Previous Workshops

Pam Victor

The Zen of Improv Two-Day Intensive 

with Pam Victor, co-author of "Improvisation at the Speed of Life: The TJ & Dave Book

Take the improv rules you’ve carefully learned. And (lovingly) throw 'em out the window. 

What you need lies right in front of you. In this improvaliscious two-day intensive, you’ll immerse yourself in a uniquely natural and self-affirming approach to discovery-based, long-form improvisation. You’ll focus on being more aware of the scene that’s revealing itself onstage and following where the scene wants to go…while letting go of the need to work so damn hard and “make stuff up.” 

This mindful approach is developed in part from what Pam Victor learned over the two years of writing Improvisation at the Speed of Life: The TJ & Dave Book with legendary improvisers TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi. 

Together we’ll practice:

  • improvising one small step at a time by paying attention at the ninja detective level 
  • seeking joy and effortlessness in our scenework 
  • focusing on emotional relationship rather than words in a scene 
  • utilizing “Heat” and “Weight” to discover existing relationship between characters 
  • performing from a place of ease and joy, and trust in yourself, your scene partners improvisation, and the moment 
  • playing the scene in the here and now 

Join Pam for the Zen of Improv: it’s good for the stage and it’s good for the soul! 

"Pam's workshop fundamentally changed the way I think about improv (and life!). In just 2 days I went from overthinking, always judging myself (and sometimes others), and constantly planning my next move to being comfortable with the unknown and letting things happen and be discovered naturally. Pam's teaching style is calm, supportive and encouraging (without being over the top). She gave me permission to be myself, and then helped me realize that I didn't need that permission in the first place. I will remember these two days for a long, long time to come!" 
-Vera Didur, Zen of Improv Two-Day Intensive at Finest City Improv (San Diego, CA) 

About Your Teacher: 
Pam Victor is the founder and president of Happier Valley Comedy (Western Mass) where she runs a full-curriculum improv comedy school, produces and performs in regular improv shows, and provides personal and professional growth through improv in the THROUGH LAUGHTER program. Along with legendary improvisers TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi, Pam is the co-author of “Improvisation at the Speed of Life: The TJ & Dave Book.” On her popular blog "My Nephew is a Poodle," Pam writes "Geeking Out with…" interview series and "The Zen of Improv" essays for improv students. Pam has received improv training from iO Theater (Chicago), Annoyance Theatre (Chicago), ImprovBoston, and from Second City teachers. You can virtually hang out with Pam at and
Pam is a nice person. She already likes you.

Mark Beltzman

The Art of Allowing Improv Workshop is a Master Class in Acting taught through Improvisation.  This workshop is for the ensemble actor, and/or improvisor, who desires to cultivate the ability to flawlessly and spontaneously create magic on stage and in life.  "IT" comes from a place of joy and connection to one's source intuition, and is attained by giving yourself to the art form through LISTENING rather than thinking, from ALLOWING rather than forcing, from being FULLY PRESENT in the moment and FOCUSING on CONNECTION with your partner and your environment.  You will understand why making your partner look good makes you, in turn, look twice as good and makes the work flow.  Ultimately, you will understand that this is how ensemble is created.

This workshop will focus on scene work, as well as Long Form Improvisation.  You will learn to develop tools to let scenes emerge organically, including:

  • cultivating a heightened sense of listening
  • cultivating a heightened sense of awareness of the scene around you, i.e. environment, textures, emotions, body languages, sounds, etc.
  • learning the game within the scene
  • making your partner look good
  • finding the joy in the exploration
  • getting out of your own way to allow creativity to flow
  • understanding that the true magic lies in the synchronicity of you, your partner and the audience all discovering a point of focus at the same time

Friday Evening - Meet Mark and ask about Acting, Improvisation, Del Close, his time at iO, Second City, etc.
Saturday and Sunday - Mark will teach "The Art of Allowing"
Sunday Evening - Students will perform a Long Form Improvisation showcasing what they've learned

About your teacher:
MARK BELTZMAN has been acting, writing, and directing since 1981.  He was one of the Founding Members of Improv Olympic in Chicago; and of the legendary group, Barons Barracudas.  Mark has worked and directed at the famed Second City in Chicago.  He directed many improvisational and theatrical productions at Second City in Chicago and Los Angeles, including the Second City Alumni Jam.   He was instructor/director at The Second City Training Center, Improv Olympic West and the Upfront Comedy Showcase, in addition to teaching/directing across the UK, (London, Brighton, Bristol) and Paris, France.

"Mark Beltzman is the funniest and most talented improvisor that I have ever worked with.  I have worked on stage with him at Second City, done radio shows with him, we did movies like 'Red Heat' together and half a dozen episodes of 'According to Jim.' Our scenes always got the biggest laughs." - Jim Belushi

In his distinguished career, Mark has worked with:  Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David, Billy Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Carrell, George Wendt, John Candy, Stephen Colbert, Jim Belushi, Adam Sandler, John Goodman, Joe Murray, Pete Hulne, Pat Finn, David Koechner, Neil Flynn, David Pasequesi, TJ Jagodowski, David Razowsky, and "Whose Line Is It Anyways" alumni, Colin Mochrie, Ryan Stiles, and Brad Sherwood.

"Mark Beltzman walks the walk and listens to the talk.  You WILL have fun.  And that's what it's all about!"
- George Wendt