all the information theatres or festivals need. Not only will you be able to list all of your improv workshops, you’ll also be able to list your travel preferences, pricing and details about your workshops length, student cap and level of difficulty, giving a festival all the information they need to hire you. And for improv theatres you’ll be able to promote your training center to the masses listing how many levels you have, your curriculum and more!

Our promise to you, the improv community, is to create more opportunities for improvisors and The Teaching Tool delivers on that promise. We want to give every improv teacher, veteran or new, the chance to submit their self to a festival with just the click of a button for free.  And we want to make sure it’s easy for a festival and theater organizer to have all their information without having to hunt it down.

When NIN started promoting the idea of theatres bringing out more instructors, one thing we heard repeatedly is that people who hadn’t brought out teachers in the past really didn’t know how to reach out or what was expected of them in the process. It can be an awkward conversation. We really wanted to put as much information about an instructor’s needs out to the theatres before that conversation even begins so that theatres can approach that talk in a more informed way.

The teaching tool is available to improvisors today. Here’s how you set it up:

1. Edit your profile and make sure the option “I am a teacher” is selected to unlock the various teaching tools.
2. Click the link that says “Set up your teaching profile now” on your main profile page to go through the setup wizard.
3. Add Workshops from the teaching profile that will be added to your main profile.

If you’re a theatre with a training program you can now add training information to your theatre. Right now it’s just an information page about your training program that instructors can be listed under. But more tools for training programs will start showing up if you set up your training program today. Here’s how you do it:

1. Edit your theatre profile and select the option saying that you have a training program.
2. Visit your theatre’s profile and click the link to set it up.
3. Fill out the info and hit Submit
4. (optional) hit the “Change Instructors” to add or remove instructors.

These tools are only available for members of NIN. If you’re not a member of NIN you can sign up for FREE at nationalimprovnetwork.com. Sign up today to take advantage of the free resources for improvisors that NIN provides.

About National Improv Network

National Improv Network is an online community and non-profit endeavor that brings improvisors together from all over the world and offers Theatre Owners, Festival Organizers, Improvisors and Instructors a wide array of services and resources.  Currently NIN has over 2,000 members, 1200 improv troupes, over 100 festivals and over 90 theaters listed on the site.

Nick Armstrong and Bill Binder – Co-Founders of the National Improv Network

Nick is Camp Director and Founder of Improv Utopia an improv retreat for adults in California and Pennsylvania. He is also one of the founding members of the National Improv Network and performer and teacher at iO West as well as an alum of The Sunday Company at The Groundlings. He has also taught many workshops around the country.

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

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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