Christmas came early for us with the return of – not quite a prodigal daughter – but a once anxious student that had her life completely turned around because of improv.
This is her story.
Message in a Flyer
Four years ago, LMA founder Eran Thomson would go around Sydney dropping flyers around different places in the hopes that maybe someone would see them. Five-hundred flyers (sprinkled across Surry Hills, Newtown, Central and any cafe in between that would take them) later, Eran hoped for the best.
He always wondered if anyone ever really saw those LMA flyers. He wondered if he was wasting his time. If anyone would pick one up, let alone be inspired to take a class.
And then someone did.
Enter Amanda Hood. Amanda recounts her life-changing discovery. “I kept seeing LMA flyers in random places around Sydney. It got to a point where I thought, ‘All right universe, enough already!’ and I enrolled in my very first improv class. I was a comedy writer and director who was terrified of performing, but a director friend suggested improv classes might increase my confidence when working with actors. Much to my surprise, I fell head over heels for improv and I haven’t looked back since.”
From Anxious Student to Level 1 Teacher
Amanda eventually finished all levels at LMA and found a supportive, wonderful community that helped her grow into a generous and passionate improviser.
She’s forged long-time friendships through the school (one of them being with LMA teacher Jeff Mesina) and has since sought out further studies in the United States and around Australia.
She has gone on to train at other improv schools like the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York and iO Chicago. She is also currently a member of musical improv troupe “Unplanned Melodies” which performs regularly in sold-out shows and was one of the crowd favourites at the Australian Improv Festival.
In 2020, Amanda will come full circle, back to where she started – this time as a teacher of Level 1 at LMA. She will be teaching the Saturday morning Level 1 class in Sydney as we open Term 1 in the new year.
Amanda is back and ready. She says, “I’m really excited to start teaching classes at LMA and to continue developing as a performer, writer and director. There is always something new to learn about the craft of improv and comedy and I’m excited to continue along this amazing path”
Follow Your Fear
Stories like Amanda’s are always an inspiration for us at LMA. Our teachers are always so happy to see students come out of their shells and have moments of breakthrough during classes, jams or grad shows. No matter how many times it happens, we are always pleasantly surprised by how people transform into even more wonderful human beings because of improv.
Amanda is a true testament on how improv can help you develop and turn into that person you want to be.
Says Amanda, “if you’re afraid of taking an improv class, I know how you feel, that was me four years ago. But I honestly don’t know any other hobby on the planet that gives you self-confidence, listening skills, friends from around the world and hours upon hours of joy. If I were you, I’d make like Susan Jeffers and ‘feel the fear and do it anyway!’ You will not regret it!”
And if four years ago it was a flyer that did it for Amanda, maybe for you it’s this blog post.
Register for your class now