Have you ever thought of the perfect thing to say in a situation — hours after the moment passed?##M:[more]## According to Rafi Reguer of West Windsor, “You have thought of it at the right time, but it took you hours to verbalize it because you have been taught to censor your thoughts and speech.” To overcome your own censorship, a class in improv comedy may be just what the doctor ordered.
Reguer, a longtime improv aficionado, is teaching a course at High School South beginning Wednesday, March 9, through the West Windsor-Plainsboro Community Education program.
“Most people take their silly, creative side and bury it deep inside themselves,” says Reguer. “They think they aren’t funny because when that moment arises when a funny comment would be perfect — they can’t think of anything.”
“The course is loads of fun, a great way to meet interesting people, and can help with presentation and public speaking skills for work and party skills for play,” he says. “This class is meant to be a place to let your mental guard down and play around.”
Born in Port Chester, New York, Reguer was raised in the New York City area. His mother worked in corporate finance at Philip Morris and now volunteers at the Jewish Museum. His father, a medical doctor, volunteers at a public school in the inner city. His sister, Ronit, is a graduate student in social work.
He is married to Lori Perlman, a trusts and estates attorney, who now works part-time on project work from other attorneys. They, and their three-year-old son, moved to West Windsor last March from New Rochelle, New York.
“My wife took a stained glass class at WWP Continuing education in the fall and absolutely loved it, despite the fact that I serenaded her with Hall &Oates’ ‘Adult Education’ every time she left for class.” Perlman is also the one who suggested that her husband teach the improv class.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English, Reguer, 36, is vice president for marketing and corporate communications with Track Data Corporation in Brooklyn.
“I have always enjoyed performing,” he says. “ I was part of the debate team in school, competed in speech contests, and did school plays. Comedy comes naturally.”
He has been doing improv comedy for about 14 years and was a fan of the University of Pennsylvania troupe during his college days. “After graduating and moving back to New York City, I met a woman one night who said she also loved improv — so much that she was taking a course a Chicago City Limits, NYC’s oldest and most prestigious improv theater group.” When he found that he could take a class in improv comedy, he was there the following night.
Reguer soon auditioned for the performance class, which culminated in actual stage time in front of a live audience. After doing that twice, he joined the WingNuts, which offered the chance to perform every other week. A new troupe, Not Ready for Commitment, was soon formed by Reguer and fellow performers. They played birthdays, Bar Mitzvahs, corporate dinners, charity gigs, birthdays, singles weekends in the Catskills – whatever paid.
Although his photo shows a man in a suit and tie, he doesn’t usually perform in those clothes — although he has performed in a morning coat and tails — at his wedding. “My wife decided to surprise me and brought up a troupe of improvisers I had worked with in the past to do a little halftime show during the reception,” he says. “We did a mini improv show, which was nice because some of my friends and relatives had never seen me perform. It was, however, a total shock to me when they grabbed the stage.”
“Improv comedy was something that I could fit in less and less as I got married, had a child, and moved from the city to the suburbs,” he says. “But coming full circle and offering a class just seemed like a great idea since I enjoy it so much and have liked teaching and mentoring.”
— Lynn Miller
The six-week class begins on Wednesday, March 9. $54. For information call 609-716-5000, ext. 5034 or visit www.west-windsor-plainsboro.k12.nj.us/comm_ed.html#adulted to download the spring brochure.