Working at ImprovBoston has taught me that the most important aspect of any job is the people you are working with. I have the pleasure to work on a team of funny, easy going, and passionate people who are so supportive and make even the hardest days enjoyable. It has been incredibly reaffirming to work at ImprovBoston because it has shown me that comedy is not just about the art you are making but the people you are making it with. I now know that I want to be part of teams that are supportive and push me to think more creatively.
The infectious creative energy that permeates through the staff of ImprovBoston is what makes this work different from my university and academic life. There is a professionalism to the creativity at ImprovBoston that is not present at my life at Brandeis. For example, a creative project to start a new musical improv group goes through all the steps to find a director, music director, and producer so the results are professional and polished. At Brandeis, I have started many a creative project that has been missing the key components of professionalism and follow through. I hope to take these skills to projects at Brandeis. The WOW experience has also differed from Brandeis and academic life because I live in an apartment and cook my own food. I love it and it will be very hard to go back to living in the halls because the independence I have found in my life has made me happier and more confident.
Not only have I built on my skills of professionalism, follow through, and independence but also in networking. In comedy, networking is closely tied to being friends with folks within the community. During my semester in Chicago, I got the note that I should be confident and take up more physical and emotional space. I have been going to shows and hanging out with people before them to really connect and forge friendships. By fostering friendships with the people I work and perform with I am hopeful to create more opportunities for creative collaboration. I have more fun performing and working with people when I also know them as friends.
The most important thing I have learned at ImprovBoston and through working in comedy is that you have to, “be around.” Being around means reading everything; going to shows; staying up to date on global and local current events; and collaborating with as many different types of people as possible. I will transfer this to my academics by collaborating with my classmates, seeking more reading on the subjects I am studying, and going the extra-mile to connect my comedic work to what I am learning in the classroom. My work has also proven to me that for my future career plans it is essential I work with people who challenge and support me, while also being enjoyable people to spend forty hours a week with. On and off campus I want to be part of projects that challenge and excite and have a level of professional organization and pride in the work they is doing.
– Mina Bond
I just started my internship at ImprovBoston and it has been a wonderful experience thus far. ImprovBoston is a nonprofit located in Cambridge, MA whose mission is to serve the community through laughter. With a regular performance selection of New England’s premiere improv, sketch, and standup and an acclaimed comedy training program, the theater dedicates itself to inspiring, developing and sharing comedy in all its forms. Through exploring the many important applications of the creative process, ImprovBoston seeks to improve the lives of diverse audiences both onstage and off. To accomplish this goal, ImprovBoston offers classes in sketch, standup, and improv as well as workshops addressing workplace success and anti-bullying.
My title is “Comedy School Intern,” and, as the Comedy School intern, I will communicate with current and incoming students; assist with the registration of classes and Comedy Clinics; build and maintain logistical paperwork; schedule make-up classes; and manage the distribution of performance records of the student showcases. In addition, I will assist my supervisor in new Comedy School initiatives such as assistant teaching, taking classes in the curriculum, and a new project called “S.H.E” (Sisterhood. Humor. Empowerment.) to support women in comedy. In fulfilling these responsibilities, I will learn about the importance of arts education, and the connection between social justice work and comedy.
My academic goal for the summer is to connect my learning from WGS to comedy and arts education. My supervisor started S.H.E. at Second City in Chicago, and is now hoping to launch the program at ImprovBoston. I will be conducting outreach to introduce people to improv comedy as a way of promoting mindfulness and confidence building. In this way, I will be achieving my goal of connecting feminist theory to real-world applications.
My career goal is to figure out if I would like to teach comedy after graduating. I currently perform at ImprovBoston and love that, so I want to see if I also enjoy teaching people how to perform. By shadowing teachers at the Comedy School and doing administrative work for the Comedy School I will learn about comedic education, working with aspiring comedians, and the Comedy School’s initiatives to support all students especially women and persons of color. The Comedy School internship is a perfect fit for me because it focuses on teaching students to find their voices and gain confidence.
I want to make connections with comics in the Boston community. I am a current cast member at ImprovBoston and despite this I still do not always feel confident or like an important member of the community. Success in comedy is all about confidence and networking. By taking on a bigger role in the comedy community I will be connected to comics who are working on projects which I may have the opportunity to join. Ideally, I will become much more confident and consequently a more respected member of the Boston comedy community.
– Mina Bond ’19