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by Darren Held

I’ve gotten some questions lately about how exactly the Held2gether performing troupes are structured and how they “work,” as well as at what point students get to perform. So, since I have to write something, I’ll answer those questions here in case other people have been wondering as well.

Different improv schools handle performances differently; some have student showcases at the end of every session, some have no performances until you’ve reached a certain level, some have none at all. There are pros and cons to each, and reasons why schools would opt for one route over another.

At Held2gether, we don’t do student showcases. We do, however, offer certain classes (referred to as “performance classes” on the website) that culminate with a performance for the public – all of these are intermediate to advanced level classes that require students to have completed some combination of H2G’s Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, sketch writing, long form and/or sketch performing classes. All of the specific pre-requisites and performance opportunities for each class are listed on the website. We had the Short Form Performance Class graduation shows this past weekend, and they were super fun.

As far as the Held2gether troupes, here’s the deal: We have two troupes called the Held2gether Main Company and the Held2gether Friday Company. The Main Company performs the 4th Saturday of (almost) every month, and whenever we perform we have a member of the Friday Company as our “special guest.” The Friday Company performs the 1st Friday of (almost) every month, and whenever they perform, they have a special guest that Darren invites – usually somebody from one of the advanced/specialty classes.

We don’t have open auditions for the troupes – they are set until somebody leaves, and then Darren makes a decision as to how to fill their spot based on the overall needs of the troupe at that point in time. It’s not a matter of somebody having been in classes “long enough” to join the Friday Company or people in the Friday Company moving up to the Main Company based on seniority.

All that being said, those of us who have the honor of performing in either of the H2G troupes know what a special privilege that is, and we definitely don’t take it for granted. We take classes continually to hone our skills and keep improving because we are determined to represent H2G to the best of our abilities and to be good role models for the concept of “improv for life.”

Hope that answers your questions, peeps.

By Sonnjea Blackwell

Darren Held
About Darren Held
Darren is the CEO and Creative Director of Held2gether, Improv for LIfe. He has been teaching and performing improv for 15 years, and has performed with H2g, the Groundlings, UCB and Second City. He loves Moto, red wine, and Madonna.

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