We are thrilled to announce that Marcus Sams is our newest Board Member here at The Improv Network! He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be invaluable to our team. We cannot thank Marcus enough for volunteering his time and energy. You can meet Marcus on our Improv FAQ conversation series on 8/8/2021 from 1pm-2pm EST, live on our Facebook page!
Marcus and Improv
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. This includes the “Secret Show ” at the Chicago Improv Festival. Here, he opened for BassProv with his duo Liss n’ Sams, featuring Joe Liss of Second City. Additionally, he was a “Master Teacher” at the Alaska State Improv Festival in 2017. He has been a headlining act and instructor at the KC Improv Festival, Out of Bounds Comedy Festival, Seattle Festival of Improv Theatre, and others.
With agility built into his bloodstream, Marcus transitioned from in-person improv training to online improv training in 5 days. He taught over 345 hours of online improv instruction in 2020 alone. Moreover, he pioneered the online improvisational style known as the F.L.I. Technique and Teleprov. He has also been producing cutting edge online improv shows since September of 2020. Marcus has taught improv to companies such as Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Airbnb, and Ebay. Also, Marcus has written over 240 hours of curriculum for Moment Improv Theatre and currently teaches 3-5 classes per week. Additionally, Marcus is the founder of one of the first African American owned improv theatres and training centers in the United States, established in 2014.
Marcus’s Approach to Improv
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. This 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.
Outside of Improv
When Marcus is not engaged in improv, he also has a lot on his plate. He serves on the Union Square Business Improvement District’s marketing committee, is the co-founder of the Bay Area Film Mixer, and has professional representation through MDT Talent.
We cannot wait to work with Marcus Sams. Exciting changes are on the horizon and we look forward to having his input. With the celebration of this addition, we also must say a bittersweet goodbye to having Nick Armstrong on our Board. Nick has been here since day one, founding The Improv Network. He has been an incredible team member and mentor every single day. Nick is truly a representation of The Improv Network and its work, and is one of the most supportive people. We hope to make him proud as we continue on with our mission. Nick is moving on to other amazing projects as he continues to be a guiding light in the improv world, and we wish him our best.
Melanie is an improvisor, actor, and writer based in Orlando, Florida who loves travelling for improv. Her degree is in biology, which she still finds use for in the improv world. She also teaches, coaches, produces festivals, and uses improv at hospitals to help better train medical professionals.