Rocket Improv FAQs!


What kind of kid takes Improv?

ALL kinds from shy and quiet kids to gregarious hams! Our kids classes are for children of any temperament and performance experience level. While the shy kids are becoming more comfortable with expressing themselves, the hams are learning teamwork and listening skills. The important thing for us is that our classes are structured in such a way so that everyone has FUN!

My kid has previous performing / improv experience. Can my kid audition for the Rocketeers class?

Sorry, but a student needs to have completed at least two Jet Packs classes for placement in the Rocketeers class. All classes are composed of students with different levels of experience and abilities. The students develop trust, a sense of ensemble, and a shared vocabulary and knowledge of the games as they move up through the program together. Those in the Rocketeers classes have already been working together for a year or more. We at Rocket Improv are a big believer in ensemble, trust, and group mind and do our best to foster those values in our kids classes.

My kid has to miss class sometimes because of play rehearsals/sports meets. Is that okay?

Absolutely! We understand that your kids are busy and have a variety of interests. If your child misses a class, we will review all games that they will be performing twice before the end of session showcase. Unfortunately we cannot discount a session because of absences nor do we provide make-ups (unless Rocket Improv cancels due to unforeseen circumstances), but if your child has a conflict every now and then, he or she is welcome to come to class as much as they are able.

I think having someone lead an improv workshop at my event would be fun, but my guests have never performed before. Will that be a problem?

Not at all. Our workshops are geared to those who may have never performed before in their entire lives. But we do ask that everyone participate and at least give it a shot. If your guests are willing to play, an improv experience will be a great fit for your event.

Improv workshops for business...What’s the skinny?

Improv workshops for businesses are all the buzz these days because the corporate world has discovered that improv techniques are not only important tools for the theater but can also be used to improve professional performance and office dynamics. A typical workshop focuses on team building, listening, creativity, effectively building ideas off of another team member’s ideas, and going with the flow. It’s also a great way to bring some fun and creativity into your team’s day. In fact, one former student wrote a blog about it! “Can Improv Help Your Team Jell?” Check it out!

Why do people take improv?

We always ask our students – why did you decide to take an improv class? And these are our most common responses… • The idea of doing improv has always been scary to me and I wanted to overcome my fear of it. • My job culture is rather conservative and I wanted a creative outlet that is very different from my day to day. • I wanted to feel more confident getting up in front of people. • I decided to take improv to help me with my creative pursuits. • I was looking for something fun to do! • I wanted to meet more people from my area. • I have kids and wanted to get out of the house and do something for me. Basically, people take improv for all kinds of reasons. And usually our students find they end up getting so much more out of it than they expected. Please read our glowing testimonials to hear first hand about our previous students’ experiences!

What will I, a grown-ass adult, gain from taking an improv class?

Well, sassy pants, from what most people tell us, the thing that most people get from it is that they have a lot of fun. You get to play – similar to like you did when you were a kid – but you’re “improvising” so playing is “cool” and not stupid or embarrassing. You’ll also gain a better understanding of what improv is and how it works. We pull back the curtain and show you how it’s done so it doesn’t seem like a mysterious power that only certain funny smart people have.

Students also report gaining other life skills such as being better listeners, feeling more creative, slowing down and not rushing from moment to moment, and being able to let loose a little more around their coworkers. Everyone gets something different out of it.

Only some people can improvise, right?

Ermm, no. We at Rocket Improv believe that anyone can learn to improvise. And we believe it because our decades of experience have shown us that even those who may struggle greatly as beginners can become excellent improvisers in their own right as long as they are willing to put in the time and the training. Improv is a technique that can be learned and improved upon. It’s like learning a sport that’s brand new to you – like skiing or tennis. An introductory course will teach you the basics, and with practice you’ll get better, but it takes time to get good. But we at Rocket Improv are not about end results, we are about the improv journey and enjoying ourselves along the way.

Improv terrifies me.

Technically that’s not a question, but it’s a valid point! I can assure you that you are not alone. We hear this from a lot of new students just starting out. We know that it can be scary, which is why we structure our beginner classes to feel easy, doable, and most importantly – safe. We want you to feel safe to take risks, and that feeling of safety comes from feeling supported by your classmates and your instructor. The idea of “support” is introduced from the get go. Improv is not about obtaining perfection or an end result of any kind, it’s about the process and the learning curve that comes with it. We also learn from the start that we want to embrace the idea of “yes” – saying yes not only to each other’s ideas but to our own ideas as well. Are you starting to feel the zen of it? It may be a little scary at first, but it’s not too scary. We promise!

Me and my friends want to take an improv class together – just us. Doable?

Yup. You gather up the people, find a space, create a schedule that works for everyone, and a Rocket Improv instructor will come in and guide your group through as many improv lessons as you desire.

I signed up! What do I wear??

Classes are pretty active – you will be moving around a lot – so you want to wear comfortable casual clothes in which you feel you can move about freely. You may want to avoid wearing a skirt or dress so as to not feel limited in any way. Close-toed flat shoes like sneakers are recommended for footwear. You might even sweat a little, so bring water!

What is short-form vs. long-form? And which do you focus on?

Short-form improv is comprised of improv games that often have a very specific structure designed to put the actors on the spot. Suggestions for the games are taken from the audience and are meant to inspire the content of the games and also show that the games are truly being completely made up right then and there. The best reference for short form is the show Whose Line Is It Anyway which helped to popularize improv for the masses.

Long-form improv is a more theatrical style of improv that typically consists of a series of scenes with no breaks for audience interaction. The improvisers may or may not get a suggestion at the top, and then they will typically improvise for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. There are many different structures of long-form and new ones are being created all the time!

We at Rocket Improv do BOTH. While we recognize the popularity of long-form we also do not discount the commercial appeal – and fun – of short-form. While long-form is amazingly creatively satisfying when it clicks, it can also be very challenging along the way. We start our students out learning short-form, and for those who wish to continue and want a greater challenge we introduce and start to work on long-form. However, if you want to stick with and continue to work on short-form, that is definitely an option. Long story short, good work is good work. And we stress good work with both forms.

What is this “yes and” thing I always hear about?

“Yes and” is often referred to as the golden rule of improvisation. “Yes and” moves improvised moments forward. It means accepting what is happening in the moment – the “yes” – then adding to it – the “and.” You can also think of it as “agree and assume.” It keeps us in the moment and in the flow and open to a myriad of possibilities! Take a class and learn all about it!