Monday, September 26, 2011

A student's take on teacher and performer Dave Hill

There are few wonderful people in the world that give you all of their attention when you speak with them. Maybe it's due to his extensive improv training, but Dave Hill is one of those people.

I fell in love with Dave’s fun and supportive approach to improv during Level 1, and, like so many students, I'm really looking forward to coming full circle and having him again for level 7.

However, Dave is such an active member in the iO West community, there seem to be so many opportunities to otherwise study with him.

Like so many iO alums, Dave began his improv experience in the improv paradise of Chicago. What Chicago lacks in palm trees, it makes up for in theaters.

Throughout his years in Chicago, Dave performed regularly at Second City and Improv Olympic (now called iO) after completing both improv programs and Second City's writing program.

In Los Angeles, Dave has continued his improvisational performing while also focusing on writing and acting for television. Dave has been on shows like Reno 911!, American Body Shop, and he has taken advantage of the web series boom, showing us improvisers once again: adapt or die.

Dave Hill’s workshops and intensives are some of the most popular in the iO West program. There’s one called “Just the Facts," which focuses on teaching performers how to focus on what's really important in a scene when it's not going anywhere and how to infuse helpful specifics.

Coming up this month, Dave is teaching his very popular Character Workshop, which emphasizes not only creating fun characters, but developing them and experimenting with them throughout the length of a show. Registration is available now, and I imagine the class will fill up fast.

I imagine that Dave's accessibility and versatility as both a teacher and performer stem in part from his varied educational background. In addition to his writing and acting training, he got his BA from Princeton in Politics with a minor in East Asian Studies, which gives folks like me, with a degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Japanese, even more hope for their improv future.

 - Elizabeth Steele

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