Comedy Pro & ATC Instructor, Tim Soszko, speaks on the importance of comedy, and the many benefits of taking an improv class, even if you’re not a performer. Read his list, and learn about ATC’s Comedy Troupe “No Explanations”. Leave a comment if you think of another benefit so we can add to our list!
Hi. My name is Tim Soszko. I’ve been improvising, acting, singing, writing, directing, producing, doing voiceover, and much more for about 21 years. For the past 11 years, I’ve been doing all of this full time. A career, you might call it. A big part of that has been my work with Actors Training Center where I started as just an improv teacher. Shortly after, I was asked not only to re-imagine the entire comedy division, but to step in as the director of the Comedy Troupe!
“I will always work with the junior high and high school kids at ATC.” - Tim Soszko
ATC’s Comedy Troupe “No Explanations” is a group of students who write and perform their own sketch comedy. Like SNL, but better :) I have really enjoyed working with these students. I find the premises, stories, and conflicts they come up with to match, if not exceed, professional adult groups. There are less walls of judgement for their own work, as well as others’. That may be part of why that group of students, with many many differences between them, always commit to each other, respect each other, and care for each other. I’ve had the joy of watching some of the first kids I taught in 5th grade now graduate college. They don’t all go into comedy, or even theater, but the mark they carry for having gone through ATC classes and performances is very clear.
THE BENEFITS OF TAKING AN IMPROV CLASS
If I had my way, like some kind of benevolent dictator, I would make everyone take an improv class.
For performers it’s not about being funny, it’s about:
being present and in the moment;
seeing and hearing everything your scene partner is giving you; and
reacting truthfully to it
In the professional and corporate world it helps you:
communicate effectively; and
strengthen your leadership skills
For everyone else, it teaches life skills. Things like:
listening to each other;
acceptance of failure, how to use failure, and how to thrive because of it
If that doesn’t make you want to take an improv class, then I’m not doing my job as a benevolent dictator.
By Professional Comedian & ATC Instructor, Tim Soszko
A moment of blunt honesty: I have stopped teaching kids in most of my other work. They drive me a bit nuts, written with love. But I will always work with the junior high and high school kids at ATC. There is a standard here that isn’t matched anywhere else. I’m thankful to Carole and Becky for continuing to give me the opportunity to work and laugh with such great students. Excelsior!