Founder and owner of Finest City Improv, Amy Lisewski was a recent guest on the podcast, “Tales from the Teacher’s Lounge.” A podcast dedicated to the art of teaching improv, host Lauren Morris delves deep into the world of teaching improv. Each week she talks to notable teachers of improv from around the world! We hope you enjoy hearing about how Amy began teaching improv, built Finest City Improv, and continues to ensure top-notch teaching as FCI grows!
Amy knows, “when you try to teach something is when you start to really learn it the best.” She notes, “I’ve always enjoyed teaching; I have a big teaching background” She talks about the very first classes; “I started with some exercises that I learned here that i really liked and then very quickly started to put my own spin on them.” And even discloses her formula for successfully beginning a class; “my ritual is to start on time, to start active, on your feet. Then, about 10-15 minutes in, circle up, talk about shows they’ve seen, talk about things that happened in their week…. From there we talk about what do we remember from last week and here’s what today’s focus is.”
They talk about what draws in level one students, “people who come through level one are going like ‘I just went through a divorce,’ ‘I have social anxiety,’ ‘I want to meet more friends, I just moved to san diego.’” And, move into class content and structure, “level one and two are heavily focused on connection, and fun, and building support and trust and having them dipping their toes in improv just enough to feel great about what they did.”
Amy gives us a sneak peak into the kind of student she is in class, “Every time it’s like ‘two people up’ I’m like, scrambling, fighting people to be the one onstage because I hate sitting there; I want to play!” And relates teaching to business, “Every student is a customer of yours. They put down money because there is something going on right now in their world that they would like to improve upon.”
She discusses what it was like writing her book, “it really forces you to think about sequence, forces you to think about, like, what comes first, building trust, building support, saying ‘yes and.’ Like, you’ve really got to be clear in your head ‘cause you’ve got to be able to explain that. And that yeah, that does help you with your teaching.”
She gives us life advice: “Like it says in the book, start in the middle. Never start at the beginning cause that’s the hardest part”
They even touch on Amy’s big heart and how much she wants to help people, “It’s hard for me to remember that I can’t solve everyone’s problems. I can teach them improv. I can teach them how to have a little more confidence in themselves and have some more joy in life. And that is a lot already.”
Ready to hear more?? Listen to the whole thing!Check out the full podcast!