“Working with Marcus is a truly inspiring experience. He comes to every class with an amiable zest that makes you want to get down to business. Unlike any other instructor I’ve worked with, Marcus’ instructions and explanations are clear, concise and, most important to the working player, immediately useful.
From the moment Marcus starts addressing you, it is clear that he is working with you, not just throwing information at you. He asks you if what he said makes sense, listens carefully to your response, and instructs accordingly. You would never know Marcus is such a gifted and experienced player by the nurturing manner with which he teaches. Marcus is very supportive and refrains from talking down to his pupils. If you disagree with a direction, and Marcus believes you are justified in your disagreement, he has no issue with conceding and proceeding with the instruction. He works diligently to make sure everyone is on the same page and understanding the material so the group progresses together.
The work Marcus leads students through is rigorous and deep, but the results are evident and lasting. Marcus’ refreshing and unique teaching style not only forges adroit improvisers, it also produces more enlightened people and lasting friendships.”
Jonathan O. – SF Improvisor/Stand-Up Comic
“I am really impressed with Marcus as a teacher. Wrap up knowledge, preparation, enthusiasm, and joy into a package and you’ll have an idea of what it’s like taking a class from him. He’s a huge resource for the Bay Area improv community!”
Bela E. – SF Improvisor
“…one of the best classes I ever had. It was such a great combination of theory and practice. Activities were slowed down to give people time to interact with the world they were creating, but you brought amazing energy and support between activities to keep things from dragging. It is a workshop that I would recommend to anyone doing improv, theater, writing, or anything where they want to put their imagination to work and produce a realistic and fully formed environment. It didn’t hurt that all of the participants were so actively involved and engaged and supported each other. I had a great time.“
Gil B. – Grey Matter Improv
“I have been a student in classes taught by Marcus Sams for the last 6 months. He is an engaging teacher of improvisation, models concepts he’s teaching and gives student-specific feedback on skills students are developing. He makes sure the class is interactive which helps students new to improv begin to let go of fears and the inner critic and have fun. Personally, I like how Marcus gives clear objectives that actors want to reach, keeping in mind what the audience is thinking, how the scene will play out and how to keep going if something doesn’t work. His space object workshop was very beneficial to me as I haven’t yet had the opportunity to work deeply in that area in drop-in classes. I find that ideas discussed in Marcus’s classes resurface regularly in my daily life and keep me conscious of human interaction, relationships, and physicality that help with my scenes when I return to class. I have grown as an improviser and as a more confident human being through studying improv with Marcus.”
Sandra L. – SF Improvisor/School Teacher
“Marcus Sams is not only a gifted improviser,but a gifted coach as well. I have had the pleasure of taking his workshops, drop-in classes and regularly working with him as part of a troupe that he directs. He creates a fun and safe environment to learn. He is always willing to take questions and help you best understand concepts. He will push you to be a better performer and has a good eye for assessing what you need to work on to hone your craft. I consider myself lucky to get to work with him. If you get a chance to take a workshop you will not be disappointed and you will be better for it.“
Erin D. – Leela Performing Improv Ensemble/HR Manager
“Your workshop on world creation is terrific. Your techniques take us from a bare stage to a fully expanded world in which we are emotionally invested! Magical!”
Diana B. – Co-Producer, Southern Railroad Theatre Company
“AWESOME! Marcus is a fun, funny, high-energy dude and brings these qualities to his teaching. Each class was rich with material while never feeling rushed. He reinforced lessons from previous levels while always introducing new concepts and techniques. I learned some invaluable tools for bringing more depth and authenticity to characters, from connecting with emotions to endowing physical traits. The class lived up to its title: I’m increasingly more comfortable on stage, much more willing to take risks, and almost completely free of the desire to plan ahead. I wish I could hire Marcus to coach me for 40 hours a week until I was finally good at this!”
Erik R. – SF Improvisor
“I like the Marcus Sams approach for teaching in general. Building brick by brick. He reinforces the smaller concepts we’ve learned in improv and expands from there. It’s very concrete and makes sooo much sense even though nothing is tangible. I was blown away at the switch that turns on when Marcus leads how to build your improv environment. The scene in front of me is as real as if I turned on the TV! It’s magical. I’d take any class Marcus teaches!”
Bonnie T. – Leela Performing Improv Ensemble
“Marcus Sams’ workshops are truly INTENSE-ives, and they are intense in the best way possible. Whatever the topic is, Marcus always shares his performance expertise and compassion to the fullest – working with everyone on a one-on-one basis to ensure your growth as a performer. It is his goal to make sure you grow. There’s nothing to lose – at the very least, you’ll get to refine your repertoire of improv tools. Beyond that, you just may surprise yourself as a performer and as an individual through what you gain from these workshops.”
Daniel W. – Artistic Director of The Drop-ins
“What’s great about Marcus Sams’ workshop is that he not only teaches but he works with you, even so far as to perform in sketches. And as anyone can testify, seeing how it’s done is much more beneficial than just hearing about it. He loves improvisation, and it is completely evident in his excitement with sharing the super secrets of professionals and of the mundane basics that we can so easily forget. Like friends getting together to swap stories.”
Jimmy Robertson – CSU,Chico Theatre Student
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