Training Camp: Mini-Intensive (Weekend at a Glance)

Mini Intensive – IMPROV WINS Feb 23 -24

Training Camp takes a new approach to improv education.  It asks the question: what if improvisors trained like athletes?  When a boxer moves his head to dodge a punch, or a quarterback drops back into the pocket, these are movements that happen automatically.  They have been practiced thousands of times until they occur without thinking.  Training Camp uses the same approach to break down old habits, and push performers as far as they can go.  Improvisors enroll in Training Camp because they are looking for a workout.   The Mini-Intensive consists of four 2-hour sessions and one evening performance. Participants must take part in all 4 sessions and the performance.  Registration is limited to 10.  Click here to purchase your ticket for this training and find more about the Improv Wins Conference.

Sat 2/23 (2pm – 4pm): AND Like a Samurai (Part I) 


Instructor: CJ Hunt 

You’re scene is missing something.  You’re a minute in and you and your partner are in the mud already.  Things just don’t seem to be moving.  How did this happen?  Often we get stuck just saying “yes” to our partner’s offers, without adding anything on our own that heightens or moves the scene along. Reprogram yourself to give swift and powerful endowments each and every time.



Sat 2/23 (4pm -6pm) Heighten or Die (Part I) 

Instructor(s): Chris Trew and James Hamilton 

Often we give the note “that scene should have heightened more,” but how often do we spend time getting practice at heightening over and over again? This will be a clinic playing with the multiple different ways to latch onto and heighten the funny thing in your scenes.  Heightening a scene should be like performing a take-down in a fight.  You should know a number of ways to do it, and get enough practice to perform any of these methods without thinking.



Sun 2/24 (2pm – 4pm) AND Like a Samurai (Part II) 


Instructor: Tami Nelson

Returning to the notion of endowing like a Samurai, this session digs into emotion.  Rather than being focused on “playing emotion” or showing “different moods” on stage, this training pushes you to allow your characters to BE AFFECTED by events and people on stage.  This is perfect for players who are stuck playing “chatty” or unaffected characters as well as players who often feel restricted by whatever emotion they entered the scene with.  How can you become flexible and attentive enough to change your character’s emotions at any moment in your scene?



 Sun 2/24 (4pm – 6pm) Heighten or Die (Part II) 


Instructors: Vanessa Gonzales and CJ Hunt

In this final session, players are pushed to bring it all together.
Can you act as a team to heighten any scene?  Similarly, when help is not coming, are you able to use perspective, emotion, and Samurai endowments to heighten the scene on your own?  A sort of survival course, this last session is devoted to the idea: you know what needs to be done, and you have the tools to do it – even when none of your teammates are coming to the rescue.






Chris Trew has headlined improv festivals as a performer and an instructor. He’s produced tons of events from multi-city tours to comedy marathons to big ole’ festivals. He founded the sketch comedy group Studio8 and has produced or appeared in hours of material, some of which has been picked up by Comedy Central. He’s performed and taught improv in  over 60 different markets in the country. Chris’ skill sets lie in Improv Diagnostics and Patterns.  He regularly performs in the troupe Chris and Tami, and is a rotating cast member of The Megaphone Show.




CJ Hunt is a teacher and co-founder at The New Movement – New Orleans.  He has traveled the country performing sketch and improv with the group Stupid Time Machine.  In addition to teaching, CJ leads the AP Comedy program where he teaches improv to teens and leads educators in workshops on how to use improv in the classroom.  As director and designer of Training Camp, CJ’s strengths like in creating new ways (some of them athletic training models) for improvisors to isolate and develop skills necessary for outstanding scene work.  CJ regularly performs with house troupes Stupid Time Machine and The French Navy, and is a rotating cast member of The Megaphone Show.



Tami Nelson is the Conservatory Director at The New Movement – New Orleans.   The regular instructor of Level 1 in the TNM Conservatory, Tami has been teaching improv consistently since 2006 as well as serving as director/co-founder of two successful improv training centers.  Having taught classes and workshops throughout the country, Tami has been recognized by The Austin Chronicle’s Best of Austin Awards, The B. Iden Payne Awards and won Best of Fest at the 2008 Frontera Fest.  Tami’s teaching specialty lies in helping students access honset emotion and find that special “thing” that drives the scene along.   She splits her time between New Orleans and Austin performing with a variety of house troupes including Chris and Tami, You Don’t Know The Half, Claws with Fangs, and she is a rotating cast member of The Megaphone Show.


James is a level 3 instructor at the The New Movement – New Orleans.  A member of TNM NOLA’s first graduating class, James is also a Co-Director of AP Comedy, TNM’s branch of improv education for teens and schools.  With a background in teaching public school students and coaching public school teachers, James brings a refined emphasis on skill development to the improv classroom (what skill are we trying to give the student, and what does he/she need to do to in order to perfect it?)  His strengths lie in physical comedy and identifying the Game of a scene.  James is a producer and founder of the Shipwrecked! storytelling showcase and podcast.  Additionally, he regularly performs with Super Computer, Personality Plus, and is a rotating cast member of The Megaphone Show.