Star Wars Lessons For Improv

This May 4th we thought we’d share some Star Wars themed Improv insights that can be employed on stage and in workshops… and they’re pretty good for everyday life and communication as well!

Star Wars Improv ComedySportz

MAKE GOOD EYE CONTACT (THE FORCE AWAKENS)

Poe Dameron clearly understood the value of eye contact in this scene during Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s just a shame that his scene partner Kylo Ren didn’t join him, leading to this unfortunate moment between the two of them.  Eye contact is an important aspect of communication, especially when initiating a scene.

AVOID QUESTIONS (THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK)

If you keep asking questions you don’t have to come up with any answers. This can often result in scene’s grinding to a halt or your scene partner having to do a lot of the hard work. It’s a trap(!) that is easy to fall in too, especially if you’re worried about making a “bad” choice for a scene. However, making clear statements moves scenes along and allows relationships to grow.

That’s not to say all questions are inherently bad, especially if they can reveal something interesting about a character’s thoughts and feelings (or if you’re playing the game “Questions Only”) but if you find your scenes don’t go anywhere think about how many decisions you were – or weren’t! – making.

KEEP FOCUSED (THE PHANTOM MENACE)

Yeah, we know a lot of people didn’t like this scene from the Star Wars: Phantom Menace but Qui-Gon is right here. It’s important to be mindful of your surroundings during your scenes and games; did you just walk through that meticulously mimed landspeeder? Is your scene partner playing a Wookiee or a Kowakian monkey-lizard? Is this a moon or is it a space station?

You never know when you might find a gift or offer for a scene and the improvisers who look slickest are the ones who are completely committed to the here and now, reacting in the moment to actions on – and sometimes off – stage.

Likewise, try not to get stuck in your own head (or an “excessive amount of thinking” as C-3PO might put it) and avoid planning. As Yoda also tells us, “impossible to see, the future is.”

COMMIT TO YOUR PUNS (ATTACK OF THE CLONES)

DON’T BE AFRAID TO FAIL (THE LAST JEDI)

We’re afraid of messing up and feeling embarrassed but if you did something and fully committed to your scene, game or exercise it doesn’t matter if you “failed” at it. Similarly to when Yoda tells Luke, “Do, or do not, there is no try”, we hope you feel encouraged to commit to an idea instead of holding back because of a negative fear of messing up.

You can learn from failure without having to be embarrassed by it – in workshops it’s a shared moment for growth and development, in performance it’s an opportunity to play with something new and unexpected. Failure can be fun too!

THE FORCE IS WITH YOU (ROGUE ONE)

And by force we mean scene partners. Working together as a team and looking out for your scene partner’s means you can walk out on stage knowing that everyone has your back.


Want to know more about the ways of the force? Err, we mean, Improv? Check out our workshops page for all the latest on upcoming classes and courses.

Looking for some laughs this May The Fourth? Check out Improv Mullet tonight at The Kings Arms, Salford. Totally unscripted, totally unpredictable comedy for under a fiver!


From all at ComedySportz UK, May The Fourth Be With You!

All Upcoming Shows

All Upcoming Workshops

Intensive Workshops – Don’t Miss Out!

There are just a few spaces left on our intensive workshops this May/June so don’t miss out on your chance to sign up to Manchester’s longest running  comedy classes this Summer!

Whether you’re looking to learn new skills, brush up on some old ones or just want to spend a fun weekend rediscovering your playful side there is something for everyone with our fun, friendly and affordable range of courses.

Musical Improv Workshop Manchester

2 Day Intensive Workshops

Foundation Improv (Full Price Deposit)

Learn the core skills of Improv comedy with ComedySportz including Yes, And, Listening, Objects and Storytelling.

Beginning Stand Up (Full PriceDeposit)

We’ll help you hone your comedic voice with this short course covering everything from material generation to mic technique.

Sketch Writing (Full PriceDeposit)

Craft your sketches in this two day course covering everything from the perfect premise to the killer punchline.

Longform Improv (Full PriceDeposit)

This short introduction to longform improv will explore popular formats and edits. A deeper dive into creating whole improvised worlds and narratives.

Musical Improv (Full PriceDeposit)

Find the key to unlock the skills needed for improvised songs and rhyme. You don’t need a great singing voice to take part just a strong desire to have some fun!

1 Day Intensive Workshops

Character Improv (Full PriceDeposit)

Do all of your improv characters feel a little flat? Explore ways to bring new life to your on stage creations.

Presentation Skills (Full PriceDeposit)

Discover ways to engage your audience by employing performance skills to enliven your work presentations and brush up on your networking with confidence.

Stand Up “Your Next 5 Minutes” (Full PriceDeposit)

Completed one of our courses or looking to hone your new material? Stuck in a rut and want to put a bit of spark back into your jokes? Then this stand up comedy class is for you!

 

All prices include a non-refundable deposit (£30 for 2 Day classes, £10 for 1 Day classes). You can pay in full now or pay your deposit to secure your space and pay the rest later.

If you’ve taken one of our (or similar) improv comedy classes before we will also be running a six week intermediate improv course. This will run at the same time as our intensives so there are discounts for anyone who signs up to multiple courses – get in touch today to find out more.

Our courses and workshops are accredited by CSz Worldwide – one of the world’s largest schools for shows and comedy classes.

comedy classes manchester improv stand up sketch
Feedback from our latest 8 week stand up course.

Want to know more about our courses? You can also come along to our Intermediate Workshops Showcase on Sunday 28th April at The Kings Arms (starts 7.30pm) which will be followed by a short improv jam and an opportunity to talk to course facilitators about our comedy classes.

All Upcoming Workshops

All Upcoming Shows

International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019 we wanted to take a moment to highlight all of the very funny women in ComedySportz Manchester! Below you’ll find some of our player’s favourite photos and a little about themselves and their time with ComedySportz.

We’re extremely proud to have had so many talented women be part of our roster throughout the years, delighting audiences around the world, inspiring young people of all genders to take to the stage, and putting an end to those tired old “women aren’t funny though” arguments.

ComedySportz UK was founded in 2001 by Bron Edge and we’ve been going strong ever since…

Bron Edge

International Women's Day Improv
Bron reffing a ComedySportz Match at the ComedySportz World Championships!

I’m so proud of our strong and funny women who are part of ComedySportz Manchester.  I learn with them and from them every week. We often get comments from some of the young girls who come and watch ComedySportz in Sale, about how funny all our women are, and I hope we inspire them to go forward and do whatever they want to do (as we do for each other). Out of the three people that effectively run ComedySportz these days, two of them are women, that’s a pretty sweet ratio. 😀

Rachel Wareing

International Women's Day Improv
Performing as part of the Women in Comedy Festival at The Frog and Bucket!

I enjoy sharing…so hearing an audience laugh or when the penny drops with a workshop attendee, it fills me up with so much joy.

In CSz we are a family, there’s so many different dynamics but all with the same goal, to laugh. To make someone smile. To take people away from stressful life.

We are inclusive, we represent that in the women we have in our group.
We have strong female role models to show the younger generation that everyone can be funny and everyone should be included.

Kate McCabe

International Women's Day Improv
Inspiring future funny females at our Halloween Special.

I love performing and teaching comedy SO much. Improv comedy helps me to stay playful and positive and is real life magic.

Working with CSZ has been an amazing gateway to meeting amazing and funny women from all over the world. When you feel like the problem of representation of women in comedy is too real, it’s a salve to get to take the stage with these gals.

Happy International Women’s Day everyone!

Carly Tarett

International Women's Day Improv
Carly Tarett.

Maggie Nolan

International Women's Day Improv
Backstage at Waterside Arts! (sorry about the mess)

I have been a part of Csz for coming up to 5 years and I love it because I get to say I am in a team. I never got picked for teams at school because I ran the other way when a ball came at me and I was frightened of hockey sticks.

Vicki Mitchem

International Women's Day Improv
Vicki raising the Manchester flag high at ComedySportz World Championship in San Jose! #sassy

 

Laura Brook-Smith

International Women's Day Improv
ComedySportz played an all-female team at the ComedySportz World Championships last year!

There’ve been loads of great moments over the my two years with CSz. But the whole experience of the show in the photo was very surreal going from a regular customer service job at the time to performing in North Hollywood. Sometimes I have stints of feeling “am I even funny though?”, but the uplifting environment and scale of the event helped me make the most of the bizarre yet extremely fun moment.

Josie Throup

International Women's Day Improv
Josie is one of our latest recruits. See her at a show soon!

I’ve just joined Comedy Sportz and am excited to be part of a female-run team that is full of witty women. I’ve been doing improv for five years, and it’s taught me to do so many things that women aren’t taught to do: to unapologetically take up space on stage and refuse to make myself small, to take on the ‘Professor’ role in a scene and cast another woman as the ‘Astronaut’, to not be afraid to be disgusting and monstrous when the scene needs that.

I also think that Improv is one of the most accessible forms of comedy to women and non binary folks and should be celebrated for that. It breaks the macho mould of a lot of stand up with its focus on team work, support, and fun.

This International Women’s Day may we continue to accept and support people of all genders.


Happy International Women’s Day to all of the very talented women in ComedySportz teams worldwide and female improvisers everywhere!

CSz Worldwide Women Improv

Want to see our players in action? Check out our shows page!

All Upcoming Shows

Want to give Improv a go yourself and maybe one day join the ranks of funny ComedySportz women? Sign up to our upcoming Intensives today!

All Upcoming Workshops

Intensive Workshops

We are delighted to announce a series of intensive workshops and courses that will run throughout May and June in Improv, Stand Up, Sketch and so much more!

As well as short courses that cover more specialised skills we’ll be starting this season of intensive workshops with two day versions of our Foundation in Improv and Beginning Stand Up Comedy courses. These classes are ideal for anyone who has not been able to attend or commit to our longer eight week sessions. Our longer courses will return later in 2019.

You can pay in full now or just pay a small non-refundable deposit (£30 for two Day Intensives, £10 for one day intensives) to secure your space. All courses will run in the theatre spaces of the Kings Arms, Salford.

improv workshops manchester

Two Day Intensive Workshops

Foundation in Improv

4th-5th May 2019. 12.30-5pm each day. £75 for the whole course.

Learn the core skills and tenets of improvised performance including: Yes, And, Listening, Character, Objects, Storytelling, scene work, and an introduction to games. No previous performance experience required.

Beginning Stand Up Comedy

4th-5th May 2019. 12.30-5pm each day. £75 for the whole course.

Learn the core skills you’ll need to craft your first five minutes of stand up. Covering everything from material generation to mic technique we’ll help you find your comedic voice. No previous performance experience required.

Sketch Writing

18th-19th May 2019. 12.30-5pm each day. £75 for the whole course.

This short course will help you develop written sketch material from the perfect premise to the killer punchline. We’ll look at ways to hone and craft your material as well defeating any writers number one enemy – the blank page! No previous experience required.

Longform Improv

1st-2nd June 2019. 12.30-5pm each day. £75 for the whole course.

This short introduction to longform improv will explore the depth of storytelling and character development possible through longform improv. This course will introduce you to popular longform formats & scene edits. Some previous experience in performance and/or improvisation is recommended. Attendees will also gain free entry to Improv Mullet our combined shortform and longform show on Saturday 1st June.

Musical Improv

15th-16th June 2019. 12.30-5pm each day. £85 for the whole course.

Find the key (geddit?) to unlocking your tuneful side. Covering everything from rhythm to rhyme we’ll introduce you to the core skills to help you improvise songs. We’ll help you find the confidence you need to sing off-script – and it doesn’t matter if you’re off-key either. No previous experience required.

Improv Workshops Manchester

One Day Intensive Workshops

Character Improv

18th May 2019. 12.30-5pm. £45 for the whole course.

Often find yourself on stage just playing… yourself? This short course will explore ways to create characters that are as fun to watch as they are to perform.  Previous performance experience recommended but not required.

Presentation Skills

19th May 2019. 12.30-5pm. £45 for the whole course.

This intensive session will explore ways of using performance to skills to help you develop more effective presentations for business and events. If you’re the kind of person who dreads speaking in front of crowds then this safe, supportive workshop will help you find the confidence you need! No previous experience required.

Stand Up Comedy – Your Next 5 Minutes

1st June 2019. 12.30-5pm. £45 for the whole course.

Is your set stuck in a rut? Whether you’ve previously attended our Beginning Stand Up Comedy course or on the circuit but going in circles, this intensive workout will help you stretch your creative muscles and hone those funny bones.

stand up workshops

Sign Up Today!

Don’t delay and visit our workshops page today to sign up with Manchester’s longest running comedy performance courses. Got questions about any of our workshops or classes – perhaps you’d like to know more about our workshops for schools and businesses? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

All Upcoming Workshops

All Upcoming Shows

Improv Workshops Last Few Spaces!

There are just a few spaces left on our Foundation in Improv Workshops commencing 16th February! Don’t miss this chance to learn from Manchester’s longest running comedy improv classes and sign up today.

Whether you’re a budding performer or a professional hoping to learn new communication and listening skills or someone who just wants to have a bit of fun for a couple of hours on a Saturday, our workshops have something to suit everyone!

Build confidence, learn the core skills and tenets of Improvised performance and meet new people in a safe and supportive environment. Workshops are fun, friendly and above all, affordable with no stage experience necessary!

Our workshops have featured The Guardian Online, The Stage, Cosmopolitan UK and Manchester Confidential. Our courses and workshops leaders are fully accredited by CSz Worldwide, one of the world’s largest comedy improvisation schools.

Visit our workshops page today to reserve your space. You can pay in full now or pay a non-refundable £30 deposit and pay the rest later!

Improv Workshops Manchester

During the 8 week course you will learn key skills including:

  • Yes, And
  • Listening
  • Character
  • Storytelling
  • Objects
  • Intro to Scenes
  • Intro to Games

Taking Improv Workshops with ComedySportz can be beneficial in many ways:

  • Improvisation is a great skill in auditions and rehearsal
  • Build confidence in performing off-script
  • Develop listening and communication skills for networking and teamwork
  • Discover a positive, open attitude to communication
  • Find your unique comedic voice
  • Focus on being “in the moment” and seizing opportunities
  • Rediscover your playful side
  • Meet new people

Intermediate Improv

Already have some experience in improvisation? There are a few spaces left on our Intermediate Improv course. This is open to anyone who has recently taken our 8 week Foundation in Improv workshops or an equivalent course/experience. It’s best to be honest with yourself and your skill level as the intermediate course assumes a level of pre-existing knowledge/experience.  Sessions cover everything from deeper character creation to improvised rap on a rolling curriculum. If you feel you may benefit from a refresher it is advised to try our Foundation in Improv workshops first. If you have any queries about our courses please don’t hesitate to get in touch today!

Improv Workshops Manchester

All Upcoming Workshops

All Upcoming Shows