Workshops

This year’s festival features workshops for improvisers of all skill levels. Click on the links below to register!

Friday, October 19th, 2018

Master the Art of Musical Improv Solos with Frank Spitznagel & Tiffani Swalley

5:30 – 7:30PM  ($49) 

It’s time! Your musical improv team has set you up and it’s time for you to step into the stoplight and sing that solo. Now what? There’s a million ways you could sing it but what gets you out of my head and into the fun? In this class we will explore the art, different possibilities and structures for you to deliver that improvised solo you’ve been aiming towards.

Tiffani Moore Swalley is happy to make a return to the NYMIF! She currently resides in Chicago and can be or has been seen improvising with The Improvised Sondheim Project, Jumping Off a Clef: The Second City Music Faculty Jam, RIFF: A Musical Improv Drinking Show,Musical Armando, Baby Wine, Anarchy: A Musical Rock Opera, Gotcha Covered and Bunch of Queers. Tiffani teaches in the Second City Conservatory, Writing and Improv Programs. She also is a director in the Chicago and New York City. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and is represented by Shirley Hamilton’s.

Frank Spitznagel is the Musical Director at Magnet Theater and a piano accompanist who frequently plays for such improv groups as I Eat Pandas, Veal, The Made-Up Musical, Gusto, and many others. He is a graduate of the Boston Conservatory of Music, where he studied piano performance. His work can be heard on several studio recordings. Frank has composed for Comedy Central and the Aspen Comedy Festival. He accompanied Itzhak Perlman in an original jazz composition by Benny Golson at Lincoln Center. He also played the American premiere of The Hired Man Off-Broadway. He has been musical director for productions such as Nunsense (all incarnations), A Chorus Line, Chicago City Limits, and several original musicals.

Saturday, October 20th, 2018

Musical Improv Power Up with Jon Bander & Miles Lindahl

1:00 – 3:00PM  ($49)

This workshop is the musical improv equivalent of a Super Mario mushroom. We’ll focus on improved scene-song connection, techniques for creating powerful characters, and character wants that make songs that write themselves. By the end of the workshop, you will take your skills to the next level and blow your own mind! But you will still be the same size as you were.

Jon Bander performs every Friday night with Premiere: The Improvised Musical. He also teaches Character 101 at the UCB Theatre and is a former member of UCB team Characters Welcome. Otherwise, he does character bits and standup at various NYC theaters, bars and basements. Jon was selected to perform in the New Faces: Characters showcase at the 2015 Just For Laughs festival in Montreal. He has also worked for The Second City Theatricals aboard the Norwegian Dawn cruise ship. Jon has also performed and taught workshops at festivals and cities across the country. He’s been fortunate to study with improv luminaries like TJ Jagodowski, David Pasquesi, Armando Diaz, Mick Napier and Susan Messing to name a few. Outside of improv, Jon has appeared in bit parts in the Netflix shows Master Of None, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and The Characters. He has performed off-off Broadway in PharmaBro: An American Douchical, 8 Million Protagonists, POPE! An Epic Musical and NY Fringe Festival hit musical Nightfall On Miranga Island. Most people just call him Bander. Feel free to do the same.

Miles Lindahl is an improviser and frequent accompanist for musical improv teams in New York City, Miles Lindahl started playing guitar to impress a girl in 7th grade. When that failed, he picked up piano, bass, and–much to the disappointment of his mother–drums.

Over the past few years, he has spent nearly every Tuesday behind a drum kit at Musical Megawatt next to Musical Director Frank Spitznagel, who helped him hone his improvisational piano playing. Miles has since provided accompaniment for PopUp Musicals, Baby Wants Candy, Running Late with Scott Rogowsky, and various Magnet, PIT, and indie teams. He also performs on a Musical Megawatt house team at the Magnet Theater, where he met his wife. His mom couldn’t be happier.

 

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

Intro to Hip Hop Improv with NorthCoast with Richie Alfson & Michael Crisol

12:00 – 3:00PM  ($49)

New York City’s premier hip hop improv comedy team, North Coast, is a unique collaboration of improvisational comedy, hip hop, beatboxing, and music. This musical improv workshop will get even the most beginner performers comfortable and confident with freestyle rapping and will teach you how to really drill into the deal of your scene and its’ characters. Learn how to set yourself up, find your flow, and weave your rapped verses in and out of your improv scene-work.

Michael Crisol is a beatboxer, born and raised in the Bronx, NY. Starting his beatbox journey in 2016, Michael took on the stage name of Doctor Brick. He began competing in beatboxing competitions in cities all over North America, including Boston, Atlanta, New York, and Toronto. Some of these battles include East Coast Beatbox Battle, American Beatbox Championships, Beatbox Legends, and Great North. In a number of these competitions, he tackles the tag team division with his partner, Alex P, in their tag team, Snakes and Ladders. Doctor Brick performs alongside a couple of a cappella groups such as The City Rays and The Apex Project (NY). Currently, he performs with many hip hop improv groups with the most notable being North Coast.

Richie Alfson Hailing from Oklahoma City, Richie began improvising in Boulder, Colorado where he co-founded and directed the group Left Right TIM. In Colorado he also performed at the Bovine, the Impulse, and with The Dinner Detective Colorado. After producing and performing in a show for the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, he moved to New York City and began studying at the Upright Citizens Brigade, under the tutelage of Anthony Atamanuik, Lydia Hensler, Rich Talarico, and others. He holds a degree in Theater and a minor in Technology, Arts, & Media from CU-Boulder. He has written, produced, and acted in several NYC off-Broadway productions. Currently, Richie can be seen performing with North Coast, SHADOWS & RapTime.