Magnet Theater Blog

Tuesday September 12, 2017, 5:42pm - by Promo Team

Musical Megawatt performer Chris Bell bares all about his his upcoming show Comic Strips. With the help of his friends, Chris combines the styles of burlesque and game shows into a night of fun and laughter. This comedy boylesque show will make its Magnet Theater premiere Friday, September 15th, at 11:15pm.

What is Comic Strips and when did it become a show at the Magnet Theater?

Comic Strips is a comedy boylesque & game show. It’ll be a night of odd character stripteases and bawdy games hosted by the fabulous Madame Jiji. The night will really be an experiment of an idea I had years ago (more on this to come later) and is the show’s birthday so if you want to see how babies are made, come to the show!

 

Disclaimer: Actual babies will not be made at this show.

 

What kind of games will you be playing during Comic Strips?

There will be games of mystery and intrigue, exocitc games from the ancient tribes of South East Africa, but most importantly, there will be games that aren’t any of those just mentioned. The games we’ll play will be dumb, fun, and sexualy suggestive cause, hey, this is partly a burlesque show after all!

 

What inspired you to combine boylesque with comedy?

The idea came to me maybe 10 years ago when a good friend called me up and asked if I knew someone who would strip for her best friend’s birthday party…but dressed as a Hasidic Jew. I thought this was hilarious so naturally I had to do it. We all ended up having a blast and I wondered how it was possible that there wasn’t a NYC company out there offering this service. Funny character stripteases that is. Fast forward 10 years later; I’ve quit my job and I’m putting together a prototype of that company to see if the idea has legs. Comic Strips (this Friday night @ 11:15pm, be there) is the beginning of my frankenstein monster. Will it break loose and wreak havoc on the streets of New York? I hope so!

 

But you know, like a positive havoc.

 

Who would be your ideal guest for Comic Strips?

Darth Vader hands down, because wouldn’t it be fun to take a ride on the Dark side?

 

What does it mean for you to have a Friday night spot at the Magnet Theater?

It means a lot of work! #JesusBeAXanax

 

No, I’m very excited to be able to do this show at the Magnet. It’s a great community to be a part of and what better place to do an experimental show than at my favorite comedy safe space and no, I am not getting paid to say that.

 

(‘ll-Iay ick-pay p-uay he-tay eck-chay omorrow-tay.)

 

Besides boylesque and improv, have you performed in other types of shows?

My educational background is theater so in college I performed in several types of shows from dance shows to musicals to plays. I’ve done a few summer stock seasons of musicals as well as a year of children’s theater in Lexington Kentucky before I moved to NYC. I’ve been in New York for 10 years now and have produced, directed, and acted in various projects both for the stage and screen. A couple of random voiceover gigs too which were a blast including a recent video game you can find on Steam called The Low Road.

 

And now for the biggest confession of all, I’ve never actually performed burlesque so (prepare yourself for another shameless plug) come this Friday at 11:15 pm to see if I succeed or fail. Either way, it should be entertaining!

 

What do you want audience members to take away from the show – that they wouldn’t normally from a traditional improv/ sketch show?

I guess Comic Strips is celebration of the human body and sexuality. But most importantly, I want it to be a shit ton of fun. Not too different from any other comedy show right?

 

Comic Strips debuts at the Magnet Theater on Friday September 15 at 11:15pm. Don’t miss it! 

 

 

Monday September 11, 2017, 1:50pm - by Magnet Theater

Magnet TC Logo v3

Part-Time Training Center Assistant (Evenings and Weekends)

We are looking for a friendly and incredibly responsible person to assist with studio rental operations at the Training Center. Shifts are from 6-11 pm Monday through Friday and on weekends 4-11 pm. The position is part-time. We are looking for people who are available to work at least 2 nights a week.
Qualifications:
  • Knowledge of MS Office Suite (including Excel) and Google Apps
  • Calmness and efficiency are highly prized!
  • Of course, a sense of humor is a plus!

Please send a resume and cover letter to Amy Morrison at schooldirector@magnettheater.com.

Priority will be given to resumes and cover letters received by September 13th. We will only be contacting candidates whom we wish to interview. Thank you!

Thursday September 7, 2017, 12:18pm - by Magnet Theater

large_megawatt

Magnet Theater is now accepting applications for the 2017 fall season of Megawatt. Please fill out THIS FORM no later than WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20th to apply for an audition slot. Auditions will take place on Thursday 9/28 (evening), Friday 9/29 (evening), and Saturday 9/30 (morning/early afternoon), with callbacks being Saturday, September 30th (afternoon/evening).

Anyone who has completed Team Performance Workshop (Magnet Level Six) is eligible to apply, though please note that a completed form does not guarantee an audition slot. Due to the high volume of eligible improvisors and a limited number of slots, priority will be given to students and performers who have most recently been on a Megawatt team or completed Team Performance Workshop.

Audition date/time confirmations will be sent out by FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22nd.

CLICK HERE to apply.

Thursday September 7, 2017, 10:00am - by Promo Team

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.

 

What’s your name?

Kourtni Beebe

Which team or show are you on?

I’m on the sketch team Chillionaire!

Where are you from?

Norman, Oklahoma

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

My best friend suggested that I take an improv class for fun. After doing that for a while, I was curious about sketch writing. There was no turning back after I took my first sketch class.

How long have you been performing/writing?

I’ve been performing for 24 years. I’ve been doing comedy for 4 years.

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

I’d love to write and act with Amy Schumer. I have a comedy fantasy of us doing a film where we play sisters and Ali Wentworth plays our mom. Make fun of me all you want!!!!! It’d also be fun to write with Melissa McCarthy and Amy Poehler. Lucille Ball was one of my idols growing up and I wish I could’ve gotten the chance to share the screen with her.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for? 

I’ve impersonated Kellyanne Conway a few times and would love to dive into that more. With that being said, I have a comedy crush on Kate McKinnon and would love to write for her. I would also like to write for Jillian Bell, Ali Wentworth, and Jennifer Coolidge.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

When callbacks happen in regular conversations. It’s even funnier to me when someone does it who isn’t a comedian.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

Honestly, you can turn on the Legally Blonde The Musical soundtrack at anytime and I will never not jam out to it.

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

“Do you like dogs?” If the answer is anything negative, you can’t sit with us.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

A fun bar with my friends, usually chatting about what projects we want to work on together. If you’re good people and want to join us sometime, reach out to me!

What is the weirdest scar you have and how did you get it?

I have an insane scar on both of my hands from a Nutribullet (type of blender) breaking while I was using it and my hands fell into the running blades. There’s a lawsuit happening. And I’m writing a show about it called “Nutribullshit.”

Tuesday September 5, 2017, 2:53pm - by evan barden

This month’s Director Series, “The Setup,” comes to us from the brilliant mind of Eleanor Lewis. Eleanor is most often seen on stage with Megawatt team Sexy Baby, but for the month of September, she’s sitting in the director’s chair, working with a special cast on a show of her own creation. We’ve interviewed her to find out more about the show and where her compass is pointing!

Tell us about the concept of The Setup. How did you come up with this idea?

First of all, thanks for having me. This studio is very comfortable and expensive-looking!

The Setup is an improvised one-act play where the audience designs the set – so, basically a monoscene with a theatrical style. A few months ago I was thinking a lot about my favorite improv shows and realized that the ones that stuck with me were always the ones that were either so funny they were unforgettable, or ones where the actors took their scenes seriously and took the time to explore the subtleties of their characters and relationships. The ones I still think about all the time have both – it’s something that a lot of really good duos have because they’re so patient and trusting with each other. They can be so silly and dumb, and then in the next breath extremely human and touching.I started thinking of ways to set up a show that encouraged this kind of improv, and the idea of giving the actors a designed set, just like in a real play, was the one that was the most interesting to me. I thought it would give the performers the sense that they could take their time and explore their world without giving them an explicit directive to form a narrative, or forcing them into being artificially dramatic.

Then I just had to pick a cast of strong actors who are also – and I hope they’re cool with me saying this – incredible weirdos. People who can do complete nonsense with gravity and a straight face, and love doing it.

How does the audience get to design the set for the show?

I wrote a web app. It’s very buggy, but the audience can use the app on a tablet out in the lobby to design the set. We take the tablet into the theater, set the stage, and nobody has to go through the awkwardness of dragging chairs around while everyone watches them. Technology can be isolating, and sometimes that’s a good thing!

How is improvising with a set different than working without one?

There’s a sense that everything is intentional, which is basically a trick, but a good trick. It puts you in the mindset of being in a play where everything exists on purpose. But, you still have the spontaneity of improv where the cast can surprise each other and themselves. Also, improv scenes demand that you answer a lot of questions – who are we? What are we doing together? Answering the question “what does this space look like, physically?” is unusual as the very first thing that happens.

Your show is an improvised one act play. What plays inspire you as an improv director?

I’m actually extremely ignorant and poorly-read when it comes to scripted theater, so my references are kind of limited. I think 12 Angry Men is a great play for clear and believable character behavior because each juror has such a clear perspective. I think it’s also a strong lesson for improvisers because the show wouldn’t work unless the jurors let themselves be convinced one by one. Even juror #3, who is never actually convinced, eventually goes along with a not-guilty verdict because he gets so worn down and upset. From an improv perspective, he follows the logic of his character all the way to the end but ultimately accepts the offer given to him even though it hurts and feels like a loss.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (the musical!!!!!) is great because the characters are all super smart and capable, but get into extremely stupid and absurd situations anyway. The show is so good because nobody seems to know that what they’re doing is funny or that they’re in a comedy at all, so you have things like a guy singing “love is my legs/ and you are my love/ so you are my legs/ my love” from the bottom of his heart while a woman holds back tears.

These are two of the three shows I know well and the third one is irrelevant to improv.

If you could do improv on the set of any play you’ve ever seen, what would it be and why?

I’d love to improvise on the set of Hamilton because that means I get to be all smug right now and say I saw Hamilton. You guys, it’s good! Also the set of Clybourne Park because there are so many sub-spaces to explore within it (the garden, all the upstairs rooms, the main foyer, etc) and because the set itself had so much personality.

The Setup is playing every Thursday night in September at 10 pm, as a part of Thursday Night Out. Don’t miss it!

Thursday August 31, 2017, 10:00am - by Promo Team

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.

What’s your name?

Jessica Coyle

Which team or show are you on?

Captains

Where are you from?

Cincinnati, Ohio

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

When I was living in Korea, I saw a posting in a meetup group about doing comedy in English. I showed up a week early by mistake, I was so excited! It was great. I performed with them in Korea, China, the US, and Canada for 5 years. Most expat improv is short form, but after watching a show on a vacation to NYC that blew my mind I tried to teach myself long form techniques by reading books and watching YouTube videos. Trust me, it’s better to learn that stuff in a class. (Fun fact about that time: I accidentally said “improvist” instead of “improviser” for YEARS without anyone correcting me.)

How long have you been performing/writing?

My first big role was as a child bride Mrs. Claus in the 4th grade, so about 975 years now?

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

Paul F Tompkins, though I’d probably faint on him and get his fancy suit all rumpled.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for? 

A small goat.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

My sister – is she a what? Otherwise, certain Magnet performers I won’t mention here for fear of appearing too obsequious.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

A low droning moan, interspersed with the crack of fresh carrots being snapped in twain.

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

Oh God, we’ve actually met before, haven’t we. please forgive me.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Are you hunting me? Are you HUNTING ME? I AM DIONYSUS, GOD OF MASKS, AND YE SHALL NEVER FIND ME, WOODSMAN!

What, in your opinion, is the worst starburst flavor?

Burnt Foot (tied with Hot Wings Burp)

Wednesday August 30, 2017, 12:54pm - by Megan Gray

Musical Megawatt - Musical Improv

We are excited to announce the next round of auditions for Musical Megawatt!

This season, auditions will take place on Saturday, September 23rd, 6:30pm to 10:30pm, with callbacks on Sunday, October 1st at the same time.  Both rounds of auditions will be at the Magnet Training Center, located at 22 West 32nd Street on the 10th Floor.

To submit for an audition time, please fill out THIS FORM! Please note only people who have completed Musical Level 3 at the Magnet are eligible to audition.

Submissions must be received by Wednesday, September 13th, and emails with assigned audition times will be sent out on Friday the 15th.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email Michael Lutton at mjlutton@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you at auditions!

Friday August 25, 2017, 8:01pm - by Magnet Theater

“The First 30 Seconds”

Legendary improv instructor and our good buddy from Chicago, Joe Bill, is stopping by Magnet to teach a one day workshop on Sunday, September 3rd, from 1-4 pm. Joe will be teaching a new version of his newest workshop “The First 30 Seconds” which focuses on the verbal, emotional, physical, and psychological content of the first 30 seconds of scenes to help you get optimally grounded and connected to what’s happening REGARDLESS of the approach/style in which you’re playing.

In Improvisation, so often, the ending is in the beginning. Let Joe help you begin your scenes in service to yourself, your scene partners, and the show you’re doing. He’ll show you how to attack the first 0-15 & 15-30 seconds (The Golden Time) of a scene. This includes the mindset of readiness, playing with energy variety for initiations, strategic & emotional listening, awareness of interpersonal vs. circumstantial dialogue, and tracking the context through patterns that you establish right from the start. Everyone will walk out of this workshop with at least a couple of new tools that they can begin to employ immediately.

Interested? Come play! Cost is $50. Just email Joe to reserve your spot! Email jbillscp [at] yahoo [dot] com

Monday August 21, 2017, 1:31pm - by Magnet Theater

Well folks, Remix is back for Vol. 2!

What is Remix?

Remix is the Magnet Theater’s diversity sketch lab. For seven weeks participants will meet with Magnet Alumni and learn about sketch writing! We start with the basics of what makes a good sketch and take you through the process of writing, getting notes, editing, and performing! All participants will be eligible to have their sketch considered for the show at the end of the the lab, and all participants will have a chance to perform in the show!

Want to see some sketches that made it into last year’s show? Look here: Remix on YouTube

Who is this for?

Remix’s aim is to lift voices of people from marginalized groups, and celebrate diversity of all types – including (but not limited to): race, age, gender identity, orientation, ability, and more!

But I Didn’t Do Remix Vol. 1…

Perfect! There’s no prior experience needed. People who participated last year are welcome to participate again, but we’ll be covering a lot of the same ground.

But I’ve Never Done Sketch Before…

It’s never too late to start! Remix is for people of all experience levels in sketch and comedy writing. Even if you’ve never done sketch comedy or if you’re on a team at another theater, Remix is for you! All experience levels welcome.

OK… But What’s the Catch?

There’s a tiny (less than $10) fee to pay for the show recording and our amazing tech.

To qualify for show participation, we require that you miss no more than 2 meetings and miss no more than 1 show.

But that’s it! Any sketches written in the lab are yours to do with what you please and the seven weeks of classes are absolutely free!

Whoa, that’s pretty sweet. How can I stay up to date on the info?

Our main form of communication will be through our google group: Click here. We will also post everything possible on Facebook (click here), as well.

When does this party start!?

Remix Vol. 2 will be kicking off Saturday, September 23rd @ 12pm.
We’ll be meeting Saturdays from 12 – 3pm in the Magnet Theater Training Center, located at 22 West 32nd St.

And the shows?

Shows will be November 6th, 13th, and 20th at the Magnet Theater (main stage)!

We look forward to seeing all of you at the kickoff meeting 9/23!

Best!
The Remix Team

Wednesday August 16, 2017, 11:50pm - by Megan Gray

sketch teams logo

Congratulations to the newest Magnet Sketch Teams and the newest additions to Just Karen, Nitro Girls, Chillionaire and The Executives! Thanks to everyone who submitted and auditioned this round. Here’s to a brand new season of killer comedy, premiering on Monday, September 11th, 7:30pm.

 

Italicized = new to program
* = new to existing team
+ = promoted to writer/performer

Just Karen – Directed by Matt Alspaugh*
Devin O’Neill +
Kristina Grosspietsch
Morgan Pelligrino
Keith Rubin
Dennis Pacheco
David Fried
Bailey Swilley
Carly Silverman
Elie Stav
Tom Sanchez*

Chillionaire – Directed by Michael Delisle
Duaa Osman
Tanyika Carey
Molly Kiernan
Kate Shine
Kourtni Bebe
Francis Fuster
Greg Cornejo
Skyler Swezy
Nick Wiener*
Brendan Goggins*

Nitro Girls – Directed by Chris Hastings
Sam Rogal
Jesse Mudrick
Justin Morgan
Lanee Sanders
John Ross
Amy Lynn Berger
Alex Braslavsky
Joe Lepore
Chelsea Frei
Leanne Velednitski

Team Bill S. Preston Esquire – Directed by Jesse Acini
Matt Wassung
Diego Martinez
Chloe Lewis
Lorena Russi +
Jennette Cronk
Billy Soco
Zach Kamin
Lauren Overpack
Zackery Stephens
Caroline Castro

Team Ted Theodore Logan – Directed By Chrissie Gruebel
Karina Sahlin
Daniel Louis Sgrizzi
Sarah Cassell
Kyle Levenick
Matt Abedi
Chris Wade
Yoshi Saito
John Graham
Shelley Little
Rachel Robertson

Team Rufus – Directed by Nat Silverman
Katie Sicking
Matt Morea
Patrick Grizzard
Lauren Faylor
Rob Webber
Gina Cucci
Jackie Skinner
Matt Brooks
Alyssa Lott
Annemarie Cullen

Dinosaur Jones – Directed by Joe Lepore
Matt Alspaugh
Nat Silverman
Hayley Karl
Rich Rosario
Ben Koch
Anna Neu
Becca Schall
Jessica Taylor

The Executives – Directed By Kevin Cobbs
Ari Miller
Elena Skopetos*
Evan Forde Barden
Bryan Berlin
Charlie Nicholson
Lane Kwederis
Meredith Burns
Sara Kalkstien*
Kristen Loe*