Improve your improv

Enter the magical world of improv with help from the Improv Wins Conference

Enter the magical world of improv with help from the Improv Wins Conference

Austin photo: Events_improv wins_you should do comedy_feb 2013_improv class
TNM co-founder Chris Trew leads a workshop at Improv Wins 2012. Henry Linser
Austin photo: Events_Improv wins_megaphone show_feb 2013_improv sketch
Performers at The New Movement, from left, Patrick Knisely, Alyssa Peters, Jace Campbell, Amy Jordan, Jessica Malsky, and Brady James Henry Linser
Austin photo: News_Ryan_improv wins_feb 2013_aaron walther_micheal foulk
Performers Aaron Walther and Micheal Foulk Henry Linser
Austin photo: Events_improv wins_you should do comedy_feb 2013_improv class
Austin photo: Events_Improv wins_megaphone show_feb 2013_improv sketch
Austin photo: News_Ryan_improv wins_feb 2013_aaron walther_micheal foulk

You should really do comedy. That thought may have never crossed your mind, but that is the dead serious suggestion of the crew at Austin’s New Movement Theater. It has always been their mission to train the next line of funny people, and for anyone who can work up the courage to perform in front of crowds, this week will provide the best chance to see if improv comedy is the right fit.

The 2013 Improv Wins Conference is meant to provide the big push for timid, wannabe comics to take that big step and open up to a whole new world of funny stuff. Starting with an open house this Thursday and then followed by workshops, panels and shows running Friday through Sunday, the series of events will take place at the downtown New Movement Theater.

Austin may be flooded with an endless torrent of festivals, conferences and conventions, but how many of them have the dual goals of wanting to entertain as well as to educate?

Attendees will not only get to see local talent perform and teach but will also have the chance to meet comedic artists from across the country as they reveal the inside secrets of the trade.

Some of these talented outsiders will include Tim Soszko and Micah Philbrook, two seasoned sketch comedians out of Chicago who will teach three separate workshops for improving your improv and gaining much-needed confidence in your craft. Baltimore will also be providing the likes of Thomas Dolstry, John Windmueller and Prescott Gaylord, who will provide insight on how to direct a completely unscripted play.

The Big Easy will also be well represented, which is expected since The New Movement has its roots in New Orleans thanks to co-founders Chris Trew and Tami Nelson. TNM New Orleans will be traveling to its sister city (that's us) to help foster an even closer connection between the two theaters with talent being shared amongst one another.

For anyone just seeking an excuse to laugh this weekend, the conference will also offer open shows to the public outside of their workshops, including a special New Orlean Improv Showcase and acts from Baltimore, proving that the city also has interest in laughing when it isn't winning Super Bowls and inspiring HBO crime dramas.

And it won’t just be the art of improvised comedy and theater that will get its chance in the spotlight at The New Movement Theater. “Ambassador of Indy Wresting,” podcaster, and all-around funny guy, Colt Cabana will also be in attendance on Friday night.

Cabana will be there for a special live recording of his hit podcast series, “The Art of Wrestling,” in which he sits down every week to talk with fellow professional wrestlers to talk about their work in the squared circle and life on the road. Those stories will then provide the inspiration for the sketches that the cast of The New Movement will create on the spot for a special presentation of their flagship “The Megaphone Show.”

Tickets and registration for both comedy shows and workshops are available right now, but anyone that is still not fully sold on the idea of the weekend should consider attending the theater’s open house, “You Should Do Comedy.”

The open house is meant to help ease any beginner into considering improv comedy with a simple meet-and-greet with the teachers and performers of The New Movement. Whether you have interest in improv, sketch, standup, writing, directing or producing, this friendly session should help to convince anyone to take the plunge. At the very least, enjoy the complimentary pizza and beer.

Starting out into the world of improv comedy may seem a little intimidating, but in the end are you going to let the fear of the unknown prevent you from having a little fun? Luckily, your friends at The New Movement are more than happy to show you the ropes.