Classes

Replace consistent unwise choices with consistent smart choices. Find the joy of playing within the psychological point of view of improv and real life, thereby playing stronger characters making bolder choices.

Here’s what students say:

“In a scene, nothing should be solved, but the urge to solve a problem or be apologetic for what happened in the circumstances of a scene is always there. Paul's workshop taught me to embrace the problem and use it as a gift to dig deeper into a character.  Once I did that, I was able to make bolder choices and play characters I might usually shy away from out of fear of failure.” - Jon Wright

“Paul's a passionate improviser and gets right to the meat of things when he teaches. Rather than focusing on 'rules', we spent our time finding what each scene was about, and once identified, found ways to make the scene more about that. The Dojo's approach enables you to sustain a scene and really dig in to the human vulnerability that we often shy away from. Paul understands what works and what doesn't in a scene and is intent on getting more of what works in our play.” - Seamus Scanlan

“Finally an instructor in San Diego who pushes you to not play safe. Something missing here in San Diego and it's simply liberating. Do yourself and your improv game a favor and commit to that unsafe leap of faith and free yourself of the common every day improv scenes and characters. Comedy is ugly and there's no reason we should be selling it any differently.” - Juan Reyes

“In Paul's Dark Side workshop I learned how to pull "characters" from my real life in order to play characters on stage that I don’t usually get to play. It's safe to say I will be using this skill almost every time I improv from now on!” - Elwin Warsh

“I took Paul's Level 1 course at the Improv Dojo after completing all levels at FCI. I liked his unique focus on finding the unruly edges inside a scene or what he called ‘fuck things up.’ I found fun and liberation in that idea. I also have benefitted from his side coaching during my scenes in class because he has uncanny instincts regarding the best stuff available in the moment to play with. I really feel Paul's improv brilliance!” - Meshell Zwicker

“Attending Paul Cross’ The Dark Side workshop was a notable developmental experience for me as an improviser.  Paul taught me how to play the kind of characters most people would straight-up avoid in our daily lives, and to honestly commit to them in a way that can breathe uniquely entertaining new life in an on-stage relationship.  I highly recommend this workshop for all improvisers looking to expand their character and relationship work.” - Hudson Reynolds

“The beauty of learning the ‘yes and’ in the beginning of one's improv journey is that you steer away from arguments.  The workshop that Paul taught allowed me to discover the beauty in holding a different viewpoint than my scene partner while still staying true to the rules of ‘yes and’.” - Jessica Farber

“If you’ve taken your share of short-form improv classes and are ready to take things slow, the Improv Dojo Level 1 class is the place to be. It’s time to dispense with the games and get vulnerable and focused on the details and emotions of the scene. Paul provides a safe space to do just that, calls participants out on their bulls#*%, and provides coaching to help discover organic ways to build on the scene. The class is definitely a must for actors looking to build long-form improvisation skills.” - Shirley Coggon

“My biggest takeaway from the first level classes of the improv dojo is that if you're going to throw shit at the wall until it sticks, throw the the biggest, stickiest shit you can.” - Jake Clark

“Paul’s class has made me more thick-skinned with his techniques that internalize concepts like not self-judging.  His ability to call it out when something is not believable is one of his techniques that kicks ass.” - Phil Touche

“I took my first class at The Improv Dojo after completing the program at FCI and taking 4 levels at Second City. In level one I quite enjoyed seeing the build up of the scene, learning about my scene partners, and pushing the limits of my characters. We were taught how to deliver responses through the filter of our character and this helped us forget about our own critical mind. I'm looking forward to the next level.” - Babel Barm

“Exercises included letting go of ego, connection, being present, being vulnerable, and being comfortable in awkward situations. With Paul's experience and unique style, the main goal of the Dojo is to train students at becoming better improvisers.” - Austin Robles

ADVANCED IMPROV PROGRAM:

For those who've completed an improv program and are wanting to improve their skills to be the best improviser they can be.  

Learn how to:

Play slow

Embrace awkwardness

Experience the joy that comes with the freedom to play characters you wouldn't normally play

Raise your standards on what kind of improviser you want to be.

Classes are limited to 8, to ensure lots of scene work and individual feedback.

All 3 levels (6 months) taught by Paul Cross. 

You'll learn a more powerful and challenging version of the dojo's "ABC's of Improv": Attention, Build, Commit.

Through all the levels, we revisit and review Viola Spolin's (the godmother of modern improvisation) Five Obstacles to a Direct Experience.

  1. The Approval/Disapproval Syndrome - Getting over trying to please others
  2. Self-Pity - Conquer self defeat
  3. Success/Failure - Transcend opposites of negative and positive
  4. Attitudes - Drop appearances and learn to deal with the problem
  5. Fear - Defeat fear through a direct experience

You'll get:

  • Honest individual feedback
  • Lots of scene work
  • A focus on finding your comedic voice
  • Stage time monthly with a 2 or 3 person team

Level 1 - Attention

Really pay attention, to every little detail. Let the scene present itself. Start with small things to create bigger things. Be aware not only of what your partner is doing, but what you are doing yourself.

Level 2 - Build

Heighten and build what makes your character, your partner's character, and the deal of the scene funny. 

Level 3 - Commit

Create strong characters making bold choices. Commit to each decision made in the scene. Reuse, recycle and reinvest in what you're created. 

Next level 1 starts Tuesdays June 20 - August 8 

$225 - Payable on venmo to theimprovdojo or paypal to thisguyispaul@yahoo.com

Or pay here when I figure out how to get the payment thing up here. Ugh. 

 

BEGINNING IMPROV PROGRAM:

Add more friends, humor, confidence, laughter, playfulness, boldness, creativity, outrageousness, enthusiasm, fascination, intrigue, enchantment and curiosity to your life.

Free show admission plus one friend admission each show for students

The Improv Dojo is designed to make you the best improviser you can be by giving you:

  • Honest individual feedback
  • Lots of scene work
  • A focus on finding your comedic voice

Discover how to be the best and most confident version of yourself. What you bring to the stage is all you need to bring. You are enough. You'll find your comedic voice. You'll learn how to get out of your comfort zone and play with confidence with strong characters making bold choices. We create a safe space for you to learn to trust yourself and discover a strength inside you that wants to play. We teach several major forms of long-form improv so that you will have a solid understanding of what kind of shows you want to perform upon graduation.

You'll learn the dojo's "ABC's of Improv": Attention, Build, Commit.

Through all the levels, we revisit and review Viola Spolin's (the godmother of modern improvisation) Five Obstacles to a Direct Experience.

  1. The Approval/Disapproval Syndrome - Getting over trying to please others
  2. Self-Pity - Conquer self defeat
  3. Success/Failure - Transcend opposites of negative and positive
  4. Attitudes - Drop appearances and learn to deal with the problem
  5. Fear - Defeat fear through a direct experience

Our beginning improv program teachers have a wide variety of experience and were trained at Chicago's The Second City, IO, The Annoyance Theater, and Hollywood's The Second City and The Pack Theater. 

 
 

Level 1

The A of our ABC's of Improv: Attention

  • Understanding Viola Spolin's Five Obstacles to a Direct Experience
  • Learn to listen actively, take in all the little details, and be present in the moment 
  • Play a heightened version of yourself by exploring your true and honest self 
  • Agreement is always implied
  • Starting scenes with strong declarations, emotions and attention  
  • Start to find your comedic voice 
  • Learn how to take direction
  • Overcome the need to always be right and learn to play with a vulnerability that creates laughter
  • Object work

Taught by Paul Cross

Classes ARE NOT held at 2110 Hancock.

Classes are at The White Box at San Diego Dance Studio 2590 Truxtun Road #205 San Diego 92106

8 Tuesdays July 11 - August 29 7:30pm-9:30pm $225

Taste of Dojo and Dark Side workshop students can pay the discounted rate to 'theimprovdojo' on venmo or to 'thisguyispaul@yahoo dot com' on paypal

Quantity:
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LEVEL 2

The B of our ABC's of Improv: Build

  • Now that you've learned to pay attention, you can build and heighten what your deal is, what your scene partner's deal is, and what the scene's deal is
  • Recognize and play with the first unusual thing in your scene
  • Scene work is explored in more depth with 2 person scenes
  • Build with what you have: reinvest, recycle, revisit
  • Emotions, strong declarative statements, keeping it simple, reacting to partner, relationship, wants and intentions are explored

Taught by David Preciado

 

LEVEL 3

The C of our ABC's of Improv: Commit

  • Commit to what you've established - Raise the stakes
  • Embrace the awkwardness and double down on failure
  • Learn how your scene relates to bigger things
  • Scene work is explored in more depth with 3 person scenes
  • Begin character development 

Taught by Keith James

 

LEVEL 4

Characters and Scenic Development

  • Create strong characters from simple choices, and have them make strong choices 
  • Exist in a rich and varied environment to create interesting and funny scenes 
  • Natural development of scenes based on character choices
  • Form multiple patterns
  • Group and split scenes

Taught by Paul Cross

 

LEVEL 5

Show Forms and Advanced Techniques

Learn and perform a variety of long-forms to discover what kind of styles you like to play and to prepare you for your improv journey:

  • Harold
  • Armando
  • Character Generator
  • Monoscene
  • Deconstruction
  • Oak Tree
  • Pretty Flower

 

  • Review and apply what you've learned in the first four levels
  • Challenges issued based on individual feedback
  • Build aggressive specificity
  • Use the filter of the character in relation to the environment

Taught by Paul Cross