UCB Improv 101 - The Who, What & Where

I am now an official exchange visitor, the spouse of an "alien physician", living life and loving improv in New York City.

Jonathan and I are settled in our East Village pad. We're in our second month of living in the USA and I'm proud to report that we're doing good. Moving ain't easy... but is sure is exciting.
Getting the keys to our apartment on East 4th

It's been a busy six weeks with lots of emotions: excitement about this new chapter, exhaustion from packing up in Vancouver and setting up in NYC, sadness for being away from my friends and improv home, and eagerness to experience all the art and improv in the big apple. This is a wild city, completely packed with people, alive in it's rhythm of horns and sirens.

This July, I completed my UCB level 100 intensive course. My instructor for the course was Amber Petty and she wore the kind of glasses that you might see in a Far Side cartoon by Gary Lawson. The aim of the week secretly became to try and make Amber laugh because she has a wicked sense of humour and the kind of laugh that makes an improvisor know that they've succeeded.
My instructor Amber Petty 

My take away from the course is with the UCB approach, you establish the WHO, WHAT, and WHERE of the scene in the first three lines. I spent most of the course aiming to get good at this - building solid initiations. Once we practiced initiations, we worked on what makes those first three lines great: Character, Emotional Reaction, Status.

What I noticed that was different the most from the Vancouver style was less emphasis on telling stories and creating relationships using eye contact. This is more about instant rapport to get to the funny.

The course culminated with a 60 minute show on the UCBChelsea stage.

UCB Intensive class show
Our show format was based on a single audience suggestion that inspired impromptu monologues from our fellow improvisors, followed by short scenes inspired by the monologues. (An Armondo style format)

Scene 1
Scene 2
Scene 3
Scene 4
Scene 5
Scene 6
Scene 7
Scene 8
Scene 9

I found it worked really well and the show was funny. Amber edited our scenes using blackouts from the booth.

I like this idea of making a great initiation to an improv scene by establishing the Who, What & Where as soon as possible in first 3 lines.

I'm excited for level 201 where we'll really dive into the concept of UCB's highly revered concept of finding the "Game".

I'll be back in Vancouver at the end of the month, to host the Colin Mochrie & Friends show on Saturday August the 22nd 2015 at 7:30pm.
Join me - Tix are $75-85 and benefit the Colin Mochrie Sponsorship fund.

Available at vtsl.com


My goal is to "be in the now" when I perform on stage, when I teach, and in the biggest moments of my life. These are the lessons I've learned along the way.

Help me raise $ for Easter Seals

Dirty Little Secrets Improv Show

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Catch this new UNSCRIPTED sketch show: LIGHTS!

Catch my upcoming Improv Show - Dirty Little Secrets


Thoughts on Improv & Life


Well, it's been 5 years since I've grown a MO for Movember. For my dad, for my nephews, and for myself.... I'm joining the team...