At Mesa Riverview – SUITE #114

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JesterZ Moves to Mesa Riverview

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They said it couldn’t be done. A family-friendly comedy club? In a sluggish Arizona economy? Give it a year at the most, skeptics predicted.

LamarThat was back in 2001, in Scottsdale’s Papago Plaza. But creators/owners Jef & Shurlin Rawls have defied the odds in an impressive, grandiose way.

Not only did their clean comedy concept take hold instantly but it has thrived so much that now, 13 years later, it has outgrown its original venue.

Enter Jester’Z Improv’s new, creative comedy theater in Mesa Riverview, 1061 N. Dobson Rd. #114, Mesa, AZ 85201.

photo lobbyFor over 13 years, Jester’Z Improv has performed live, family-friendly comedy shows weekly. Moving to the entertainment district of Mesa Riverview, is giving Jester’Z Improv a major upgrade, according to creative designer/owner Shurlin Rawls.

“With a lobby twice the size as our previous venue, it brings 10 times the visual “wow-factor,” Rawls explained. “Our new all-ages, family friendly comedy theater has twice the space, twice the seating and 10 times the professional elegance.”

JesterZ StageJester’Z Improv will continue its tradition of providing their always popular CLEAN COMEDY show at the new Mesa Riverview location, as well as adding sketch and stand up to their performances and class schedule.

“Every patron can sit back and enjoy, knowing that we won’t cross the line of raunchy or crude humor. No swearing or colorful content. We take great pride that our troupe is so talented and professional that they have the skills to be hilarious without being offensive. Our integrity of clean hilarity is our trademark.”

JesterZ StageSee our Article on AZCENTRAL.com

Other Reviews:  YELP.com & TRIPADVISOR.com

JesterZ Grand Opening Event!

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September 20, 2014 – September 20, 2014

1061 N. Dobson Rd. #114

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Description:

It’s our GRAND OPENING Weekend!!   And THIS show is the pinnacle!  We only have a FEW seats available to the public, the remaining are by invite ONLY!  This official opening of JesterZ Improv at Mesa Riverview will be proceeded by fun and festivities all over Riverview starting at 5:00 including.   Arrive early because you don’t want to miss out on the activities happening prior. Ribbon cutting at 6:20 will bring us inside where we’ll provide JesterZ improv, stand up, sketch and much more!!   Show runs 7:00pm – 8:30pm. 

Admission: $25 + tax.  ALL sales are final.

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“Should I”…or…”Shouldn’t I” Take an Improv Comedy Class in Phoenix?

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I originally signed up for Jester’Z beginning improv class almost 2 years ago.  It for realZ changed my life and in so many wayZ made me a better person.  People say I’m funny so I figured for sure I’ll be good at improv.  I mean that’s what people would say to me, so why not?

Well what I learned in the first 10 minutes was…IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BEING FUNNY!  Say what?!?!?!?!?!

Improv is about thinking fast, fully listening, trust, staying present, relationships, and so much more…  If you work in sales, as I do, beginning improv should be a pre-requisite for your company’s orientation in my opinion.  Really if you’re a human being, beginning improv should be a pre-requisite for, I dunno….puberty?  LOL…  I think about the incredible advantage all the teens who take the teen beginning improv class get from learning such valuable skills at such a critical growing stage in their lives. Oh how different life might be had I learned this stuff then….excuse me… I digress… :)

Bottom line…I often feel like I want to drag people to the class and then say…”See I told you so”, but I am a firm believer that people have to decide to do things on their own.  Now this goes way against my desire to want to control things, shocking I know that I can admit this, but at the end of the day where else can you go to grow as an individual and have an absolute blast and make amazing friends? (If you have an answer that is anything besides Jester’Z….please skip it…you get where I am going with this right?)

So, I’m curious….to anyone who has taken an improv class before, especially at Jester’Z….what made you decide to do it and what was your experience like?  Please comment below and I will end this with a picture of my beginning improv class from 2 years ago…since ‘they’ say a picture is worth a thousand words…whoever ‘they’ are anyways… :)

Beg Improv Dec 2012

 

Lights, Fans, Sconces, Decorative Items- Jester’z Moving Sale!

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Deborah Hallsted, Ray Torbit liked this post

As our time at Theater 168 in Papago Plaza draws to a close we’ve realized not everything from the theater will be coming with us to Mesa Riverview.

So….before we dance on outta here….we are having a moving sale!  

Jef and Shurlin Charlston Still

CLICK HERE NOW TO SEE OUR AD ON CRAIG’S LIST for pictures, prices, and contact info to purchase!

What has been your favorite decorative item in Theater 168?

How to increase “Entertainment Value”

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What’s most important to you?

friends animated gif on Giphy

We work hard for our money, right?   And although we Americans love to just throw money away, we don’t see it as throwing it away if it makes us happy.  A good restaurant, a great movie, a unique oddity “as seen on TV” that we must have!!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it only feels like we are throwing money away if we didn’t like it.  The price of a movie hasn’t changed much over the last few years – but you and I have both walked out of movie or comedy show saying “that was a waste of money”.  If you don’t like it – the Value of your entertainment goes down.  LOVE IT?  Would you pay double?

Whatever makes you happy, right?

I’ve taught improv comedy classes for over 13 years.   Below is a conversation I regularly have with my advanced improv students:

ME: “What does our audience want?”
THEM:  “To be entertained”
“How do we do that?”
“um…  We make them laugh.”
“How do we do that?”
“um…  we say or do something funny.”
“So if you make them laugh, it’s guaranteed they are entertained?”
“um… not necessarily.”

 

So, if we are in the business of entertaining all ages – how do we do that?   I think most improv groups, comics, writers, poets, musicians, (insert more entertainers here) on an professional level give the audience what they want.  It’s gotta be a lot more than they expect, because “making them laugh” isn’t entertaining enough.

For the purpose of my point, I will use movies.  However, books, TV, commercials, plays, etc. all can be used as well.

I love a good movie.  I think everyone can relate to movies, because there are good movies, great movies and terrible movies!  Let’s look at these and analyze why we love them… I’ve come up with 3 denominators.

Consider the following:

1.  Action! 

the matrix animated gif on Giphy

Shoot em up, blow em up!!  Car chases, adventures, fighting, superhero’s, etc.   James Bond, Ironman, Die Hard, Mission Impossible stuff!!  Last year Ironman 3 grossed 408 Million dollars…  We love it and can’t get enough action in our movies.

Action moviesWe need action in our entertainment to feel that we are getting things done.  Even in Cast Away… There was Action.

2.  Emotion  ;O)

tumblr_lmktuaDrRG1qd9x6to1_250Sappy, lovey-dovey, chick-flick love stories.  From The Notebook to Sleepless in Seattle – our heartstrings yearn for feel-good movies.  Love story and fantasies that give our routine, daily life, a little dose of hope.

Romance Movies

3. Details

Friends803BrandNewInformationIt’s information about what’s going on, who’s involved and where it’s happening.  Documentaries have hours of interviews, facts, figures, opinions – the details that peak our curiosity and arouse our intellect.  Details help us understand what’s going on…  period.

DocumentariesBut “Details” are not just for documentaries…  they are necessary for ALL films, stories, skits, etc!   Exposition: who, where, what, when, how & why?

If you are missing details you are bound to get a bad review!!

Every movie has a variety of these three

Think about it…   what is your favorite movie?  Why?  Because it provides you with just the right amount of action, emotion and details (depending on the genre) and they present it with engaging characters and story to support the right balance of those elements.  If an action movie has too much sappy romance or a chick-flick doesn’t have enough detail – are you satisfied as a viewer?

russell crowe animated gif on Giphy

So what does all this have to do with the Entertainment Value of an improv comedy show?

Let’s go back to our conversation:

“What does an audience want?”
“To be entertained”
“How do we do that?”

 

Let’s insert information we just learned:

“We provide audiences with a show where each scene has a variety of Action, Emotion and Detail – all wrapped up in fun, energetic improvised skits.  Since they are coming to a comedy show, we add in the fundamentals of humor.  Every scene should have details that helps them understand who, where and what is going on; a range of emotions (how do I feel about what was just said or done); and action that keeps them visually stimulated and anxious for what’s next.”

 

When you give the audience

MORE than they expected,

the “VALUE” of the entertainment

is increased.

Joker Card – Annual Pass 2014

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January 1, 2014 – January 1, 2014

7117 E. McDowell Rd.

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Description:

How would you like to have access to nearly 300 JesterZ improv shows in 2014 – All for ONE low price!!??

ONLY $100 until Dec. 24 (Regular Price:  $125)

JesterZ Improv Theater is busy all year round with Main Stage performances, Understudy shows & student showcases.  The JesterZ Annual Joker Card gives you access to all weekly shows.

Catch all the crazy shenanigans again and again.  Awesome can add up!!  Imagine the unlimited laughter you now have available to you!  Come as often as you like.

PLUS:  30% discount for the rest of your party!!!  Bring as many guests as you want and enjoy 30% discount on your tickets!!

Fine Print:  Valid 01/01/14 – 12/30/14 on most shows (Not Valid:  Valentines Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & New Years Eve).  Card must be presented at box office along with ID of card holder.  Non-transferable.  Reservations must be made online or by phone.  30% discount can only be used when accompanied by Joker-Card admission.

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GIFT CERTIFICATES

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November 30, 2013 – December 30, 2014

7117 E. McDowell Rd.

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Description:

JesterZ Gift Certificates are HERE!!  JesterZ Gift Certificates are the PERFECT gift!  Give the gift of laughter!  No limit!! No Expiration Date!!

Here’s how:

  1. Purchase the amount of Gift Certificates you need
  2. Decide how you want to receive the physical certificates (email receipt is NOT certificate)
  3. You give away to your besties, neighbors, coworkers, enemies, etc.
  4. They redeem online for the desired show
  5. They present the physical certificates at the box office when they arrive
  6. They have the funniest night of their life
  7. You are a hero, they hoist you on their shoulders and sing praises to your awesomeness !!

 

Gift Certificates are valid for all general admission JesterZ improv shows and may NOT be redeemed for special events (Christmas Day, Valentines, New Years Eve, Etc)  You must submit a reservation in advance by registering on the event calendar and surrender the physical certificate at box office upon arrival.  JesterZ Improv is not responsible for lost or stolen certificates.

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New Feature: Friday Funnies!

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That’s right! We’re starting a new feature called the Friday Funnies!

Every Friday, check our blog for the funniest finds from around the interwebs!

This week is devoted to those crazy pint-sized humans we call kids!

It’s getting cold outside & this little girl is as fascinated with ice as any Arizonian might be!

We love family, but this pic is hilar:

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 6.02.11 PM

If you’ve ever rolled your eyes at a pic on the internet
of an overly dressed up child, you’ll for sure get a kick out of the pinterest board
My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter!

quinoa

Image via Daily Mail

And finally, we normally try to stay away from “poop humor” at our theatre
but this lil guy’s struggle was too funny not to share!
Plus, I think we’ve all been there ;)

Top 10 comedic GREATS

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Over the years, friends, reporters, patrons and students have asked me “Who are your favorite comedians?”  So I thought I’d share with you, my Top 10 comedic “GREATS” of all-time – the ones that inspire me, each for different reasons – but they all have one thing in common – Clean Comedy:

  1. Carol Burnett – quite possibly the strongest comedian hands down!! From her variety of characters to her deadpan delivery
  2. Tim Conway – his responses to everything, his comedic timing was flawless.  and most importantly his PTC Integrity award recipient for life long clean comedy.
  3. Bob Newhart – dry, straight forward and proof that comedy is a serious business
  4. Dick Van Dyke – his physical comedy, facial reactions and he “has fun” with all he does
  5. Red Skelton – his wide variety of characters and facial reactions
  6. Bob Hope - every stand up performances in his USO tours is better than any stand up comic today
  7. Lucille Ball - her delivery, her facial expressions and emotional reactions
  8. Laurel & Hardy – true “straight man / funny man” team…  the masters of slapstick and the use of silence
  9. The Marx Brothers – The use of their other talents to compliment their funny (singing, dancing, musical instruments)
  10. Bill Cosby – his clean stand up career, his “everyday people” style, and family values he incorporates

and although he missed the mark on “clean comedy” I must give recognition to Robin Williams – quite possibly the fastest comedic brain EVER… his mouth cannot keep up with his ideas.

When I tell my students to study comedic actors, I tell them to avoid MANY of the comedians of today.  If they want TRUE comedic genius – watch any of the above list…  they understood “why” audiences laughed.  There was no “shock” value in their work.  They understood what it meant to set up a joke, set up your partner for a punchline, etc.

I may also say that this list is just the list for the clean comedians that inspire me.  I have a separate list that includes more recent greats like Dan Ackroyd, Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Monty Python, Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Gaffigan, etc. etc. – the list goes on and on and includes more recent comedians.  That list will be made another day.

Who inspires you?  Who are your favorite comedians?  and WHY??   Go to our facebook page and give us your list!!

Gettin’ Spooky!

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Mandy & Paul teamed up to bring you a spooky spoof Halloween song
based on Karmin’s hit cover of Look At Me Now!

Our Spoof:

Original Video:

 

Gettin’ Spooky Lyrics:
{written by: Mandy Nielsen}

Jack o you light my flame
Like a mad scientist you dissect my brain
Jack o you make me twitch
Pointy hat pointy shoes
Yeah I cackle like a witch
Jack o yeah you call me your boo
Like ghost in my mind yeah
You play me like a foo
Candy corny I may be
You’ll never escape me
Everybody knows I’m spooky
When I’m rockin Halloween
Chorus:
Oh Halloween

Oh Halloween

We’re gettin spooky
Oh Halloween

Oh Halloween

Yeah yeah yeah yeah
Trick a trick a trick a treat

 

 

Oh whoa spiced cider
Oh and all dem creepy spiders
Crawling up my back
Drop dead in the middle
Of a zombie attack
A trick for you and treat for me
I’m CBrown all I need is a rock baby
You’re pumpkin king
Im your girl Sally
Hocus pocus just focus
Cover town like locus
Ladies what we be meowing at the moon
Black cats arched backs
They won’t forget us soon
Guys yeah you be howlin at the moon
Fangs bared beard haired
That 12 don’t mean noon

 

Chorus

 

Now I’m gonna holla at my villains
I got Ghostface I got Cujo I got Jigsaw I got Ursula and Freddy Krueger
My boys Candyman and Hannibal Lector
Michael Meyers and then there’s Vector
Nurse Ratched won’t fix you up
But Sweeney Todd will cut you up
Don’t forget Elphaba and Norman Bates
Leatherface and my little friend Scarface
Dracula Lars Billy Joan Crawford
Mort Rainey and then Elly Kedward
Rasputin Reverend Harry Powell
Walter white and Hal 9thouw
Ben Willis and Cruella DeVille
If she doesn’t scare you no evil thing will
Daddy Darth Vader Hans Landa
Scar Leonard and Hans Grubba
Goldfinger Gunnery Srgt Hartman
Dr Christian Patrick Bateman
Jason Friday the 13th was in 1 2 3 and 4
That girl from the grudge and
then of course there is Dark Lord Voldemort

 

Chorus

Psycho
It
Troll 2
Tricka Tricka Tricka Treat