Tanya writes primarily female driven comedy and has been writing, performing, and teaching comedy for twenty years. After graduating from Florida State University she moved to Los Angeles and sold her first comedy feature and never stopped. Tanya has taught and performed improv at The Groundlings Theater, Improv Olympic, Pico Playhouse, Westside Comedy Theater, The Fanatic Salon, ACME Theater, The Empty Stage and has performed stand-up at The Improv, The Laugh Factory, The Icehouse, and The Comedy Store while also coaching and punching up other comedian’s acts and scripts for years.
Here are a few of her favorite things:
Groundlings Theater - Wrote, performed and taught comedy with Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig and many others.
Staff writer – Bucket and Skinner’s Epic Adventures - Nickelodeon
Writer/Host - Celeb Buzz with Tanya - Lifetime
Writer/creator - You Can Eat Me – Nick at Nite
Writer/Creator – “Robot Dad” - Nickelodeon
Writer/Creator – “Untitled Courtney Thorne-Smith Project”
Writer/Creator - Selma Blair project “Sober Companion”
Writer/punched up - Kristen Hanggi – “Rock of Ages”
Writer/punched up – “How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days”
Writer/Creator “Buffalo Gals” -Cynthia Stevenson/Courtney Thorne
Writer/performer - The Improv Comedians
Writer/feature - “Rush” - Josh Woodward Co.
Writer/Actor – “Running With Scissors”
Writer/Creator – “The Depressed Wives of San Fernando Valley”
Writer/Creator – “Stupid Genius”
She has coached comedy improv for corporations, actors, teens, children, people in recovery from addiction, and advanced students. She has brought her skills and techniques through her workshops all over the country, including Las Vegas, Seattle, Austin, Indianapolis, Louisville and more. Tanya has also competed in improv and headlined at the Austin Comedy Festival.
Tanya has been a member of many famed improv troupes including The Transformers, The Last Women on Earth, The Waterbrains and so much more. She currently writes and runs her own improv comedy theater at The Santa Monica Playhouse.
Improvisation improves communication, active listening, hyper-focus, self-confidence in front of a group, positive solution based thinking and choosing to “yes, and” a challenge opening up to infinite solutions and possibilities. Yes, And listening, present in the moment, contributing freely, adaptability, this isn’t cleverness training or joke training. It’s really about the infrastructure of communicating, connecting, and building.
“Yes, and” can be the antidote to negativity. There is safety in saying no. What we do is say, ‘Let’s follow that idea for a moment. Let’s ‘yes, and’ just for a moment, to see where it goes.’ This improves communication by reducing barriers and increasing acceptance of ideas, building, finding a way to ‘make it work’ solution-minded. Saying yes to other people, they start to bring you their best ideas.
What you need to do in improv is listen closely to every word a scene partner is saying. Everything’s moving so fast; you may have missed the most interesting thing. The audience may have heard it, and if you missed it you haven’t really driven the scene forward, you don’t know what to react to.
GAMES & DRILLS
Studies have shown that people can improve their communication skills and lower their anxiety with regular practice. Improv’s low-stakes training increases the likelihood that team members will feel comfortable communicating in a variety of work situations. I have so many games and drills I use for my clients needs.
Presentation skills: You need to be comfortable not only with objective facts but with emotion and expressiveness, and the emotional side of decisions and organizational dynamics is critically important to successful interactions. It’s not necessarily easy for everyone to do both the cognitive and the emotional side, but it’s very important for a leader and consultant to have that expressive, emotional, vulnerability.
I learn best when I’m actually performing when I’m attempting something new. I’m motivated most when the process is fun and easy.