Posts Tagged ‘sketch’
A massive sketch show is going up at the Magnet Theater on Monday, December 14th. What show is that? Oh, it’s none other than DEATH LIPS 2: KISS OF DEATH. Following the smashing box office success of DEATH LIPS, Dreamsburg Pictures has given the go ahead to follow this great movie up with a sequel. Quite a few sequels actually. Because it was that good. This wild, incredibly fun and very silly show was written in full and directed by our own Amanda Xeller and stars a tour de force cast of dynamite performers: Sarah Marie Degni, Chano Garcia, Eli Itzkowitz, Ally Kornfeld, Kyle Levenick, Pat May, Catherine Montesi, Lex Morales, and Jessica Taylor.
If you like to laugh, if you like things loose and free, and if you like a few dick jokes, this show is for you.
Tickets are $7.00 and reservations can be made here: http://www.magnettheater.com/shows/46181-DEATH-LIPS-2-KISS-OF-DEATH
The Magnet Theater is excited to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2016 Winter/Spring Season of SKETCH TEAMS, which will run from February 1st through July 11th! All applications are due by Wednesday, December 2nd at 8pm!
Please read the following application instructions and sketch team participant expectations very carefully – weve made some very big changes to the program. Got questions? Come to the Winter/Spring 2016 Sketch Team info sessions Wednesday, November 11th, & November 18th at 6pm in room A at the Magnet Training Center!
GENERAL SKETCH SHOW EXPECTATIONS
Each team will create one 20-25 minute sketch show every three to four weeks.
All sketch team shows will be on Monday nights! In February, sketch team shows will be at 8:30pm. For the rest of the sketch season, shows will be at 7:30pm. Two teams will perform in each show.
All sketch team shows must contain new, original material written specifically for Magnet Sketch Night that has never been previously performed.
Each show will contain the best material created for the team as selected by the director – there is no guarantee that every writer will get a sketch in each show or that every actor will be featured in each show. Funny wins. Thems the breaks.
All sketches will be performed by the teams ensemble cast of sketch actors. If a particular sketch requires it, the team may use outside casting (writers, other actors) at the directors discretion.
GENERAL SKETCH TEAM EXPECTATIONS
Sketch team members are expected to attend all required meetings and shows and arrive fully prepared. Sketch is time intensive – make sure you can commit 100% and make sketch a priority before applying.
Sketch team members must be available 1:30-4:30pm the Sunday before their show for a mandatory tech rehearsal at the theater.
Sketch team members may not schedule conflicting appointments (work, rehearsals, shows, etc) during scheduled techs, shows, rehearsals, or meetings.
Sketch teams must rehearse with a Magnet approved director. Each individual sketch team member is responsible for paying their director a flat rate of $12/week; team due collection is left to the discretion of the director and team (as it would be for an improv team or practice group).
Sketch team members are expected to promote their shows at the theater.
For the Winter/Spring 2016 Sketch Season, you must apply as a writer, performer, or a writer/performer. Expectations, prerequisites, and application instructions for each role are below!
Writers must attend one 3 hour writing meeting per week, all performance rehearsals of their sketches, and all tech rehearsals.
Writers must constantly generate new material and are required to bring in a minimum of one new sketch per week, even during show week.
Writers are expected to be respectful and gracious collaborators in writing room. Writers should give and receive feedback to and from their teammates in an open and constructive manner.
Writers will be required to rewrite material and meet deadlines as requested by their director.
Completion of (or current enrollment in) Magnet Sketch Writing Level 2 or previous participation on a Magnet Sketch team (as any role).
WRITER APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS:
Send the following materials to sketchdirector@magnettheater.
- A cover letter detailing relevant sketch experience inside and outside the Magnet community.
- A single PDF of a sketch writing sample. Your sample should contain at least two sketches and may not exceed 10 pages.
Performers must be available for a regularly scheduled 2-3 hour performance rehearsal the week leading up to the show (ex: Sketch Team Fart Police has a performance rehearsal every Tuesday before a show, 7-10pm)
Performers must be available for techs, table reads, and any additional rehearsals as required by the director.
Performers must learn all show material in a timely manner.
Performers may collaborate with writers outside of rehearsals to help create characters and sketches, but performers should not be writing material on their own for shows.
Performers must perform sketches as they are written – ad libbing is good in a pinch, but be prepared and dont put yourself in positions where you must resort to improvisation. Be polished and professional in all shows.
Completion of or current enrollment in Level 6 team performance workshop, participation in a past or current Megawatt team, or previous participation in a Magnet Sketch Team (as any role).
PERFORMER APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS:
Send the following materials to sketchdirector@magnettheater.
2016 WINTER/SPRING MAGNET SKETCH TEAM APPLICATION// PERFORMER // <YOUR NAME>
A cover letter detailing relevant performance experience inside and outside the Magnet community.
A PDF of your acting resume
A SINGLE link to a 3-5 minute sample of your work as a performer. This can be a reel, a recording of a stage sketch, a video sketch, a monologue directed at a webcam, anything you feel showcases you as a comedic performer. Youtube or Vimeo preferred. The link can be public, private, or unlisted – just be sure to send passwords if necessary and you may only send one link and the link itself may be no longer than 5 minutes.
You will be informed by Monday, December 7th, if you have been selected to audition in person. In-person auditions will be held on Saturday, December 12th at the Magnet Training Center. Unfortunately, if you are not available on December 12th, you cannot be considered as a performer for the 2016 Winter/Spring Sketch Season.
For the in-person audition, you will perform two contrasting sketches that will be assigned to you and another applicant a couple days prior to the audition. You must be completely off-book and you may rehearse before hand with your scene partner, at your discretion. You will also be asked to cold read sketches in the room.
WRITER/ PERFORMER EXPECTATIONS
Writer/performers must meet all writer expectations AND performer expectations.
Writer/performers are expected to write for other performers as well as for themselves. There is no guarantee that a writer/performer will perform in all of their own work.
Writer/performers must meet all writer AND performer prerequisites or previous participation on a Magnet Sketch team (as any role).
WRITER/PERFORMER APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
Send the following materials to sketchdirector@magnettheater.
2016 WINTER/SPRING MAGNET SKETCH TEAM APPLICATION// WRITER/PERFORMER // <YOUR NAME>
All materials detailed in writer application instructions.
All materials detailed in performer application instructions.
Also, please indicate if you are willing to be considered as a writer or actor ONLY if you are not selected for a writer/performer position. Be completely honest – your preferences will not be held against you!
You will be informed by Monday, December 7th, if you have been selected to audition in person. See performer application instructions above for more info about the audition.
Failure to follow application instructions will keep you from being considered for sketch team. Double check your application!
All applications must be received by 8pm on Wednesday, December 2nd!
Magnet performer, writer, and talk show host, PHOEBE TYERS, joins host Louis Kornfeld to talk about the outsider view of comedians, her background in playwriting, and so much more! Phoebe performs regularly on Megawatt with The Music Industry and on Magnet Sketch Teams with Stockton. Additionally, you can catch her late night talk show Phoebe Tonight Tonite regularly at the Magnet. She and Louis dive deep into the psyche of comedians in this episode, which is perfect for all you performers and writers out there. Tune in!
This episode begins with Phoebe and Louis talking about finding comedy despite not being comedy geeks. Adding to that, Phoebe talks about how she doesn’t even like being the center of attention. So how did it come to pass that this woman became so taken with the world of comedy?
Phoebe tells us why, despite making life her a mess, comedy has enriched it in a way she never thought possible. This “wildly dyslexic” comedian speaks with Louis about the secret language and point of view of comedians everywhere that link them to each other and separate them from the “pinks.” Is it possible to enjoy simple things if you’re conditioned to look for the skewering point?
Louis asks Phoebe about her approach to character work in improv and we hear about how certain characters allow Phoebe to share herself with the audience. They explore character and what it means to be truly playing with your teammates. Although she was first mystified by the structure and inner workings of improv, Phoebe comments on the fact that it’s now become more like second nature. They talk about being zen and you get to hear about it.
Maybe you had no idea, but before comedy, Phoebe was a playwright! She and Louis compare and contrast playwriting with sketch comedy and it’s all kinds of interesting. Is length the biggest difference between the two disciplines, or is it more nuanced than that? Hear about Louis’ head-fuck confusion with the “assumed genius” of great playwrights. Plus, Phoebe and Louis take the pretension of certain writers to task.
They talk about Phoebe’s late night show, Phoebe Tonight Tonite, and bringing a little bit of soul to everything she does. At the center of her universe is the idea of telling a good story. They circle back to discussing the beauty of being able to enjoy simple things in life and Phoebe’s experience of acting in a pilot directed by Michael Showalter.
Whoa, boy! Watch out now, because local southern gentleman and big juicy peach, KEVIN COBBS, sits down with host Louis Kornfeld on Episode #61 to talk about getting his start in Atlanta, being a musician, and his comedic love of stupidity. They talk about Kevin’s guides to New York, his experiences working for Second City, and what else, but being a college radio DJ. You can catch Kevin every Wednesday at Megawatt with The Music Industry and you ain’t gonna wanna miss this episode!
And the episode begins with a song of rebellion! Just kidding, folks. This episode starts off with Kevin talking about being from Atlanta, getting his start in comedy at Dads Garage, and moving to NYC in 2010. Although he thought New York was a nightmare when initially visiting, Kevin was still filled with wonder when he first moved here. Does he have a master plan for his career or does he just take things as they come? As Louis wades through questions related to career goals, he also finds that for Kevin, the creative process is all about collaboration.
They back up to talk once again about Kevin’s improv beginnings at Dads Garage in Atlanta and what the scene was like down there. We find out that, similar to Episode #60’s guest T.J. Mannix, Kevin was a graveyard-shift college radio DJ! Louis asks about Kevin & Jimmys Guide To New York and they discuss the awkwardness of doing comedy with the public. Where do Kevins comedic sensibilities come from and what’s he usually going for? Kevin answers these questions and talks about working with long-time buds Jimmy OConnell and Al King.
Kevin has done two stints with Second City cruise line casts and so he and Louis get into what that life is like. Most recently, Kevin was doing 11 shows a week, which was far more intense than his first time around. The busier schedule was more enjoyable, he says. Louis wants to know what was the difference Kevin saw between his two experiences and they discuss the advice of, You gotta be good even when youre not. Plus, so much is explained when we find out that Louis loves the Kardashians.
One thing is made clear, and that’s that Second City knows how to build a sketch show. Gaining such professional experience has helped Kevin become comfortable as a sketch director here at Magnet, where he has directed Wendigo and The Executives. Hear about Kevin’s approach to directing sketch and how he focuses on keeping a show moving.
Enjoy all of this, plus, we discover how far into his own future Kevin can see and we hear him speak briefly about his experiences writing for Sesame Street! Go Panthers!!!
- Al King
- Dad's Garage
- Jimmy O'Connell
- Kevin & Jimmy's Guide To New York
- Kevin Cobbs
- Louis Kornfeld
- magnet sketch teams
- magnet theater
- magnet theater podcast
- magnet training center
- new york
- new york city
- Second City
- Sesame Street
- sketch comedy
- The Executives
- The Music Industry
The Magnet Theater Podcast triumphantly returns from a late-summer respite with a glorious episode featuring Magnet performer, gamer, Training Center House Manager, and boy made of metal, PAT MAY. He sits down with host Louis Kornfeld for a sweaty conversation all about going to comedy camp, his approach to improv scenes, and how he seeks to create shows that are truly for the audience. He also discusses writing and performing sketch comedy, TV Party Tonight, and his incessant self-deprecation.
Louis begins this episode by asking Pat about his summers spent at Bucks Rock Performing & Creative Arts Camp and doing comedy for the first time at age 16. At Buck’s Rock, Pat met a lot of folks now in the comedy world like Rebecca Drysdale, Louie Pearlman, Griffin Newman, and Sam Rogal. He grew up in Hastings-on-Hudson, which allowed him to do some open mics in NYC as a teenager, but the stand-up environment soon turned him off. Pat believes that the open mics he went to were like YouTube commenters in a circle jerk, which is a beautiful analogy.
It didn’t sit well with him that people simply wanted to be funny, or simply to be funny to themselves. When performing or putting up a show, Pat always tries to think: “What would make someone get off their couch and come out to the theater?” He loves to make things that people genuinely enjoy. Pat tells of a recent show he put up to which zero people showed up and gets into the topic of failure. Even on his team Metal Boy, which is a sucessful team, Pat knows that hes still going to have fuck ups. It can be frustrating to know that youre not in control of the whole show or team, but part of that is also whats exciting about improv.
Talking about improv mechanics, Pat has never really cared about labeling from inside the scene. Its all about the present dynamic for him. “Who cares about labeling?” he asks. “Just improv nerds!” What does Pat think about before a show or do to prepare for it? To describe his style, Pat says that hes not a thinker, which you might have already known if you saw his recent show where he repeatedly fell out of a window. Among the different members of Metal Boy, Louis takes particular interest in exploring Pats relationship with Sam Rogal, his frequent collaborate, former roommate, and longtime friend. Louis observes that Sam doesnt let things go and Pat wont give up on any small thing hes doing, which often allows them to continue scenes forever. Breaking the rules of improv is one of Pats most favorite things. Louis thinks that if a team says theyre going to follow the fun that night, theyre doomed to fail. Pat weighs in on The Spokane as a form. Spoiler alert: He doesn’t like it.
Paying him a compliment, Louis says that Pats characters are always very clear and have obvious wants. What kinds of choices really click with Pat? He relates to a lot of the teaching he received from Louis and Rachel Hamilton.
Pat talks about his farts. For real. He also burps a lot. Powering through his bodily functions, Pat and Louis discuss being in the moment and having needs, wants, and drives in scenes. Both guys comment on big characters. Plus, you will learn Pat Mays improv cure-all. Its really dumb!
Louis finally cuts through the heavy self-deprecation and asks Pat why he shits on himself all the time? Laughing at being called out, Pat claims he’s just trying to check himself and reign in his ego. He holds himself to a high standard and needs to be reminded of that.
Finally, they talk about Pat’s show TV Party Tonight and how he loves to create shows that the audience can feel a part of. TV Party Tonight is a show where Pat, his friends, and special guests watch TV and make jokes, talk to the audience, and give out free beers. For real though, Pat cannot stop burping and farting. Louis asks about translating the experience of hanging out with friends to a show meant for an audience. Pay says that performing can often be selfish, but a show like this is one that the audience too can get involved in. He really wants to make shows for other people.
Plus, these important topics:
- Do you ever feel truly great about what youre doing in comedy? Or is ownership the best we can do?
- Pat talks about Sketch Jesus!
- Louis vamps a whole lot!
This summer, Magnet will be putting together an exciting new video project entitled “Exquisite Corpse: The Movie.” Performers, video/sound people, and video editors will collaborate to make a short comedy video that will be screened at the theater on Thursday, September 10th, 7pm. The video will be made in pieces, exquisite-corpse-style, with teams filming their pieces in the video one after another.
The first team will create a 2-minute long video (either written or improvised). They then pass that off to the second team who will have a week to continue the narrative of the first team, who will then pass it off to the third team, etc.
All Megawatt, Musical Megawatt, Thursday Night Out, Level 6: Team Performance, Circuit, and Sketch teams are encouraged to apply, as are all members of the community with video editing, filming, and sound recording skills. Teams will be given a week over the summer to film their portion of the project and will be assigned to camera/sound/editing people.
The deadline to apply is Monday, July 20th, 5pm.
Please email: email@example.com with any questions!
STEPH GARCIA ON MOVING TO LA, WRITING COMEDY & BEING AN ASSISTANT ON A TV SHOW!
Comedy in New York:
Steph studied improv at the Magnet Theater through level 5, completed the sketch program, and performed on sketch teams: Alchemy, Colorado Dad and Dispacho.
She also performed on an indie improv team Gilda and on the sketch duo Firecracker, that made the web series White People Problems.
Performs weekly at the Nerdist with her improv team Pilgrim. Hosts an Entertainment Industry panel for women at the Nerdist School with fellow teammate Lindsey Barrow. Co-hosts a monthly all female mix-em-up improv show called Girl on Lady Action with Maura Ruth. She also recently wrote a web series and pilot, with Dave Warth over Skype and they are in post production of their first episode.
All while working as a writers PA on Selfie and now ABCs The Catch.
How long have you been in LA?
It will be two years in October.
How does the improv scene there compare to NY?
There is just as much opportunity in LA, I just feel like its more spread out, and, for me, its a little more difficult to do. I remember jumping theater to theater in New York and here its different because you have a car and you have to drive and park. But there are a lot of indie theaters.
Do people tend to be members of a few different theaters or do they stick to one?
No theres a lot of crossover here. Its the same as in New York.
Are you primarily a writer, improviser or a sketcher?
Right now I am primarily a writer. I do perform weekly, but Im not auditioning. Im working on writing for TV. I got a manager out here and so Im working on having some samples that are more TV. They have all my sketches and they have been using them to pitch, and Im working right now with Nerdist to get the video production side up. And Im actually hoping to get live sketch up at the Nerdist as well. I just love sketch so much, but in terms of having something to make a living off of, I want to write TV so you need to have good samples.
How hard is it now to pitch to sketch shows that are currently on the air? Do you have to know people on them?
Yeah, and that seems to be the case in general. You can still get hired off your samples and stuff, but it always helps to know somebody. Ive gotten my last two jobs because of recommendations from people.
How did you know people in LA?
My cousin is a set designer and he worked with somebody who was working on Raising Hope at the time, and she invited me to set, which was freaking amazing, and I met the production coordinator on that. That production coordinator happened to get hired on the pilot of Selfie and gave me a chance. So for two weeks I was working on the pilot and I spoke to everybody and said I want to write! and so when the time came around for the show, the showrunner’s assistant who was working on the pilot asked if I wanted to interview for the writers PA gig. And from that, the director of that pilot also directed The Catch pilot, so her assistant forwarded my resume on.
Ill come back to your jobs, but first tell us about your writing process.
I like deadlines, so if its something like a writers program or festival deadline, thats what feeds me. So it depends. Ill sit on an idea for a year, and I wont do anything with it until I see – oh, someone will actually look at this. And Ill sit and Ill write it in two weeks. I dont know why I do that, and its not good and no one should do that.
Do you ever set your own deadlines or does it have to be external?
I have on occasion, but its usually this festival deadline is this week, so my deadline is a week and a half before. Its not a way to live. Dont do it that way.
[Just now – Steph gets a pizza delivered. AND she doesnt eat it until the end of the interview. Obviously displaying some extraordinary mental toughness required to gain writing chops in LA.]
How did you get a manager?
I have a friend of mine who I knew in New York who is an actress. She started her own production company and produced two shorts that went to some festivals, and so when I came out here, she said ‘give me sketches’. And I said ‘here you go. We shot some stuff, and then someone I met through her was a manager, and at the time I guess, not that I wasnt looking – I love acting, but I came out here because I knew there was more opportunities for writing than in New York. And then when I did the CBS Diversity showcase I ran into her again, and they were opening a literary division at their management company. She said just come and meet with us and see if you like the team, so I met the team and theyre now repping me.
What did you have to send them?
I sent them so much stuff. I think I sent them an original pilot and a Bobs Burgers spec. Then they were like great, send us more stuff, so I sent them a bunch of sketches and I sent another pilot and some shorts that Ive written.
What Ive heard the trend is now is to have an original pilot and if someone likes that, then they want that spec to see if you can write in somebody elses voice.
How long does it take you to write an original pilot?
It depends. The last pilot I wrote took me two and a half weeks. But technically if you add all the time Id been sitting on it and thinking of the story, at that point I had all the beats in my head before I sat down and started writing.
Do you show people your work? Do you have a writers group?
I have a writers group and then I have some other people that I bother. You cant be precious with your writing. And thats another thing that being on a sketch team at the Magnet definitely helped me out with, you just can not be precious with your writing.
When Im really working on something Ill sit down for 2 – 3 hours at a time and knock out what I can.
You mentioned Russ Armstrong was a memorable sketch director. Was there anything you learned from him that you think about today?
Russ has a really good work ethic and my favorite thing I learned from him was about keeping everything succinct and short and your jokes being real clear and not having any of that junk around it, because it just muddles the joke.
What do you mean by work ethic?
He was fantastic at giving notes and really tried to get us to memorize our sketches and then run them and run them, always e-mailing and being supportive but also saying we have to get our stuff up and does everybody have their things. He was always present at the meetings. Always ready to give feedback and ready to keep it moving and make sure we got as much as we could from every meeting. There wasnt a lot of messing around, which can happen when you have a group of writers together.
You currently work as a writers PA. How is a writers PA different from a writers Assistant?
A writers assistant and a script co-ordinator, depending on the show, overlap some. A writers assistant generally takes notes in the room, and then because youre (hopefully) writing down everything everybody is saying, at the end of the day you have to organize it, and so depending on the show a lot of the time the script coordinator and the assistant, theyll kind of swap off that duty. And once the scripts come out, youre also responsible for proofing the script and making sure that everyone gets the newest version of the script and that youre not messing that up, and youre also making sure theres no typos. And then on my last job they were also dealing with intellectual property stuff. So if you want a song in there you have to deal with that too. As a writers PA – lunch is my biggest duty. I mean, its like food. Its really a lot of food. Lunch, the kitchen, coffee. You also handle the paper and office supplies. Once scripts get going then youre responsible for distributing the scripts. On Selfie though, because it was such a social media based show, I got to help write some things like fake yelp reviews. I also got a tweet on the show with my twitter handle, that I wrote – so that was really cool – those little things where I got to pepper in creativity.
Does everyone assume that as a writers PA or Assistant, you want to be a writer?
The assumption is there, and depending on the staff, both my staffs have been amazing, theyll ask you what do you write? whats your genre? Who do you like, what shows do you like?
Do you find writing pilots hard?
Oh yeah. Well you know whats difficult is that balance between introducing all your characters, but also having a compelling story, because you dont just want an episode of heres all the people you will be seeing for the rest of the season. There needs to be a contained story within it.
Do you get to see how much influence the showrunner has in a writers room and on breaking story? And does that relate to how our sketch directors are at the Magnet?
Yeah – its an interesting process because everything does go through them, but both showrunners that Ive seen are very open – I mean its so much of a collaboration of the room, and basically what happens is you break a story, and then its one persons episode so they really get to write it and then they bring it back and then you all edit it together. But then theres this other person not in the room, thats the studio, and thats where the showrunner comes in. They have to go and say heres the story we have. And then they get notes like ‘Oh we dont like this, we do like this, can this be like this, and then the showrunner has to bring that back to the room.
Please eat pizza if you are hungry.
Thats one fun perk about being a writer, there is so much food, so you eat all day long.
How many hours do you pull a day?
The hours really depend on the show. Both shows that Ive worked for have been pretty great with their hours. But there are others that the writers will work on until, like, midnight.
What would be your dream tv show to write on at the moment.
I have two. Last Man On Earth, and Veep.
Youre a dart champion?
Oh yeah! I was. We used to play darts in NY. I was in a league, it was every Monday night and I did that for about seven years. And I really miss it. I love this business and I love writing, but to have something thats completely outside with a bunch of people that dont give a shit, its really nice.
Last Question. What things did you wish youd known before you moved to LA?
Unless you come out here already with rep or already with some big credits under your name, no one will really appreciate what you did in New York. And its a really hard thing to accept. Especially when you first get out here. Someone I know was on Broadway who came out – and it just didnt translate. Its something that you have to accept. And there are a lot of people here from New York, so youre not totally starting at zero, but its definitely like taking two steps backwards. So that was the biggest thing for me. And you kind of accept it and you dont have a chip on your shoulder and just keeping on working, people will recognize it, and eventually people who work with you will be like – oh youve done all these things?’
And the other thing is parking sucks. Always give yourself 15-20 minutes just for parking wherever youre going.
Thanks Steph! We wish you luck! You may now eat the pizza.
Interview conducted by Ally Kornfeld for Magnet Theater.
An improviser with Ariana Grande (the improv team) and founding member of BRICK, the handsome Joe Miles stops by our studio to talk with host Louis Kornfeld about discovering improv, the influence of music on his life, and touchy improv scenes. Joe talks to us about coming to NYC from Cleveland (Go Cavs!) in order to further his career as a rapper, but then discovering improv and being sucked into it. Still a drummer all these years later, Joe tells Louis how he uses music as inspiration for characters and Louis tells Joe about his past as an illustrator. We hear about Joes favorite music and the two men wonder if new genres will ever be invented. Also, Joe describes how he psychs himself up for a show, answers the questions of how he’s changed as a performer, and discusses BRICK’s run of shows where they did a different form each week. If that’s not enough, Louis mentions the presence of our engineer Grant, who disapproves of Louis’ musical leanings. Check it out!
We’ve been lucky to welcome so many out-of-town guests recently and we’re excited to say that our latest visitor is the incredible Jean Villepique. One of the earliest teachers and performers at Magnet, Jean was recently back in town from Los Angeles to perform in Bummers Presents: Running. Our host, Louis Kornfeld, gets the ball rolling in this episode by asking about the origin story of Bummers, Jean’s annual(ish) writing and storytelling collaboration with Rachel Hamilton, Tami Sagher, and Melanie Hoopes. She and Louis discuss catching up with good friends by performing with them and the detriments of the more typical checklist conversations people tend to have when they haven’t seen each other recently. Jean talks about her first exposure to improv doing commedia dell’arte as a teen, joining The Meow Show at Northwestern University, where she met Magnet founder Ed Herbstman, and some of her early days at iO Chicago and Second City. Louis also asks his former Level 2 teacher about her improv show Switchboard, encouraging players to take risks, her stint on The Office, and bringing personal stuff to the stage. Hear about the time someone grabbed Louis by the beard! Listen in awe as Louis pontificates that were more than mere mammals! Sit in wonder as these two talk about doing drugs! It’s a great episode, so give it a listen.
Or simply enjoy Episode #47 below via SoundCloud.
- commedia dell'arte
- ed herbstman
- io chicago
- Jean Villepique
- Louis Kornfeld
- magnet theater
- magnet theater podcast
- magnet training center
- melanie hoopes
- new york
- new york city
- Northwestern University
- rachel hamilton
- Second City
- sketch comedy
- Tami Sagher
- The Meow Show
- The Office
Where is Magnet Theater?
259 W 29th St. (at 8th Avenue)
New York, NY 10001
Where is Magnet Training Center?
22 W 32nd St. (b/t 5th Ave and B’way)
New York, NY 10001
What kind of theater are you?
Were a comedy theater! On any given night, you might see improv, musical improv, sketch, storytelling, a character showcaseor something entirely new.. You never know what you might get (but we can guarantee itll be a fun night had by all).
How do I make a reservation for a show?
- Head over to our calendar and choose the show youd like to attend. Click the Reserve button next to the correct date and youll be taken to a form where you can make up to 10 advance reservations.
- Please arrive at the Magnet box office no later than 10 minutes before show time to claim your tickets. Ten minutes before the show begins, well release all advanced reservations to our stand-by patrons.
- Seating is first come, first served.
If you see a Rez Info button, it can mean a few things:
- All advanced reservations are gone (you can probably still get in but you wont be able to set any tickets aside).
- Youre trying to reserve for Megawatt, Musical Megawatt or Thursday Night Out. For these shows, you can pay once and stay the whole night so we only take reservations for the first show of the evening.
- Youre trying to reserve for a class show or mixerin which case, youre in luck. Theyre free and open to everyone!
Do you have alcohol?
Yes. We have a great selection of affordable beer and wine as well as water and soda in our lobby. Plus, friendly bartenders! We ID.
Can I record or photograph a performance?
We kindly ask that you do NOT record (video or audio) or photograph a performance without the express permission of the theater. In fact, we suggest putting your phone/camera/handheld technology away entirely! Were all about enjoying things as they happen and being present in the moment. Its an improv thing. But it works in this case, too.
How do I sign up for a class?
Once you click the Classes section in our top menu, youll be able to scroll down to see all our class offerings along the left side of your screen. When you choose the class you want, its details will show up on the right-hand side. Click the Register button and provide the required info and payment. Please note: Youre not officially registered until payment is received in full.
What if a class says Wait List?”
This means a class has sold out. You can still attempt to sign up, but youll be placed on the wait list. Unfortunately, being on the wait list doesnt guarantee a spot in the class. If a slot opens up, our School Director will go through the list, in order, until it is filled.
If I have prior training, can I skip levels?
While we love and respect our fellow improv schools, we dont allow students with prior experience to skip levels in any of our programs. Why? We want our students to fully immerse themselves in their Magnet training and we believe that starts with the basics. Our curriculum is designed to grow your skills and confidence in a comprehensive way, whether youre an experienced improviser or just starting out.
Can I perform at Magnet?
We have so many opportunities for rising students and curious improvisers to check out Magnets stage.
- Mixers: We do two improv mixers a week, one on Wednesday at 6pm and one on Thursday at 7pm. We also do a Musical Mixer once a month. Theyre free and anyone can sign up!
- The Circuit: Once you complete Improv Level 3, youre eligible to apply for The Circuit. Each season, Circuit teams are chosen by lottery from the submissions of eligible improvisers. If youre picked, you get placed on a team of 8 players and assigned a coach. Youll practice once a week and have a schedule of regular performances. Its a great way to learn what its like to be a member of a house improv ensemble.
- We Might Just Kiss: Curated and hosted by our Artistic Director Megan Gray, We Might Just Kiss celebrates female improvisers from around the community by gathering women of all levels to play together. Its consistently one of our hottest tickets of the month!
- The Rundown: Every Saturday at 6pm, we give some of the best indie ensembles and duos in town a chance to play on the Magnet stage. Wanna apply? Go for it!
- And more! Stay connected to the Magnet community on Facebook, Twitter and our blog to make sure youre not missing a single opportunity.
How do I become a house performer?
It depends. To be eligible to audition for Megawatt (our house improv ensembles) you have to have completed all of Magnet’s core (Levels 1-4) and Conservatory curriculum, up to and including Team Performance Workshop. To be eligible to audition for Musical Megawatt (our house musical-improv ensembles, you must complete Musical Improv Levels 1-3. To apply for a Magnet Sketch ensemble, it is strongly recommended that you take Sketch Levels 1 and 2 but you also must complete an application and submit a writing packet. We routinely post audition signups and calls for sketch applications so keep working hard and check back often to see when you can submit!
Can I be an intern?
If youre a current student, applying for an internship is a great idea! Youll get to learn the ropes at the theater and training center, make new friends, and become a familiar face around the Magnet community. Plus, youll earn credits toward a free class. Here are the details: http://www.magnettheater.com/blog/all-about-internship-program/
Is your theater handicap accessible?
Yes, our theater is able to accommodate most of our guests needs. Please feel free to call our box office at (212) 244-8824 in advance, and well happily address any of your questions or concerns.
Are your shows suitable for children?
Since so many of our shows are created in the moment, there is no guarantee for what you might see or hear onstage. Its best to assume the material will be of an adult nature (somewhere between PG-13 and R). Also, we serve beer and wine in our lobby, and yes we ID. Every time.