YES! LET'S WORKSHOP
YES! LET’S IS A SERIES OF WORKSHOPS CREATED BY ANDRIANA SANTIAGO. YES! LET'S FOCUSES ON HOW IMPROV COMEDY & LAUGHTER PARALLEL TO LIFE, RELATE TO COMMUNICATION AND INSPIRE EMPOWERMENT.
YES! Let’s Workshop
YES! Let’s is a workshop focused on how improv comedy parallels to life, relates to communication and inspires empowerment. We create a safe space of positivity to feel fully expressed with no inhibitions. Through various games and scenes we break down walls and barriers and judgments we’ve set for ourselves and instead become more playful, adaptive and resilient as we embrace life’s truths, absurdities, and realities through a new set of eyes. We empower one another and build deep connections as we create imaginary worlds and live in them together. We practice being present in the moment, listening carefully, and contributing freely. We use positive linguistics like, “yes and…” to accept whatever our scene partners do or say as part of the reality of the scene and then add on it with our own contributions. We take these tools discovered out into our lives, and apply them we create strong genuine relationships. It is playful and frees the spirit. Improvisation goes beyond the stage or the studio – it is a life philosophy.
YES! Let’s for the FAMILY
YES! Let’s for the FAMILY creates entertaining and interactive new ways for families to connect and play. See yourself and each other in a new light, and be more present to enjoy your time as a family. Parents and kids use the many wonderful benefits of improv to create stronger bonds and have fun. We play group games and exercises that inspire active listening, responding and acknowledgment. For example, when we ‘YES and’, to one another we feel heard and listened to. This is affirming. We are able to expand on new ideas and feel fully expressed around those we love most. Instead of highlighting mistakes or negating with ‘NO but’ we encourage families to look for the positives and build on successes. This is teamwork. Brick by brick, line by line we create imaginary worlds. We surprise ourselves as we explore characters that interact with one another, and build stories together with group collaboration. Kids agree with their parents (it’s a rule!) and everyone laughs, without the pressure of a performance. Besides, it’s NOT about being funny! Actually, originally improv was taught as theater games to kids in community centers as a way to improve communication and confidence. Nowadays, Busy schedules and constant attention to technology leave us wondering how to engage with our kids in “play”, or how to create more laughter and joy throughout everyday life. Improv is the answer. And improv time can happen anytime. At home, in the car or just schedule it in as family time! See more humor in daily life with a new perspective. Dare to be silly!
Improv fosters literacy skill development, creative problem solving, analysis, and interpretation. They are the authors, actors, and audience. Students learn about the value of patience and listening without interrupting. This demonstrates respect for the group and what is being created over what any individual wants to say. We discuss the power in positive speech and how it relates to life by introducing the improv fundamental practice of agreeability and “Yes anding…”. This way of thinking presents multi points of view, encourages active listening and responding with complete sentences. For students who are nervous or shy, playing improv games can be a great way to create confidence. For those students who already have confidence, but need to work on volume and clarity improv provides a practice for them. We relate our teachings to the real world, therefore making a huge difference in the child’s life, which can inspire choices and behaviors for an entire lifetime to come.
YES! Let’s for COUPLES
YES! Let’s for COUPLES creates an environment for couples to explore creativity, imagination and freedom. When we approach our relationships with an improvisational mindset, we leave space for magical things to happen in the here and now. We take a break from being grounded in reality to discover new things about one another with no inhibitions. By creating characters that live in imaginary worlds together we explore endless possibilities that stimulate a newfound curiosity in one another. Improv teaches us to be adaptive, responsive and flexible and to not be controlled by our expectations, fantasies and fears. Like life, improv has no script. It goes moment by moment and those moments happen fast. With various games, exercises and scenes we practice active listening, positive linguistics and agreeability. We stay present, increasing our capacity to respond genuinely instead of focusing on what we want to say next. By doing this we open ourselves up to loving abundantly and unconditionally and embrace the extraordinary and the unexpected.
YES! LET’S FOR THE WORKPLACE
YES! Let’s for the WORKPLACE uses techniques of improvisation to develop strong communication skills, creative problem solving, effective collaboration, and supportive team-work abilities. In business, we don’t always agree with our co-workers or clients, but we may be able to turn that negative into a positive, if we can start first with ‘yes, and’ instead of the default setting of ‘no, but,’. In that respect, “yes, and” can be the antidote to workplace negativity. “YES, Let’s follow that idea for a moment, to see where it goes.” Through various fun exercises we explore building new ideas & offer suggestions by staying present in active listening, instead of thinking about what to say next. We focus on the power of positive linguistics, to create acknowledgment, confidence and co-worker empowerment. We remove our own egos in the service of the bigger picture. In a safe environment individuals are free to face fears such as public speaking & social anxiety, leaving room for them to grow, self-express and reach their fullest potential. Improv isn’t cleverness training or joke training. It’s really about the infrastructure of communicating, reducing barriers and increasing acceptance and connection.
YES! Let’s SING
YES! Let’s SING is energizing and exhilarating! We create songs in the moment where we truly focus the mind on the present and have fun. Learn the building blocks of song structure and melody to create spontaneous musicals without any pre-planned content. We warm up with vocal exercises, rhyming games, create songs from a familiar tune, choose silly voices, explore characters, go from scenes to songs and more. Express yourself to the max! We sing acapella, with a piano player, and with pre made tracks. Be inspired to make BIG choices as we experiment with duets, solos, group songs, various music genres, styles, tempos, and opening numbers. Build stories and expand your creative mind. The sky’s the limit. No matter if you’re a classically trained singer, or can’t hold a note, if you can talk, you can sing!
YES! LET’S IS INSPIRED BY THESE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF IMPROV:
Listen: To the person who is talking. Don’t be in your head about what you should say next, because then you’re going to miss something really important.
Agree, and add something: contribute. Lay on another brick to the foundation you’re all building together. Everyone is part of the moment, and everyone contributes in a positive manner.
No judgment: anything goes, anything can happen. The crazier it is, the more you push forward. Life is crazy, and when you place judgment on yourself or others, you build walls. Break them down and be in awe of what can happen.
The moment: Know that it’s there... and then it’s gone: this moment has never happened before, and it’ll never happen again — and so the moment is truly unique and special.
Simplify & seek truth: at the end, it’s all about the relationship you’ve built with your (scene) partner. Human connection is the foundation of it all.
Be present: knowing that the moment is singular, it forces you to quiet everything else in your mind and be present. Vigilant. Focused. There’s no time to analyze or over-analyze. There’s just time to be.
Support each other: there’s no individual; it is about the group. When the group succeeds, you succeed. Take away the ego, and together build something awesome.
Be yourself: somehow, in this space, it’s the safest place to be. No judgment and all support. All you have to do is bring yourself — not scripted characters nor rehearsed lines.
Follow the fear: it seems like the simplest thing in the world, but the scariest and most difficult at all once. You just have to gulp and jump right in. Just as in life, where there is resistance there is the possibility to be your greatest self. Build confidence to make choices and stick with them.
Improvisation cultivates the growth mindset. Improvisation lets you turn each move in a robust move. Improvisation takes you to new adventures.
Adopt the improv mindset and experience its rewards, as it shines through relationships, career and your daily life.
About Andriana Santiago
Teaching the YES! Let’s Workshop: Weekly classes at La Luz Studios in Brooklyn, NY (2012-2016), Ella Baker After School Youth Program (Sept-Dec ‘14), Bushwick Community Summer Youth Gatherings (May & June ‘15) & PEX Music & Arts Festival (July’15), Gratitude Migration Festival (July’15), Burningman Music & Arts Festival (August 2015), Tea Lab Immersive Theater Experience Summer & Fall 2015, Yoga Retreats in Tulum Mexico (Jan’16), Hawaii (Apr’16), Alchemical Studios (June ’16 - Jan ‘17).
Training History: 5 Years Improv & Musical Improv Training with various instructors from Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Peoples Improv Theater (PIT), Magnet Improv Theater & Annoyance Theater with Robert Acevedo, Michael Short, Frank Angelini, Stoddard Blackall, Zach Myers, Brad Kula, Andrew Tisher, Anthony Oberbeck, Stefan Wenger, Ben Weinstein.
- Andriana has thrived in the NYC Arts community for over 10 years in as a performer & curator. Currently, she creates daily songs (@AndrianaSINGS). Andriana is multifaceted. She performs with her guitar at comedy clubs and music venues while also creating performance art pieces with costumes, props, dance, circus, glamorous fancy gowns and other instrumentalists such as cello and piano.
Andriana is a classically trained dancer in ballet, tap & jazz. She consigns her jewelry made from damaged vinyl records around nyc. You’ll often find Andriana hosting Vegan Pot Luck Music Jams or catering underground events with delicious healthy food.
Andriana co-founded La Luz Studios, a performing arts facility & school in Brooklyn (2012-2016). La Luz Studios thrived in Bushwick, Brooklyn from 2012-2016 as innovative environment with the aim to create possibilities that inspire awareness & positive change in the world through progressive, social & community activities by offering space and support for local and international creatives, performers, teachers, scientists, and spiritual leaders to share ideas, teach and hold space.
The La Luz physical space housed several fully equipped rental studios: 2000sqft Flex Space & Photo/Film Studio. 500sqft Vintage Store/Prop Shop. 1000sqft Dance/Rehearsal/Class Studio. 150sqft Recording Studio. 150sqft Sewing room. 100sqft Healing Room. 250sqft Kitchen.
Over the years La Luz hosted classes aimed towards empowerment, communication, & holistic healing such as dance, comedy, & healthy cooking. Our monthly events included a comedy + variety show, vegan pot luck music jam, and sound healing mediation.