In 1973, Linda kellogg Fulton discovered her love of improv. She was 14 years old in her home town of Pacifica, just outside of San Francisco when, during her freshmen year, she became one of 16 kids to take part in the high school drama department’s experiment to teach improvisational theatre to kids and later Long Form Improv (the Harold). Improv was still a new art form, however,by the time she was just 16, she began producing shows for children and adults with disabilities.
In 1984, Linda was accepted to the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She graduated in 1987 and went directly back to her first love of improvisation, performing and teaching at the Wildside Theatre in North Hollywood. Her desire to learn as much as she could about the art form lead her to study with some of the world’s foremost improv masters including:
Paul Sills – Founding director of Second City and son of Viola Spolin, creator of “improvisation based on audience suggestion,” the improv most audiences are familiar with today.
Keith Johnstone – Founder of the revered international improv school TheaterSports, and author of Improv and Improv for Storytellers.
Dick Schaal – Founding player of Second City, Chuckles the Clown and a director of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Avery Schreiber – One of America’s improv masters and half of the acclaimed comedy team of Burns & Schreiber.
Linda was proud to have been mentored by the late Schreiber and it was during an invitation-only improv workout at Schreiber’s house that he recognized Linda’s passion for teaching improv. He suggested to Linda that she start teaching kids and with his encouragement Linda did so, eventually opening Total Improv For Kids in 2000.
Since that time, Total Improv For Kids (now simply called Total Improv Kids) has become the premier improv school specifically designed for kids. In 2004, Linda founded a theater and made it a home for Total Improv Kids, naming it the Avery Schreiber Theater for her late friend and mentor. Since then, the school has grown and her students have performed multiple shows and festivals in L.A. as well as Off Broadway in New York City, garnering Linda and the school media attention and a reputation as THE place for young students to learn improvisation.
Linda started Total Improv Kids with just a handful of students and she is proud to say that many of them are still in touch with her today. She has won state and national awards and has been recognized multiple times in the Los Angeles community for her efforts. She has also worked as a consultant, sharing her methods with other organizations and groups of kids, like the “7 DI Divas” in their Destination: Imagination challenge.
More recently, Linda has worked to share her philosophies and improv training methods with other teachers, coaches and mentors by offering individual consultations, seminars and through her upcoming book The Power of Improvisation.