Improv Coach and Director 

I grew up as an incredibly shy, super awkward pre-teen that only knew the life of a competitive gymnast. I had zero friends in school, and was bullied constantly. During, my sophomore year in high school I had the opportunity to take a speech and drama class, and it literally changed my life!

 

My teacher was a former Second City Improv performer, and she taught us everything she could about improv. Not only did I become more socially confident and exhibit leadership qualities, but I found myself raising my hand in class more. I discovered how important it was to let my voice be heard, and even more so, I realized that it was okay to be myself!

 

Well, the rest is sort of history! I found a passion in improv, and a drive to pursue every single avenue I could in performing arts, while focusing on improvisation. David Stork, former Gotham City Improv Director and my SCAD Improv Professor, encouraged me to follow my dreams as an improv performer and teacher! Under his direction, I performed with The Mobb Line (2013 Southeastern College Improv Tournament Champions) and directed the Moxie Improv Team. I continued my coaching endeavors as the improv coach for Hard Hearted Hannah's Dinner Theatre in Savannah, GA and I was the proud recepient of the Northern Kentucky Co-Op Youth Services Grant, which allowed me to host a two week improv workshop for inner city students in Bellevue, KY.

 

After moving to Charlotte this past year, I wanted to do all I could to bring Improv to the Queen City, which is why I am so excited to develop and conduct an improv program for Acting Out Studio!  Improvisation has been growing in popularity for the past several years with it’s influences on mainstream media programs like Whose Line is it Anyway?, Saturday Night Live, and several current sitcoms.  And though, improv has certainly become an increasing entertainment trend, it still serves as a fundamental necessity and course of training for actors, singers, dancers and artists alike.  Improv is the art of performing in the “now”, which is essential for even our top business executives to understand.   It's completely non-biased to those of us that can sing a lick and/or dancers with only two left feet! Improv is about "jumping off the cliff" and facing your fears, while simply telling true and honest stories that are not predetermined or scripted. Improv teaches us how to portray normal characters that find themselves in crazy circumstances, OR portray crazy characters in very real and normal circumstances... come to think of it, that sounds a lot like our everyday life! ;-)

©Elizabeth Byland​ all rights reserved.​