Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Experienced Improvisers Needed: Auditions

Are you an experienced improv comedian looking for a place to flex your comedic muscle? Secret City Comics Society is looking for experienced improvisational comedians to join the ranks.

Our Vision

Secret City exists to bring professional comedy to Orange County and at the same time reaching a broad audience, which means we perform clean. Yes, it is possible and our track record has proved it.

The Myth of Performing Clean

Clean comedy does not mean its children's comedy or watered down comedy. As comedians, we portray everyday life on stage and through improvisation, we turn it on its head. There is so much to life to poke fun at without resorting to swearing or sexual innuendo. Consider it a challenge with a great payoff.

Experienced Performers Wanted

Qualifications :
  • must have improv comedy experience, either part of an existing group or took classes with us or other groups.
  • must be willing to perform clean.
  • must be able to attend Tuesday night rehearsal in Fullerton
  • must be able to perform at least 3 or more nights every month on either Friday or Saturday

Our Team

Secret City has been in existence since 2010. We are still a young group and we are still growing our fan base. We have a core group of performers and we're looking to expand our family.

In that short year we received the honor of Best Improv Group in Orange County from the editors at the OC Weekly.

Secret City Comics Society is passionate about bringing clean, all ages comedy to Orange County. By no means is our show a children's show, but we are considered a safe place to laugh for all ages.

Who am I?

My name is Alan Ng, Created Director of Secret City Comics Soceity

• Former Senior member of National Comedy Theater in San Diego from 2001 to 2011.
• Professional improvisers since 1993.
• Taught improv classes since 2004.
• Trained with improv teachers Pat Dade (Stella Adler) and Greg Atkins (South Coast Reperatory).
• Long time resident of Orange County

Audition Information

We hold auditions 2-3 times each year. Visit our website for our next audition

Hints on succeeding at the audition. We're looking for performers who are comfortable on stage, have a working knowledge of improv games, performs good scenework and works well as a team.

We are less interested in crazy characters, wacky suggestions and telling jokes.

Hope to see you soon.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Small Business Saturday - Great Deals and Raffle Opportunity

Come support small businesses this Saturday on the busiest shopping weekend of the year. Secret City Comics Society is pleased to be participating this year. Yes, struggling comedy theaters are small businesses. Plus downtown Fullerton is loaded with gift shops, restaurants and other businesses that you can help. Make sure you put a little money aside and spend it on a local small business instead of that mean old big box corporation.

In honor of Small Business Saturday, you can purchase a gift certificate for $25, which is good for 4 adults to see any of our shows. That’s a great deal. You can save it as a gift or use it at any of our shows this weekend.

Special Raffle from Fullerton Chamber of Commerce.

For each gift certificate, you purchase from Secret City, you will receive one raffle ticket to win one of 200 American Express Gift Cards from the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce.  Go to the Fullerton Chamber ofCommerce for rules, eligibility and details. This promotion runs from November 24 to December 29.

Special Promotion for America Express Cardholders.

$25 credit on your American Express statement. Spend $25 or more at any small business participating in Small Business Saturday, like Secret City Comics Society and American Express will credit your next statement $25. IMPORTANT: You have to enroll at the Small Business Saturday website in order to be eligible – www.smallbusinesssaturday.com. It’s like getting 4 tickets to our show FREE!

Please help support local small business and join us at Secret City Comics Society for a night of laughter for you and your friends. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

3rd Annual OC Improv Cup

It's that time of the year again, where all the improv troupes in Orange County gather together to perform for a worthy cause. That event is the OC Improv Cup headed by the Spectacles Improv Engine in Fullerton, CA. Friday & Saturday November 16 & 17.

Secret City Comics Society is pleased to participate for the second year in a row and we had a great time performing and building bonds with other groups in the area. Last year, we helped raise over $3,000 for the Painted Turtles organization and audience donations helped with donations during the show that night.

The OC Improv Cup is truly a unique improv event. It's not a competition of all the improv troupes in Orange County to see who's best. 2 Members from each group are paired with 2 members of another group and they work together to make you laugh.

Just so you're aware of what's happening the weekend of the cup (this weekend)...

Friday, we are performing a warm up show at 8:00 pm at our theater. We'll then head to Stages Theatre at 11:00 when our first members compete. This night half the participates will be eliminated based on show performance by professional comedy judges.

Saturday, all members will move on to the next day (because we're that good!) and at 6:00, we compete and  winning will be based on Audience vote. If you can attend Saturday's show, we could use the votes.

Here are the Secret City Members competing in this year's cup.

Joey Shope and Keegan Lund

Daniel Eachus and Dimithri Perea

Manny Ortiz and Jessica Rose

Rocco Ambrosio and Jared Lomeli

Melissa Kirkpatrick

The Painted Turtle offers children with serious medical conditions and their families a unique camp experience designed to foster personal growth and exploration. Our goal is to empower campers—to make new friends, try new things, build self-confidence, and become more independent in their medical care. In short, we aspire to help our campers discover all that is possible in their lives.

If you want to help, here's how!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Kids Improv Comedy Show Premieres At Secret City Comics Society In Time For Halloween

Secret City Comics Society Press Release - 10/22/2012

Secret City Comics Society, an all ages improvisational comedy theater based in Orange County, CA, is pleased to announce the debut of unique improvisational comedy show designed specifically for kids on Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in Downtown Fullerton.

Fullerton, CA October 22, 2012 -- Secret City Comics Society (SCCS) will debut their first improv comedy show directly for children on Saturday, October 27, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. at their theater in Downtown Fullerton. The show consists of actors performing improv games and scenes specifically designed to entertain boys and girls ages 6 and older. The show is highly interactive and requires their involvement. The shows games and scenes will be based on suggestions taken directly from kids in the audience and some games will require audience volunteers.

On October 26-27, Secret City Comic Society brings back their Halloween Spectacular. It is during this special weekend that theater is transformed into a Halloween wonderland and special Halloween-themed games are dusted off the shelf and brought back as a "ghoulish delight". 

Halloween also presented Secret City the opportunity to perform their first children's show during the Saturday show at 6:30. "Our shows throughout the year are unique because families can go out for a night of comedy and bring their kids to our shows knowing that its a safe place to laugh," says Bryan Shigekawa, General Manager. "But our regular show was designed strictly with older audiences in mind. We thought the Halloween season was the perfect time to introduce a children's show in one of our three shows that weekend."

"Throughout the year, we've performed shows for young audiences at schools, churches and summer programs in Orange County," says Alan Ng, Creative Director. "It dawned on us that we've never done a kid's show at our home theater in Downtown Fullerton. We love performing for all ages but we love even more the unique challenge facing us as we take suggestions that only kids can yell out."

Secret City Comics Society has been entertaining Orange County since June 2011 with their unique brand of clean all ages improvisation comedy. SCCS shows are Friday nights at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday nights at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Tickets for this show are discounted to $7.50 and can be purchased online.

For more information about Halloween Spectacular event, visit www.secretcitycomedy.com/halloween or contact Alan Ng at 855-467-7687 ext. 0.

About Secret City Comics Society

Secret City Comics Society (SCCS) performs improvisational comedy shows suitable for all ages in downtown Fullerton. The shows feature comedic scenes and games made up by actors based on suggestions from the audience. Performances are every Friday and Saturday nights.

Friday, March 2, 2012

New to the Show...The Challenge Board

If you haven't been to a show recently, we've introduced a new feature called "The Challenge Board."

In the past, you, the audience, would pick a game from a bucket and then the captains would pick a game.

We've done away with the bucket. In fact, captains no longer choose games. All games played in the second and third round are chosen by you, the audience.

The concept is simple. There are several kinds of challenges to chose from:

  • Audience
  • Emotion
  • Genre
  • Justification
  • Musical
  • Mystery
  • Shtick
  • Torture
During the show, you will be asked to select a challenge. Under each challenge are two games. You select the game and it's played right on the spot.

For example, if you chose the "Justification Challenge", the games "Blind Line" and "Fresh Choice" may appear.  You select from one of the two and that's the game to play.

The board will be in full effect for this weekend's shows; Friday at 8pm and Saturday at 6:30 and 8:30 pm.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Secret City : Origins Story

Fans have wondered about Secret City and how it came into existence. I thought I would share with you that story.

My name is Alan Ng and I'm the creative director and co-founder of SCCS. In 1992, I discovered the art form of improvisational comedy. It was something I thought I could do and soon realized that it was not as easy as I thought it would be.

As a result I sought training. My training consisted of South Coast Repertory with Greg Atkins, a short stint at Improv Olympic in Hollywood. But my greatest influence was my first teacher Pat Dade, who now teaches at Stella Adler in Hollywood. She's still teaching improv there today and I highly recommend her class. Pat showed me that improv was more than just standing on stage and coming up with clever remarks, but it was working as a team to tell a story.

As with any improv class, I couldn't afford to continue to pay to perform improv. It was time to join a group. My first group was called Just Us. They were an already established group and I was fortunate to join them in the late 1990's. We performed at various bars and night clubs in Orange County and fortunate to perform regularly at the Irvine Improv.

In 2001, I auditioned and joined National Comedy Theater in San Diego. For the next ten years, I would become a senior performer as well as teach improv workshop. During my tenure there, NCT would open another theater in New York and a fellow cast mate would open a National Comedy Theater in Phoenix. In addition, NCT would consistently win fan appreciation surveys and soon become the longest running theater show in San Diego. They perform every weekend to packed audiences.

In 2009, my personal life changed with the addition of my youngest child. Traveling from Orange County to San Diego was becoming difficult. My business partner, Bryan Shigekawa, and I decided that now was the perfect time to open a theater in Orange County.

Our goal was to take the business model and show from San Diego and bring it to Orange County. The directors of both San Diego and Phoenix were invaluable in their advice for not only pulling together a team, but in the difficulties of starting a business.

They say that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." That's true for Secret City. I will be the first to admit that the format of the show you saw at opening was a direct copy of the shows I performed in San Diego for the last ten years. Why? Because it works. Because it's simple.

The reality is that show formats are just gimmicks. This show and every show like it is nothing if you don't have a cast that can make audiences laugh. My proudest achievement over the last year of Secret City's existence is the team now performing for you without them and their talent, we would have nothing.

Over the next few months, you'll see some minor changes to the show format. We plan on having some special events to break the monotony. But what won't change is our commitment to make you laugh; to take on the challenges that you, the audience, throws our way; and to create a safe place for you to laugh. In other words, clean shows for all ages.

With that, I'd like to personally invite you to come down to Secret City Comics Society for an evening of improvisational comedy. Bring your family, friends, social groups. It's a safe place to laugh.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Recap of Last Night's Show

It's kind of fun when you find an iPhone app that you can actually use. We were able to produce a time lapse video of last night's 8:30 pm show. See if you can figure out what games we played. Free tickets to first person to identify 4 games in chronological order.

Stay tuned to this blog. We'll be announcing new changes to our show.

Monday, January 16, 2012

7 Tips For Becoming Stage-Ready

by Daniel Eachus, Secret City Cast Member

Improvisational comedy is a difficult art form, and there are many skills involved in attempting to master it. Here are seven important pieces of advice that I feel will take an improv comedy performer to the level necessary to be able to perform for an audience on a regular basis.

#7. Don’t try to be funny.
It’s weird that a comedian would not try to be funny, but it never works with improv. You can ruin the scene for your partners, and they may never want to work with you again. Let the comedy come naturally to the scene.

#6. Know your pop culture.
I’m not asking you to be ready for Jeopardy, but you have to be ready for any suggestions that people throw out, and most of the time, the suggestions have to do with what’s relevant in pop culture.

#5. Take notes.
Take notes on every performance you do. Make sure to list what you did wrong, as well as what you did right. Create goals for yourself and work on them, slowly, one by one.

#4. Practice, a lot.
I know it seems ironic that you have to practice an improvised art form, but improv is just that – an art form, and it takes a lot of skill honing to perfect it. Just like with everything, the more you do it, the better you will get. Improv is no exception.

#3. Confidence is key.
The audience doesn’t know if you’ve been doing improv for twenty years or if it’s your first twenty seconds onstage. If you go in with confidence, then your scene partners will feel more confident about you and put on a better show themselves.

#2. Have fun onstage.
If you’re having fun, chances are the audience will be having fun. This can be the difference from a good show and a memorable one.

#1. Do not fear failure.
When you embrace your failures, then every performance you do becomes a workshop for you. Take note of what you did right and wrong and learn from it!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Secret City - 2011 in review.

Last night we performed the last show of 2011. I always have to qualify this by saying we are back next weekend with our regular shows. As 2011 comes to a close, I can't help but think of our past and to think of our future.

Let's start with the past.  One year ago today, out cast did not know each other. We held our first audition in January 2011 at the Fullerton Marriott hotel. I took on a crew of 12 people and 7 still remain as our veteran cast.  Since then we would hold two more auditions.  We had many people come and go but I will always have a soft spot for my current cast.

Getting into our current venue was an adventure. We had a theater all locked up in Fullerton but because we couldn't come up with 30 parking spaces, we had to give up the location.  In the meantime, we began rehearsals at the Stage One Dance Studio. After talking with the owners of this fine business, we found that it made sense for us to team up and Stage One would become our home.

In June, we had our grand opening. Because of some issues with the city, we would open 3 months late. But we're grateful to be open. We've been open every weekend since. In just a few weeks, we would ultimately fall in love with the city of Fullerton.

Here are some quick highlights. We hosted a show with Improv City from Tustin. Performed our first Halloween shows. Teamed up with other local improv troupes and participated in the OC Improv Cup. 

Our best achievement was being named by the OC Weekly as 2011 Best Improv Team. Funny story we didn't know about this honor for three weeks. We also have no idea when the OC Weekly was at our show. The best part was we didn't have ask you, our fans, to vote online.

That's the year in review. I'd like to thank you, our fans for being a part of the fun and supporting us with your tickets and telling your friends.  I also have to thank my cast for their support, patience and their humor.  This is everyone who has performed at Secret City since we opened:

Alan Ng
Amy Valdez
Audrey Grace
Cody Wallace
Chuck Hayes
Daniel Eachus
Dimithri Perera
Jared Lomeli
Jessica Lowerre
Keegan Lund
Kristin Ferris
Leah Burnette
Loren Kling
Manual Ortiz
Marc Chester
Michael Garate
Rocco Ambrosio
Sarah Brooks
Stephanie De La Cruz
Taylor Moore