Activity Review – Free Introduction to Improv Comedy Class at Sak Comedy Lab in Orlando

By Nathan Wertheimer

Have you ever wanted to try your hand of improv and or stand up comedy then this is the class for you. It is a non-stop fun filled class for all. It doesn’t matter about your background, age, or experience. No acting experience required! This free class will open to all people who want to learn to be funny on stage and in your life.

Sak Comedy Club is located in the heart of Downtown Orlando. Don’t worry about parking because there are a few parking garages around this place. Most students usually park in the Chase Parking Garage right across the street from comedy lab. Just hang onto your parking ticket and it get validated inside the club at time of the class. They are located at 29 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32801.

Here is some brief history about Sak’s. This place started in 1991 and has been going strong ever since. This is a unique place in Florida. [Their professional ensemble of improv actors has entertained audiences with our unique brand of live improvised comedy. We take your suggestions and make up characters, scenes and songs on the spot. Our comedy is fun and edgy for adults, but also widely enjoyed by our younger fans.] Information from Sak website.

Before coming to this class please register online. Sorry, no walk ups allowed. There is a limited amount of space in the class. Space fills up fast. This class has a mixture of ages, backgrounds, and sexes.

Plan to arrive early to the class to get a good seat and watch to see who attends the class. You’ll find singles and couples alike. Everyone is very friendly. This makes a great date activity and is a one-day ninety-minute class.

What is this class like? Well, for starters there are no icebreakers with standing up and saying your name and why you wanted to attend this class. Sure, some people are nervous. This class does not put people on the spot. It’s a place where you can be comfortable failing, taking chances, and creating surprises for yourself, and having a great time.

There is a brief introduction with the Improv Comedy Instructors Chris and Richard in the theater. Then this class is broken into two groups of about 15-30 students and is taught in two separate class areas. Both classes do the same games and exercises.

The first improve comedy exercise everyone participated in was the invisible object game. Basically, we started out in a circle with one object then added a second and third object into the mix. The name of the game was try to communicate with the person you were throwing the object too. Participants needed to make eye contact with one another. If you missed an object then someone next to you would pick it up and throw it to the next person across from you. The object we used in this game was the invisible knife, baby, and a cat. There were very funny moments at times. Everyone had a great time. After the game there was a debriefing on what you learned. I learned to point at the person you are throwing the object too, staying focus, and eye contact.

Another improve game was the “Rock-Paper-Scissors” style game. Except, we did not use these objects. We used tiger stance, alien antenna, and salesmen’s shake. We paired into groups of three. The key was for all the participants in the group was to get the same action. One needed to figure out which one they were going to do. Sorry, no verbal communicating the object chosen. Most times it was luck. Can you read the other person’s actions? This game builds confidents, trust, and much more.

The next game we played was the story telling tag team game while being timed. When you hear the bell then you switched partners.  Everyone was paired into twos. One had to carefully listen to what was being said. The first person would start off by saying, “Once upon a time…” then added the preselected words. We used the words of a Maserati Sports Car and applesauce.

Here is a sample of the story telling. This is what I said, “Once upon a time, my friend and I were driving a Maserati Sports Car while on vacation. My friend was eating applesauce in the car…” (Bell rang to switch partners) Then… (Add your story line here).

Then the next story telling game was about a rainbow and a donut. The key to this game was open your creativity and mind. There was no right or wrong story telling. Each person had to add new additions to the story line. Everyone was given some structure and made it up while the story was being told. It was exciting to come up with anything that came to your mind. Just let it flow and have fun. There was a debriefing after the game. The key points about this game are to be creative, stay within the structure, listening carefully, focus on the content, and communication skills.

Then another game we played was “Do what I say…” This is a similar to the game “Simon says.” My Instructor Richard made us… step forward, step back, take a right, take a left, jumping in place, and much more. This was a game on how to follow directions. Please be advised that this game is not for people who have feet and knee problems.

The last game involved a group of select individuals who volunteered to come up onstage to play the Categories Game (know as Scattergories). One needed to think quickly on their feet. Here were some of the categories that were used on this day such as brands of cereals, makes of cars, cartoons, fruits, flavors of cheeses, flavors of ice cream, countries, female names, and much more. Another game of categories involved items with a certain letters from the alphabet. They used S, K, O, N, and Z. There was a game involving words that ended with “th.” It was not easy as you think. Plus, the audience participated to by yelling out “Die” when the person on stage said a wrong thing and or wrong word. Do you have what it takes? Everyone on stage was a great sport and had fun!

At the end of the class, the class instructors tried to sign you up for their Improv and or Stand Up Comedy Classes. Most classes are one day a week for eight straight weeks. They have classes ranging from 1-4 levels along with advance too. The cost of a single class is $230+, which includes your performance in a showcase with family/friends. It’s ok to miss a week if you have too. Don’t worry you are not forced into any class commitment until you have paid. This class is not like the timeshare seminar! Just think about it then sign-up in the near future. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.

What are the benefits of taking a comedy class at Sak’s? You’ll learn judging, presentation, navigation, taking risks, emotions, focus, acting/improv, personal growth, lifestyle change, and much more. There have been a few past students who were extremely introverted and eventually came out of their shell. Plus, there have been a few students who went on to professional acting and comedians too.

What did some of the attendees think? I asked a few attendees and everyone said they had a great time. Some people plan to bring some of these games to their place of work for team building skills. Others were eager to sign up for the Improv Classes.

Finally, this is one opportunity you will not want to miss. Even if you don’t pursue a career into comedy you can use some of the content in your own life. Each free introduction class will be different with similar games and experiences. Come experience this class for yourself. For more information please visit www.sakcomedylab.com .

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