All of my Level 1 courses offer scholarship opportunities for people new to improv and one of my recent scholarship students, Chakra O’Connor, has written about her experience from a 2 day Level 1 Intensive.

Chakra’s Level 1 Class. (Chakra is pictured front row, second from the right.)

Before taking part in Neil’s level 1 improvisation course I was naturally quite nervous, as improv (as part of performance art) was the area I most admired but it was also my weakest. Each time I had previously taken part in any improvisation, I consistently fell into the habit of overthinking, planning and therefore “blocking” my thoughts. During the two day workshop Neil subtly pushed myself and others to not only allow our thoughts, instincts and imaginations to roam free, but he also showed us emotion through improv, which is something I did not previously consider. This gave me another realm within improv to explore and in turn use to create further intensity and depth within a scene. This was done with a light hearted ease and humour which took the edge off the pending dread of “messing up” in front of a room full of people.

To conclude the eventful two days, we developed our own characters and had them interact with each other in a given setup. I didn’t think that in just two days I would be able to hold up a scene from beginning to end and actually enjoy it. This for me, was a creative and mental breakthrough within improv and has helped me to stop overthinking my actions and words when acting and even in certain day to day situations. I would recommend this highly enjoyable, fun, useful and emotional learning experience for anyone who has an interest in improv, has issues with self expression or communication, and for anyone who simply wants a new experience!

Jason R. Chin Scholarship: A Student’s View

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