Amy Lisewski is a professional improviser, entrepreneur, and speaker based in San Diego and anywhere adventure leads her.
As the founder and owner of Finest City Improv, she is continually growing San Diego’s largest community of improvisers and a training program that has brought more courage and joy to thousands of people.
From Librarian to Improviser
Amy trained in improvisation and sketch comedy at the world-class Second City and IO West and with dozens of top teachers in Chicago, LA, and New York. She studied Communications and Acting at Ithaca College.
An ‘introverted extrovert’, Amy worked in both television and information research and management before founding Finest City Improv. Amy holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University (CA) and helped biotech and high tech companies like Diversa, Verenium, and Synthetic Genomics improve their knowledge management for more than 15 years through her consulting company, Essential Information Partners. She is an alumnus of Teach For America, where she served two years teaching in New Orleans Public Schools from 1998-2000.
In 2012, after 3 years of splitting her time between San Diego and LA to study improv, Amy decided to stop the flow of improvisers heading north from San Diego (including herself!) by creating Finest City Improv, a home for long-form comedy improv in San Diego. Since then, she has brought dozens of top improvisers to San Diego from LA and beyond to help grow the San Diego improv scene with workshops and guest appearances. She developed a 6-level curriculum to teach people how to improvise both on and off the stage and mentored dozens of top talent to be effective improv teachers.
Combining her love of improv with her experience in business and communications, Amy created the Tap Into Improv program for organizational and leadership development and has facilitated hundreds of workshops across the US for companies like WD-40, GoPro, Kaiser, and Reef. She regularly works with top-level transformational mastermind groups to challenge participants to expand their comfort zones and boost their leadership confidence using improvisation. She was a featured speaker at the Transformational Leadership Council, founded by Jack Canfield, in 2019.
In 2018 she created Speak Up!, a seminar to empower women and teens to find and use their voice more often at work or school in pursuit of their goals as leaders in their fields.
Amy's book, "Relax, We're all Just Making This Stuff Up!" was written to help anyone benefit from the principles and practices of improvisation both at work and in life. Available from Amazon and Audible.
Awards & Appearances
News Media, Podcasts, events
Amy has been nominated for both Connected Women of Influence and Women Who Mean Business awards. She was featured as a “Kick-ass Entrepreneur” in the San Diego Union-Tribune and profiled for her work with businesses in the San Diego Business Journal and on KPBS. Finest City Improv appeared in Entrepreneur Magazine for our work helping team's use "Yes! And..." to ignite creativity.
Amy discuss her book and how improv helps create courage and joy on Tonight In San Diego and on the CW Network’s San Diego Living (video no longer available).
Amy’s sharing her story about helping people find improv in San Diego as part of the One Day in San Diego video series.
- Discussing the concepts in her book with Beth Accomando on KPBS Midday Edition.
- Discussing leadership as a female entrepreneur on
- Discussing leadership strategies with Dan Quiggle on Garage to Goliath | Leaders Building Legacies
- Offering career insights on Amanda Nachman’s Find Your Passion Career
- Answering the question of how to be courageous even if you think you are an introvert on The Divine Urge from Rich Awakenings.
- Discussing improv teaching methods and the business of improv on Tales From The Teachers’ Lounge with Lauren Morris.
- As a featured storyteller on the Narrators Podcast with "My Brother is My Brother."
Amy Lisewski is the founder of Finest City Improv and the San Diego Improv Festival. As a keynote speaker, Amy helps companies improve communication and collaborations using improv skills. She is also the author of Relax, We’re All Jus...
Recently, Amy Lisewski appeared on Dan Quiggle’s leadership podcast, “Garage to Goliath,” to discuss how the methods of improv can empower people to be better, more positive leaders! Listen to episode 026 of Garage to Goliath | Leaders ...
KPBS featured Finest City Improv on Evening Edition and KPBS Radio. Clair Trageser shows how we teach employees engagement and teamwork by with improv comedy exercises. See one of our clients San Diego Trading Company, featured in...