The Syracuse Improv Collective’s mission is to create a fun and happy place for comedic performances in Syracuse. They exist in order to promote improv troupes in and around Syracuse, NY. The SIC holds monthly variety shows, conducts educational workshops, engage in special appearances and stunts, and are the driving force behind the Thumbs UPstate Improv Festival. We blow minds.


Discovering Improv – A Painter’s Canvas

SIC Grad Women Show

The level 3 graduates’ June show performance was stellar. A few of the newly-minted Collectivists were inspired to write about their experience and share it with you. Here’s Michelle Kivisto, reflecting on the great time she’s had so far:

On a Saturday morning in late February, I walked into a studio space to start Level 2 Improv with the Syracuse Improv Collective.  I met my teacher, Mike, and found a spot to sit as other students entered the room.  It was a space the size of an alleyway, but brightly lit by sunlight from the windows which was reflecting off the white walls and green couches lining the room.  

Class started when we were asked to stand up and begin a warmup. Our task was to pass a snap.  A simple enough task, but with added layers.  You could not begin to snap your fingers until someone passed their snap to you, and you then had to “catch” it, and continue to snap your fingers, until you passed it to someone else.  People personalized their snaps, bouncing them on the floor, juggling them, throwing it in the air and then twirling around and catching it.  All quite theatrical.  But all that was required of anyone in the circle was the ability to snap our fingers and make eye contact with someone to catch and pass the snap.  In reality, we were watching air pass from one person to another. But on that day, in that moment, we were watching a circus act with actual snaps being exchanged between people.

That was the beginning of a magical journey.  I went into a white walled studio but emerged a painted canvas. Each week added more color, more definition. After Level 2 ended I immediately registered for Level 3. In Level 3 I was given tools to start painting the canvas myself, sometimes with other people holding the brush as my scene partners, until eventually with a lot of practice I became a paint by number grid in which I could clearly see where to put the paint next.

As with anything new, the only way to keep from forgetting what you have learned is to practice.  Drop in classes provide a way to meet new people, some of which have never tried improv before, and reunite with improv classmates and teachers. If you are hesitant to sign up for classes or attend a drop in, I can say from experience that everyone is a blank canvas.  Add some color to yours.

Thanks, Michelle. Registration is currently open for level one class, and you can join us for drop-in classes bi-weekly at the Community Folk Art Center. Follow us on Facebook for more details!

Look out below! SIC Launches Drop-in Classes

You asked for it…

Syracuse Improv Collective is pleased to offer drop-in classes this summer! Every other Tuesday, pop in for a 2-hour workshop from a variety of seasoned improv teachers. This is a fun, low-commitment way to try improv, or get a refreshing fresh refresh. You will meet fun new people and get a chance to play with super-supportive veteran performers. It’s like a one-room school house without corporal punishment or stoking the wood stove for warmth!

The Community Folk Art Center has graciously opened their doors to us, and the space is perfect for class. Come to 805 E Genesee Street (near Syracuse Stage) and bring $10 and a fun attitude. We can only keep this super-cheap if you show up, so bring a friend too!

So far we’ve had classes by Mike Borden (scene work) and Phil Gross (intro); we hope to see you on May 24 for Amaya’s terrific teaching debut. This will be one of Amaya’s last appearances with the SIC before moving out of state, so let’s keep that wood stove going!

tl;dr
Drop-in classes for all experience levels
@ 805 E Genesee – Community Folk Art Center
Upcoming schedule (bi-weekly Tuesdays): 5/24, 6/7, 6/21, 7/5, 7/19, 8/2, 8/16, 8/30.
$10

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Okay but seriously it’s really comfortable in CFAC. You won’t need to wear extra layers or anything.

Welcome, Citizens of Syracuse!

If you just learned about us from the recent syracuse.com article, thanks for stopping by!

Based on all the attention we’re getting, the members of the Syracuse Improv Collective have decided to quit their jobs and pursue improvisational comedy full time. Sorry, family! We’re working for laughs now.

Here are some cool facts about the SIC for the uninitiated:

1) We love to laugh
2) Ken Keech is a UNC alum and fan of their basketball program
3) Improv is fun and we offer classes

Come on down to our next show! It’ll be May 6 at the Vault – 451 S. Warren St – just 5 bucks for comedy gold.

credit: kirnan.com

This Post Is Not A Joke (Or A Bit)!

Need a vacation from internet gags on April Fool’s Day? Come on out to our monthly Bank Show! Every show is a special night of comedy magic. We are so grateful to have a community of improvisers and fans who love to have fun. The details:

Friday, April 1 – 8 PM
@ The Vault – 451 S. Warren St, Syracuse – $5 Entry

SEXUAL VEGETABLES
NO FRIENDS, JUST BENEFITS
HEAVY METAL HEATWAVE
SATAN’S CLOSET

Bring some willing friends and join us for a jolly good time – RSVP on facebook.

Book.fooledbert

March 5 Bank Show, Y’all

Some people just want to watch the world burn…and some people wish Bank Shows were on Saturdays.

The time has arrived. Come on down to The Vault – 451 S. Warren – at 8PM this Saturday. $5 gets you an apocalyptically funny show:

HAZMAT Love
Thank You, Kiss
Satan’s Closet
-Jam-

We’ll be LoL’ing all the way to extinction.

 

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What I Learned From My Level One Improv Class

Pass the Sound & Motion!

The Level One students prepare to amaze the audience at our February Bank Show

Our first round of Level One improv classes just ended this past weekend. I am a little sad these great students are out of my care now, but real happy they registered for level two. I knew that teaching Level One would be fun, but I did not anticipate how much I would learn from the students.

As the class grew more comfortable and made friends together, I watched them dive into scenes with a spontaneous courage; they displayed greater trust and listening than I had felt in my own performances for several months. It was inspiring to watch so much fresh talent ride the raw joy of improv and create truly funny scenes.

I asked the class what they learned from taking level one improv. Here are their responses:

“Improv level 1 helped me learn to be more open. The reasons I took the class were to learn to think faster and feel more comfortable communicating with people in a fun and safe environment.  I learned that by letting go of my own agenda and my own rules for how I wanted a scenario to unfold naturally increased my response time.  Plus it helped me feel like I had a really great connection with whoever I was working with, which helped me feel more comfortable communicating in class as well as out in the rest of the world.” – Karen Kwasnowski

“Improv taught me that I don’t always have to plan and overprepare for everything in life. If I just show up with a good attitude and work with the people around me, things will get done.” – Manu Shergill

“I learned that I am a failure. And that there are other people in the world who enjoy failing just as much as me. And also that it makes sense to band together with these people, and fail together.” – Jim Green Ed. Note – Our class mantra is ‘We suck, and we love to fail!’ 

“I learned that improv is really about effective communication. If you are not listening to the direction your partners are offering, and are focused on your own vision, you won’t hear where the story is going. And to be able to build on the story, you need to clearly relay your vision to the others. The clearer the messages are, the further you move together.” – Jill Tibbett

“I learned to slow down and to try follow the flow of others. I noticed that I tend to take control of  the situation way too much and that I need to curb my nature in order to allow others to express themselves.” – Bob Goodfellow

“I found improv class influenced every part of my life in a good way.  I am able to see people’s offers in life much better.  I see that simple is fun and funny, which is great.  I am way more open to the ordinary as a launching place for fun and frolicking. I loved improv level one.” – Becca Scanlon

Thanks again to these students and the rest of our class for a great six weeks. I wish you all well for Level Two and will gladly see you around in the future.

Level One classes will be offered again in a few months. Stay tuned to this space and follow us on facebook for more info.

 

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BANK SHOW 2/5/16

Ladies and germs, head on down to The Vault for an evening of LoL’s, LMAO’s, and hehe’s.

Four Great Improv Acts:

SEXUAL VEGETABLES
HAZMAT LOVE
NO FRIENDS, JUST BENEFITS
SATAN’S CLOSET

Just $5 gets you all this and some hahaha’s. Come to 451 S. Warren Street at 8 PM. See you there!

SIC

Happy New Year, New Show

Hey, everyone! Here at Syracuse Improv Collective, we’d like to wish you an early happy new year. In order to have a great year, you have to start off on a happy, positive foot. So, why not start now?

We have a lot to offer. Not only are our classes returning in full force — be sure to check out the dates and sign up — we’ll promise our monthly shows every… err, month.

For instance: Coming up on Friday, Jan. 8, 2016, our Bank Show returns to The Vault at 451 S. Warren St. At the moment, we have No Friends Just Benefits, Heavy Metal Heatwave and Satan’s Closet on the bill. We’re contemplating a couple more things, but you’ll have to wait to find out.

That’s all for now. Be sure to like our Facebook page, and we’ll keep you updated on upcoming events and special events.

December 11 Show! And Classes!

The next SIC Bank Show is upon us. Come down to the Bank this Friday night for wild entertainment, including great acts like:

Eat The Cake 2
No Friends Just Benefits
musical guest Tin Can Toucan Twin Cantina
and also Satan’s Closet.

Meet us at The Bank – 451 S. Warren Street, Syracuse – at 8 PM. Be there with bells on (not literally, please).

IN OTHER NEWS

Classes are back in session! This is a great opportunity to try something new, expand your creativity, and meet new friends, all while having a load of fun. And it’s inexpensive. Whether you want to perform on a team or safely step out of your comfort zone, join us. (Improv classes are a great Christmas present, too…!)

Head over to the classes page to learn more and register.

improv group

AFSP Benefit Show!

Our next Bank Show is Saturday, November 7, 2015. All proceeds from the show will benefit The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It’ll take place at the Bank located under Open Atelier Architects on 451 S Warren St. The show begins at 7PM. Doors open at 6:30PM.

While progress has been broadly made to combat depression in America, there’s still a prevailing fear and shame associated with mental illness. Some people ignore biological and environmental circumstances, claiming it’s a measure of choice and character. The more we can educate the public on mental health and suicide prevention, the more we can make a difference.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention funds research, creates educational programs, advocates for public policy, and supports survivors of suicide loss and those at risk. Come join us for an evening of improv, stand up, art, and music to raise money a valuable cause.

Performers include:

Quick to Blush – an improv quartet
Sarah Benson – a stand-up soloist
Heavy Metal Heatwave – another improv quartet
Fugulele – an all-ukulele Fugazi septet

Improvised Art by Meghan

There will be a $5 minimum donation, a $10 suggested donation, but there is no donation that is too large.

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