We are a membership based organization that collects monthly dues in exchange for providing training, performances, compensation, and resources. We reward members with additional perks and reduced membership dues as they become more tenured within our organization.
All of our members receive the following Perks regardless of their member designation and membership dues amount.
All of our members perform regularly and frequently at The Comedy Clubhouse in Chicago, the highest rated venue in the city. Our members perform a minimum of 24 times a year and 30% have over 50 performances a year. In addition to regular performances, Members may also be asked to perform in our Main Stage Theatrical, Main Stage Showcase, or Main Stage Improv Ensemble.
100% Admission Commission
For every audience member that purchases a ticket online that indicates that they are there to see you, 100% of their ticket will go to you. We'll cover the transaction costs and do all the work. Quarterly paychecks.
In addition to admission commission, we provide direct compensation to performers for corporate performances and off-hour buy-outs.
Whether in regular rehearsals, classes, or online, we work hard to make sure you learn and get better. Unlike other institutions, with us, you are a permanent performing member right away and we have a vested interest in making you better.
Anonymous Reporting System
An online and app-based system that allows our members to report any discomfort and communicate anonymously in order to seek a resolution.
Get Free Admission to all One Group Mind performances at The Comedy Clubhouse. Learn by watching experienced improvisers!
Get 1 Free Complimentary Ticket for every one of your performances. Unlimited complimentary tickets for industry representatives that you invite.
We record all of your performances and make them available online for studying or building your portfolio!
Work Assistance Program
We have partnerships with City Staffing and Satiated Artists, two companies that assist our members in finding employment that is compatible with the schedules of performers.
Our box office, cleaning, and bookkeeping staff are all members that are paid hourly.
SAG-AFTRA Q & A
All of our members are invited to join our annual Q & A with members of SAG-AFTRA who answer all of our questions regarding the industry and the best way to build a career.
We have arranged discounts for our members to obtain their headshots from qualified and experienced photographers.
The Comedy Clubhouse
Our home, The Comedy Clubhouse is a 50 seat comedy club located at the nexus of the Chicago neighborhoods of Wicker Park, Bucktown, Lincoln Yards, and Noble Square at 1462 N. Ashland, Chicago, IL 60622. We have all types of comedic performances that our improv members can participate in.
Main Stage Theatrical
Our Main Stage Theatrical features 8 actors playing over 100 characters in 1 play that uses no props and long form improv technique to get from one scene to the next. Our last theatrical was a Critic's Pick in PerformInk.
Main Stage Improv Ensemble
This group performs short, mid, and long form improvisation in a single slot.
Sponsored Show Program
Put up your own show! As a member, any show you petition will get 4 instances without charge. We supply the space, the staff, the ticketing, and all the administrative support. You market the show, perform, and receive 50% of total ticket sales! If the show is successful we negotiate a long term extension.
Main Stage Showcases
From time to time we put up showcases to highlight diverse talent or diverse skills within our organization.
This is performance slot where our Ensemble members perform their forms for 8 weeks at a time.
All of our Members begin as Apprentices and automatically become Ensemble Members after the 4 month training period. House Teams and Resident Teams are by invite only. Each subsequent level has a different method and frequency of training, as well as a reduction in membership dues.
OUR TRAINING PROGRAM
All of our teachers draw from one consistent theory, the Expansion Tree, which can be seen as the "string theory" to all long form improvisation. Discovered in 2005, the Expansion Tree arms the improviser and group with techniques that can be used to react to any and every situation. The process stresses truly reacting to the dynamic of the piece as the events unfold, rather than using a defined structure that may be predictable to the audience. The presentation usually involves a more cohesive performance that stays ahead of audience expectations while allowing the artists to collaborate together using the same language. More importantly, it allows the comedian to learn and practice comedy in a productive environment.
Our Apprentices are in a 12 week training program followed by three performances in roughly weeks 13, 14 and 15. You will learn the basics of our improv theory including, characters, relationship, and the basic techniques we use to expand on scenes and move from scene to scene. You will perform a monologue inspired long form improv piece as your performance piece.
When a member is an Apprentice, they pay $75 a month in monthly dues.
Auditions are held every 6 months in December and in June. The only available Apprentice Class times are Sunday at 12:30pm and Saturday at 12:30pm. The performance will occur on three consecutive Monday nights at 8pm.
Our Ensemble members have class for 8 weeks followed by 8 weeks of performances in "Modules" that last a total of 16 weeks. Each module is geared toward a specific type of long form improvisation that teaches the comedian and improviser different types of comedy and techniques.
The Direct Expansion Tree – Teaches storytelling, characters, and relationships while using walk-ons, tag-outs, swinging doors, split scenes, and transformations to get from scene to scene.
The Deconstruction – Teaches joke telling, absurd universes, and commentaries and can add the techniques of starting in the middle of a scene and piece runs.
The Movie – Teaches audience perspective, rotations, and viewpoints and uses slides, zooms, pans, minimizing, and maximizing as a means of going from scene to scene.
Single Location – teaches slides, scenes around the corner, and techniques that emphasize proximity.
Out and Back – teaches the cut to, the bottle episode scene, the group spine scene, and internal commentaries
Small Numbers – teaches ghosting, cloning, voice throws, bending space, and bending time.
The Bat – a piece in the dark, teaches environmental noise, along with showing that all other edits in previous forms are possible
Python – teaches ignored absurdity in characters, relationships, environments, and edits.
The only available Ensemble class time is Sundays at 3:30pm. The only Ensemble performance time is Sundays at 8pm. FREE UP YOUR SUNDAYS!
House Team Program
For those looking to pursue improv more rigorously, we invite some of our ensemble members to join a house team of no more than 9 people. House teams are coached directly by our Artistic Director, Mike Abdelsayed, in every other week rehearsals and perform every other week on the same day and the same time. Teams are reviewed periodically but may perform together in perpetuity. House Teams begin exploring pieces that discover their form as they are played. They learn how to react to pieces as they unfold and to look at the suggestion as possibly the means by which they present the scene to the audience. They also begin exploring how team chemistry impacts their work.
We also extend additional benefits to house members and above:
Pay for private events ($25 minimum at home shows, $50 for away shows)
Can perform in any Ensemble form as a substitute
Team Listed on www.thecomedyclubhouse.com
Festival submission reimbursement after acceptance
Our House Team members pay $45 a month in monthly dues.
The available times for rehearsal are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights ad are based on the member's availability.
Resident Team Program
When a team is experienced enough, they are promoted to a Resident Team with no changes or reviews in future casts. Resident Teams can perform weekly, on the weekend, and are coached by their coach when the team requests it.
We also extend additional benefits to Resident members and above:
Paid corporate and touring events
Can coach at $15 an hour
Can teach Apprentice classes at $20 an hour
Sponsored Class Program (Ability to teach your class with no rent, all administration covered by One Group Mind, and 50% of tuition going to you)
Featured team on website with performance day and time
Agent introduction where appropriate
Our Resident Team members pay $30 a month in monthly dues.
Creative Artistic Director
Mike is the designer of our Training Program, in addition to being the owner of The Comedy Clubhouse in Chicago, and the founder and Artistic Director of both One Group Mind and The Titanic Players. Mike was an iO coach and house team performer, an understudy for Keegan Michael-Key at Second City, and a member of Second City's Outreach and Diversity Company. Mike has improvised for over 25 years and has coached over 100 teams, some for as long as 6 years. Many of his students have continued successful careers in The Office, Community, Arrested Development, Saturday Night Live, Reno 911!, the Jimmy Kimmel Show, Cougartown, The Mindy Project, Man Seeking Woman, Last Man on Earth, Key and Peele, Parks and Recreation, the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and the Ellen Degeneres show, to name just a few! In addition to 25 years of improvisational experience, Mike graduated from Northwestern University with a double major in Economics and Communications. You can currently see Mike perform regularly at The Comedy Clubhouse with the acclaimed group, Tricky Mickey.