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View topic - Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure | UCB Comedy • Improv and Sketch Comedy Resource Forum

Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure


Questions/Comments about the NY Class Program

Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby morganphillips » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:15 am

Mollusk, yikes. Improv is my life, and I happen to prefer the new system to the old one, but don't confuse "needing to have a day job" with "not being committed to comedy." For a lot of (most?) people, working an awful day job so they can afford to do comedy is itself a sign of their commitment. And telling someone "the reason you're so upset is because you don't care enough" might be slightly faulty logic.
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby AlexAlex » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:48 pm

yeah. that comment... i agree with Morgan

I'll say that the new system works okay for me. But that's because I happen to have a job where I can keep twitter open. But that just means I'm lucky. it doesn't mean that i'm more dedicated to improv than someone with a different job. it probably shouldn't even entitle me to have better access to classes because it's pretty arbitrary. it's like saying people with office jobs are more dedicated to improv than, like, EMTs who can't check twitter on the job (because they're busy saving lives!). but under the current system people in my situation have a big advantage over people with different schedules.

I actually prefer the old system even though I realize it wasn't perfect. i think the new way makes it almost impossible for some people to register and it adds an element of anxiety and paranoia to the process that wasn't there in the old system. and if it was there in the old system, at least it compartmentalized to two days a week.
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby JoeyP » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:32 pm

Right. Letting people know a day in advance allows for planning and removes a lot of the anxiety and paranoia Alex mentioned. It's just a much nicer way of doing things. I checked before going to bed last night (midnight) and then again this morning at 10:00 am. In between a class opened and sold out. It's incredibly frustrating.

I don't have a smart phone and I'm probably the last person without one, but if there's anyone else in this boat we don't even have the option of setting up a twitter to get UCB alerts. Then again, if I'm the last person in New York without any kind of smart phone, I can't expect my needs to be tailored to.
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby renalea » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:38 pm

Improv is extremely important to me. That is why I was more than happy to check the boards multiple times a day, to wait patiently for months for a class to come along that I could give my full commitment to, and made it my absolute top priority to be parked at the computer and ready to go at the moment when I knew classes were going online. I haven't travelled in years in order to pay for improv and sketch classes, and I accept the trade-off. (I used to go to Europe for a week or so once a year). I've sampled the other studios, but every time I've taken a class or go to a show at another studio, I always wish I was back at UCB.

Under the new system, a student can get locked out of a class because they choose engage in frivolous, unnecessary activities such as:

1. Taking a shower
2. Riding the subway
3. Stepping away from their phone, for any reason, for longer than five minutes. You're at a funeral and you have to turn your phone off (or, in a less extreme version, you have to go to bed before midnight or have a job that forces ou away from your phone for five minutes). Too bad. Even if you've already given thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours—improv must have not been important to you.
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby joeyprice » Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:26 am

JoeyP (this won't get confusing...)

Here's a way to get notifications on a non-smartphone. Morgan pointed this out earlier too, so credit goes to him:

https://support.twitter.com/articles/20 ... teractions
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby ericrizk » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:15 am

What is the deal with that IFFT? I have never received any updates of classes going on sale. Did anyone else experience this?
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby Chris Griswold » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:14 am

This is the first I've heard of the email alerts not working for someone

[REMINDER: UCB registrars can't provide tech support. That's something I made in my spare time, and if it doesn't work for you, try contacting IFTTT.]
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby leovolf » Tue May 13, 2014 3:19 pm

I am bad at Twitter and at this point I have very little interest in being good at Twitter. I do however have an interest in becoming a better writer and performer. I get it. We live in an era where Twitter=Comedy and there is absolutely a conversation to be had about social media and any sort of serious aspirations in comedy. I just don’t think that conversation should happen while trying to register for a class at the country’s only accredited improv and sketch comedy school.

UCB and the improv community aren't exactly celebrated for having a diverse student body. By running your registrar through a social network (and I’m sure it’s not intentional) you’re really taking a stand and just adding another subset to an already pretty narrow demographic. It just seems like a very bold statement about the type of student you’re trying to attract. “You’re not active on twitter? Well, maybe UCB is not for you.” If that is the case, make that very clear in all class descriptions, so someone like myself can pursue my studies at a theater where my progress isn’t hindered by my habitual use of Twitter.

I really do appreciate the effort to try to improve the system and alleviate the stress of classes selling out quickly. I just think the reasoning behind this switch is flawed. The idea of rewarding students who check the website frequently sounds nice in theory. Is this what is really happening here though? Are you tracking who is registering directly through the site as opposed to the link on twitter? I would be very surprised to find out that anyone is able to register for any class directly through the site without getting some sort of notification ahead of time. Especially, if you're competing with someone who is submerged in the Twittersphere.

I agree that a message board and forum aren’t exactly on the cutting edge of technology and the need to stay up to date is essential. Except we are talking about functionality and being dependent on a social network to run your registrar just seems absurd. Speaking of social networks. Why Twitter? I obviously have my own skeptical views on the matter, but after taking five minutes to Google some things, it just doesn’t make sense. According to Pew Research Center’s Internet Project Tracking Surveys, only 18% of internet users use Twitter. Pinterest is now more popular than Twitter! Also, only 46% of Twitter users log into their accounts every day. While these are just numbers and statistics, when you’re talking about classes selling out within 90 seconds, these sort of numbers should at least be in the conversation.

I can go on and on about Twitter, but I think the bigger issue is figuring out how to efficiently and fairly fill the constantly growing demand for classes. I have no doubt this is a constant concern with the decision makers at UCB. Maybe I have a unique situation (completed Sketch 201 and currently finishing up Improv 101), but with this current system I have absolutely zero chance of continuing in either program. (I feel like it’s a given, but just in case, I get the twitter notifications on my phone and I also get the IFTTT alerts. When a sketch 301 sells out within seconds, getting an IFTTT alert within 15 minutes seems a little comical.) Until the demand for classes can be adequately filled, having a lottery, a waiting list, posting the registration times ahead of time on Twitter, or really anything else, all seem like much more practical and fair solutions. While the issue before was people not getting into a class because they lost some sort of race. This past month, someone like me was never even at the starting line.
Last edited by leovolf on Wed May 14, 2014 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby muuhardi » Wed May 14, 2014 11:34 am

i barely use twitter, but you can subscribe to the tweet alerts and receive it as a text on your phone.

so its not like its twitter or bust.
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Re: Classes Going Online in April - New Procedure

Postby leovolf » Wed May 14, 2014 3:34 pm

I get the twitter alerts as well, but when you're talking about certain scenarios where 100 people are vying for 8 spots in a class, the alerts are pretty useless. In general, I just think it's silly to run your registrar through social media.
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