What most people think narrative improvisation requires is exactly wrong.
Most people think good improvisers have to be terribly clever. They don't. The best improv...the funniest, the most serious...happens when they are being terribly obvious. They dare to be average.
Excellent improv is safer and easier than most people imagine.
Dan's teaching is thoughtful, caring, kind, generous, carefully clarified and inspiring. He is one of the most highly complemented instructors with whom I've ever had the pleasure of working.
has been one of the most sought after instructors in the department because
he continues to challenge the student.
particular style of improv involves three fundamental rules which teach
useful life lessons for anyone who needs to collaborate.
Dan Diggles is an outstanding teacher of Improvisation. His technique and style are unmatched...
possesses the incredible capacity to ignite and enthuse, all the while
teaching both the necessary skills of drama but also the invaluable skills
This was the best course I've ever taken. Dan Diggles is amazing!
We have all been bombarded by society...
..."If you conform to our standards we will help you discover who you are." Television, I feel, is currently the most pernicious offender. The whole aim of commercial television is to make you dissatisfied with your life. If you're not dissatisfied, you won't buy things.
So we learn (a) that we will find happiness, success and self-esteem by being other than ourselves, and (b) self-realization takes a great deal of effort, if we are to believe society (and money, if we are to believe TV). The spontaneous self-expression we knew as children is methodically eliminated.
A good improviser, on the other hand...
...knows that his imagination and self-expression should be as effortless as recognizing a face in a crowd. His best choices are his first, obvious, "average" ones.
The great life-lesson of improv is that you are already a unique voice in the arts: If you say what's obvious to you, you will tell a story that is original and fascinating and not necessarily obvious to any one else. How could it be? No one has lived your life.
Improvisation can put you back in touch...
...with this obvious, "average" you. It can be scary because, in a world full of rules, there are no rules for "you".
Improvisation's power is that it makes this journey fun.
DAN DIGGLES was a co-founder of FreeStyle Repertory Theatre, for 15 years one of New York's foremost Improvisational Theatre companies. He has taught Master Classes in Improvisation at Columbia University and the Dalton School, and is currently on the faculty at Marymount Manhattan College, where he teaches both beginning and advanced Improvisation.
As a member of the theatre faculty at Wagner College, Dan taught Acting I, II and III, Period Styles, and "Theatre as a Profession". His book Improv for Actors has been published by Allworth Press.
He has offered classes in acting and speech at the American Stage Company (Paul Sorvino, Artistic Director), and as an Affiliate Artist through grants from the NEA, has been Actor/Teacher in residence for Buffalo Studio Arena Theatre and performed his one-man show Classical Acting, Bartending and Touch Typing nation-wide. Dan gave lecture/demonstrations in Shakespeare and Moliere at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and is the author of "Dare to be Average: The Life Lessons of Improvisation" published in Rehearsals for Growth.
He performed in the National Tour of Cyrano with John Cullum, and his credits include 15 years of Regional Theatre work at the McCarter Theater, Shakespeare & Company, Cincinnati Playhouse and the Hartford Stage Company among others.
Dan has an MFA in Acting from Catholic University, and a BA in Communications from the University of Notre Dame.