Stories consist for at least 90% of characters reacting to events. By truly reacting as your character, you get that 90% of the story for free! Anyone can learn to "be" the character instead of "play" the character. Doing so, those reactions, and thus the stories come naturally - without effort. Characters and stories will be richer, funnier, more focused and definitely more varied, and without effort. Imagine raising an eyebrow unconsciously and receiving a generous laugh instantaneously... that is the simple power of acting in improv.
LET THE STORY
COME TO YOU
“I found in Roemer an extraordinary empathic capacity, personal attention, combined with a careful and detailed analysis of the dramatic situation.”
- Roberto Garelli
It starts with acting
The combination of good acting and improv is an intense and freeing experience. In my lessons, I aim to make players discover the arsenal of unused characters that reside within them, that are fascinating, varied, surprising, funny yet complex, and the amazing stories these characters have to tell - without the actor doing much work.
Acting in improv is so much fun and requires so much less technical skills than regular acting!
(Improv) actors often have very great story telling skills or acting skills, but we see them rarely used both at the same time. Yet doing exactly that makes your improv so much easier, more powerful, subtle, diverse! Who truly identifies with their role, will react truthfully to anything that happens and thus send the story automatically in the right direction. The story just befalls you! No confusion, no more focus problems, no more not knowing what to do - all that just disappears magically. Next step is to recognize the beats of your story - pretty easy once you have a little training - and you will never have a dragging story again.
How I work
By loving but ruthless side coaching I will provide you with the tools to be really in the here and now, and to be truthful to your character. Without losing sight of story structure, theatrical techniques or humor.
To me, good improv is not only born out of saying "yes", opening up and story skills, but also out of purity. Realness. As soon as we stop pretending and constructing stories - and I will stop you - it actually becomes hard not to affect your audience. Either by a laugh or a tear - or both at the same time. Hilarity and goosebumps combine very well!
I teach in English, Dutch and
German and understand
quite a bit Italian
and French (but not fluent)
Interested? These are some of my lessons!
Anything from an introduction (4 hrs, 1 day or 2 days) to longer series of lessons. Max 12 players, pref. (very) advanced.
Surprise yourself. Make improv more fun, easier, and more varied by being your character instead of playing them. My most popular workshop that I teach so gladly. Improve the basics of your improv, whilst having fun and goosebumps.
ActING in improvisatiON
3 or 4 hrs. Max 12 players. Musician needed.
Lyrics of a famous nr 1 hit? "Na, nana-nananana, nananana, hey Jude"- repeat 30x.
Forget clever or rhyming lyrics. Music is about connection. Connect to the music, the subject, yourself, and your words. The more connection, the less words you need, and the more music will come out of your mouth.
2 to 6 hrs.
Nothing is more fun than seeing players having a good time on stage. Or wait, there is: characters having a good time! Not only is it contagious, your character will also be much more interesting! Discover just how much problems and conflict are overrated in improv. From hilarious wacky fun to beautiful, subtle friendships, from coarse jokes to truly sweet people - the audience will love it!
TAKING FUN SERIOUSLY
One or more days. Props and cloths needed.
In Holland we have some improvisation formats that have been quite successful in the Dutch theaters and television. They were originally designed for actors, unexperienced in improv. Many improvisers, however, love them too, because now they can give their characters some real depth! I will teach you the formats (short or long) and make you find what makes well acted scenes/plays work.
2 to 6 hrs.
What makes a character fun to play?
What makes a character fun to watch?
A search for characters that will elate you.
A search for love, contrast and extremes.
3 to 12 hrs. Not for beginning players.
Lover's word games. A trusting hand on a shoulder. Looking each other in the eyes. Enjoying listening. Having fake arguments about nothing. Happy or trusting silences. In this workshop we free ourselves from the idea that intimacy on stage should be something big or special or dangerous or wet. Mostly, it's of the most powerful tools in improv. When done well, it instantaneously creates relationships and stories like nothing else. Plus it is so much fun to watch.
Playing on location brings all kinds of challenges, but is super fun to do. Each location is different and requires a different style acting. Volume, articulation, adapted staging and how big or subtle you need to play for maximum effect. We will look at the unique possibilities that each location offers. Workshop tailored to your needs; available locations without bystanders needed.
PLAYING ON LOCATION
Nobel prize winner and Keith Johnstone-fan Harold Pinter wrote his amazing plays in an improvising way. After writing: "Yes, dad", he would think things like "Since he calls him ‘Dad’ it seems reasonable to assume that they are father and son." Discover the fun and theatrical power of not listening, changing the subject, not responding, not defining, power plays, talking at cross purposes, misunderstandings, monologues out of discomfort and much more. Very usable in improv, yet so different! (Video's.)
(Advanced level, two or more days.)
Of course, the above lessons are only a few of the possibilities. With 18 years of teaching experience, there is much more that I can do for you. Whether you want me to help you with a format your group has rehearsed, give you new impulses in short form comedy, dissolve trust issues within your group, lead a brainstorm session on the theatricality of your performances, direct a play -- my extensive experience with theater, improvisation, film and screenplays can probably be of service.
WHAT THEY SAY
"An adept trainer, both from the point of view of improvisation and theater, but above all capable in the human aspect. I found in Roemer an extraordinary empathic capacity, personal attention, combined with a careful and detailed analysis of the dramatic situation. He is very good at observing and exploring the actions and relationships between characters, their emotions and, based on this, to provide incisive instructions and suggestions in order to deepen the truth of the scene. I would definitely recommend his work, having experienced it, very valid in every respect."
-- Roberto Garelli, Italy
"Roemer Lievaart as a teacher has a rare gift of finding acting skills with so called amateurs and professional actors get a pleasant dive into the refreshening water of improvised theater. The scenes we played were all so touching and I would recommend anyone to take one of his classes as soon as one have a chance!"
-- John Pekkari, Sweden
"Acting in improv was just an amazing experience. So quickly, Roemer skillfully guided us deeper and deeper, to become meaningful, versatile characters, form real connections and the best thing - have so much fun playing those characters. A must!"
-- Shani Demirel-Felder, Israël
"Roemer's approach to Impro is very humane, theatrical and works on emotional details that usually are not covered in regular workshops. I really love his style and still remember plenty of amazing scenes we did in his workshop. Highly reccomended!"
-- Pedro Borges, Portugal
"Roemer approached every topic with depth and complexity. His teaching was still easy to follow and he structured the workshop in a way that made the topic very approachable. Within very short time we were able to play complex and emotional scenes with each other.
I teach intimacy on stage myself and still got many amazing new impulses and ideas that I could not only apply to my work on stage as an actress but also to my work as a teacher. I really profited from this day. I learned new tools, got inspiration for a new format and motivation to play with even more variety. Altogether Roemer's workshop was one of the most inspiring ones I took. I can highly recommend his teaching!"
-- Sophia Lierenfeld, Germany
"I have been improvising for more than 6 years and was stuck in a rut... playing formulatically. Recycling the same jokes to get the laughs. Fortunately I was able to do a small three hour workshop with Roemer in which he made me remember why I started doing improvisation in the first place. Just saying that it was reminding me to do the basics of feeling, not showing, of commitment and connection, would be doing a disservice to how much it recharged my playing."
-- Yogesh Upadhyaya, Mumbai, India
"We've truly had one of the most engaging and insightful weekends"
-- Improv Banagalore, India.
"... the more you relax and really think as your character, the more you appear realistic and enjoy the work, feeling it, loving it. Some moments were soooo touching, either acting or just watching."-- Valentina Iovara, Italy
"Credo che a volte gli improvvisatori si complichino tanto la vita per trovare l'idea geniale senza rendersi conto che le storie si creano attraverso la vita di tutti i giorni. Mi è piaciuto moltissimo lavorare sul personaggio. Mi piace l'idea che l'attore sia un piccolo supervisore esterno che interviene solo se necessario lasciando spazio al personaggio. È stata una lezione semplice se vogliamo ma nella sua semplicità è stata illuminante e coinvolgente." -- Elena Sfilio, Torino, Italy.
"The Acting Workshop with Roemer is truly amazing. It is so important to stay truthful in the scenes, in the moment. And Roemer will not be fooled - he sees exactly what is truthful and what is not. Have learned beautiful tools how to connect with the scene partner and how to let the truthful moments happen. Highly recommend this workshop. Smart idea to combine acting exercises / skills with improv. So helpful!"
-- Marina Dodlek, Munich, Germany
I have a strong love for playing improvised full length plays, or other theatrical improvisations. A good show to me contains not only comedy but also realistic, intimate, bizarre, grotesque, recognizable, absurd or disturbing stories. As an actor I draw inspiration from regular theater, where theater makers try to find new forms, new borders and new relevancy avery day. And I am fascinated by improvised acting, where you can get an honesty, unexpectedness and recognisability that is nearly impossible in rehearsed theater.
I play mostly in Utrecht en Amsterdam, in theaters and on location. Internationally I've played in Germany, Belgium, Finland, Italy, Switzerland, Estonia, France en India.
I play at and (co-)founded the following improv troupes:
▶ Rocky Amaretto Theatrical Improvisation, intimate and personal.
▶ VastGoedToneel Dutch (semi-)improvised plays on location.
▶ Forest and Shade A sweet and weird freeform trio (& duo's) with my American good friends Isaac Simon and John Mabey.
I am artistic leader and founder of:
▶ Theatergroep station De Wereld Dutch full length improvised plays.
Earlier I (co-)founded and played with:
▶ The Naked Stage Fully improvised plays, after (and in collaboration with) Tim Orr (USA).
▶ The Fluffy Suicide Bunnies. Anarchistic improv comedy.
▶ Alter Duo. Impro with Anja Boorsma inspired by Harold Pinter en Samuel Beckett.
▶ Dogville Impro Inspired by the famous Lars von Trier film.
In the past and present I played with and taught many other groups.
Originally I am schooled as a scriptwriter (Filmacademie Amsterdam, 1997) en actor (acteursopleiding De Trap, Amsterdam, 2011/2017).
I play improv since 1999, travelled quite a lot to get lessons from the best: like Patti Stiles, Tim Orr, Keith Johnstone, Randy Dixon, Shawn McKinley, Inbal Lori, Felipe Ortiz, Andy Eninger, Chris Johnston, Barbara Scott, Stephen Sim, Joe Bill, and many others.
It is the combination of the subject areas I studied that fascinate me: creating stories, truthful acting en improvising.
I am writing an e-book on the unbelievable power of acting in improv.
I expect to release it fall 2019.