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About Fizgig

Fizgig is a studio for the performer/creator where you might take a class in Physical Comedy, Clown or Commedia and/or get some coaching/directing to get that bang bang bang! into your work. Or hire Virginia to direct or devise a show or teach a workshop or class.

The Fizgig Way

The Fizgig way into the physical comedy arts is particular. For one thing, everything is made contemporary. It's not about doing it the way we imagine they did it in the Renaissance or the Middle Ages or in silent movies even. And let's see you in the art. I want to put the performer at the center of the work. We mostly work improvisationally, so we can discover something from the performer and from the moment. Whenever I get a fancy idea and try to impose it on the performer, it's a big disaster or at least vaguely dissatisfying because it has become about how much I can get you to do some thing I think is funny or beautiful (or both), rather than being about discovering the hilarious and gorgeous you together in the moment. This work is essentially physical because the performer's body and presence is the fundamental element with which the performer has to work. The words are important. There's lots of talking. But we make up the words in the moment from the impulse in the body! If we pursue the words first (even improvisationally), up in our heads, we're really just acting as writers standing up (which is not a natural state for writers as I have been told that writing generally involves more sitting and eating of potato chips.)

Why the name Fizgig?

Fizgig is a laughing, wanton woman gallivanting and gadding about. 

Fizgig is a sparkler or firework of some kind.

Fizgig starts with Fiz or "phys" as in physical - pretty sneaky sis! And gig is, you know, a performance and a job. Whoa, it all fits together!

Fizgig is some puppet from a 1980's cult fantasy movie I haven't seen - but that thing's spelled with two Z's and from what I've caught on the youtube, it's a cute but viscous muppet, which, as someone said to me, is (in terms of reference points) "not bad."

Fizgig reminds me of Mr. Fezziwig from A Christmas Carol who I love and who said, "It's not just for money alone that one spends a lifetime building up a business…." and Fezzik from The Princess Bride who I love and who said, "I just want you to feel you're doing well."

Virginia Scott

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And a book!  

Discovering the Clown: the Funny Book of Good Acting, published by TCG. Go and get it at any bookstore you like!

 

Or click here

Virginia Scott co-founded the Funny School of Good Acting where she taught Clown, Commedia and Bouffon. For over 15 years, she has been on the faculty of Movement Theatre Studio where (over the Pandemic) she designed and taught a brand-new, comprehensive Physical Comedy pedagogy. Also (when we were all inside), she began SomeClowns who perform new, original works regularly at such places as The Visionary (where they also received a residency and to which they will return in the summer of 2024 to make a brand-new, big-venue-ready extravaganza! Watch out!). SomeClowns were selected three years in a row to perform in the NYC Open Streets Program through which they have performed outdoors in many wonderful NYC neighborhoods. In 2018 Virginia created The Commedia Company, to perform contemporary, original, partially improvised Commedia shows. The Commedia Company appeared at The Nuyorican Poet’s Café, Jack, The Shakespeare Forum and Cloud City (among other places). She also founded and directed Les Enfant Maudit, a Bouffon troupe, which raised hell and stirred upon trouble all around Los Angeles in the wake of the 2016 election.

 

Virginia teaches/has taught approaches such as Clown, Commedia, Larval Mask, Character Mask, Physical Comedy, Bouffon, Play, Gestural Language, Scene Study/Acting, and Melodrama at schools such as The Juilliard School, Tisch School of the Arts at NYU: International Theatre Workshop in Amsterdam; Meisner Studio; Stella Adler Studio; and Open Arts Studio, CAP 21, Bard College, Pace University, Marymount Manhattan College, USC (MFA), ACT (MFA), Brooklyn College (MFA), the Clown School, the Idiot Workshops, Michael Howard Studio, and Berg Studios. Recently, she has begun to tour, teaching sold out workshops in Philadelphia, Scranton, Providence and Los Angeles. Throughout she has had the privilege of coaching a myriad of performers (stand-ups, storytellers, circus artists, physical comedians - even podiatrists) to create more effective shows and routines from China to Ireland to Canada and across the USA. 

In addition to her companies, Virginia has created Commedia shows including Signifying Nothing, a performance in concert with a full orchestra (kinda weird but super fun!) for Symphony in the Glen at the Griffith Park stage in Los Angeles, another Commedia show for the Fowler museum at UCLA, Masc4Mask (a queer-themed multi-mask one person show), Jarrod Bates: Out of the Box and Onto Your Face, The Brighella Brother Sausage Shop, and a Commedia show at The Yale School of Drama, sadly unseen by the public due to the Pandemic. Virginia also created full-length comedy or Clown shows with The Happy Hour Comedy Trio, Mishna Wolf, Dave Konig, Ryan Paulson, Sara Barron and Tom Schillue (who spread the word that Virginia creates a good feedback system for a comic because she laughs loud at the same joke over and over - as along as it's still funny!) Additional credits: Sapo Cancionero: Live Your Heart Out (original clown show in English and Spanish) and Planet Banana which enjoyed an extended off-Broadway run at Ars Nova. She did some devising for Disney (despite not being able to name a single princess beyond Cinderella and never ever visiting the park! Don't tell 'em!), dramaturgy for the Obie-award nominated F*cking Up Everything, and shows on the treteau for Stella Adler and Montclair State University. Traditional directing credits included, Waiting For Godot, The Government Inspector, The Birds and Reckless.

Virginia's shows have appeared at Ars Nova Mainstage, 59E59, The Irish Repertory Theatre, The Zipper Theatre, UCB, The PIT, Nuyorican Poet’s Café, Jack, The Shakespeare Forum, The Tank, The New York Fringe Festival and the International Clown Festival; The US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, The Comedy Central Theatre, the Hollywood Fringe, and UCBLA in Los Angeles, and internationally at The Guilded Balloon in Edinburgh, The Centaur Theatre in Montreal and the Grahamstown International Festival in South Africa. 

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