Frequently asked questions

What is improv?


The best way to answer that question is to start off by saying what improv is not. Improv is not just making things up as you go along, then crossing your fingers and hoping someone laughs. It is a very deliberate set of skills based on the fundamental principles of human behaviour used to create a connection with an audience and then generate laughter. These skills can be used by entrepeneurs, business leaders, sales, marketing, coaches, trainers, actors, stand-up comedians and in the day to day lives of anyone who wants to create a spark of laughter that they can use to ignite a fire of happiness and creativity in the present moment.




Why would anyone want to do Improv?


Life can be absurd at times, and seriousness and humourlessness are dangerous. They bring about narrow thinking and rigid ideologies that lead to helplessness and suffering. Humour engages empathy and connection, open mindedness and adaptation. Humour reinforces community and opens the door to hope, compromise and resilience. People sign up to our workshops for many reasons, but they are always surprised by the results they get!




Isn't it frightening?


Fear is an evolutionary mechanism we use to avoid fear and find safety. When you are unsure of the outcome and there is the potential for harm there is fear. Once you are sure of your abilities and can predict a safe outcome there is no reason to be affraid. Our students are often a bit nervous on their first session and we expect that as you will be meeting a new group for the first time, but as you get more confident in applying the skills we show you and getting results you will forget about your nerves.




What if I'm not funny?


Laughter is an evolutionary response to group formation and socialisation. We laugh to release tension, and that release allows us to think laterally and in new divergent ways. There is a simple formula which works and which anyone can follow. We are not going to make you into carbon copies of your favourite comic, that wouldn't be possible, they aren't you. We are going to give you the skills you need to be the most authentivally funny version of yourself.




What if I'm already funny?


GREAT! We have trained a number of comics, and although we are going to start off by teaching you the mechanics of comedy, there is always something for everyone and we run a range of course for all levels. If you already done a lot of Improv at another training centre then let us know and we will discuss more advanced levels, auditions or even instructor roles when they come up.




What happens in a session?


Our sessions are full of experiential exercises and activities that focus on applying the practical elements of our system. Sessions are very interactive and we cap the numbers on our courses to ensure that everyone gets a chance to try out all of the exercises. The exercises are all designed to give you an experience you can learn from, and they are also fun! The best way to learn is not from reading a book, or watching, the best way to learn is in direct application with expert feedback.




Is there a lot to remember?


After every session you will be given a handout covering everything you looked at during that session with background information and references explaining what we did and why we did it. These are yours to keep and read over in your own time.




What if I need more help?


Our students all join one of our 'Mastermind Networks' where they can ask any questions they like, at any time, and stay in touch with the rest of their group and their instructor. Our instructors also give out contact information if you have any questions you want to ask them directly. Once you have been a student with us for even just one session, you are free to take advantage of this network at any time, for life.




Do I have to perform in the Showcase?


No, you do not need to complete the showcase to complete the level. Whilst we believe that your showcase is an excellent opportunity to consolidate your new skills and gain confidence by using your skills in a real show, we appreciate not everyone has ambitions to do so. All we need you to so is let us know a couple of weeks before the show.




What happens if I miss a session?


Your instructor will catch you up either over the phone or in person, plus you will still get the handout. There is also the oportunity to catch up with another group.




Does it actually work?


Come and see one of our shows.




How do I book?


Check the course dates online and if there aren't any spaces then sunscribe to our mailing list and send us a message to info@fatpenguinimprov.com and we will put you on the waiting list so you get a priority place when one becomes available.





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