The Maydays 15th Annual Improv Retreat – Meet your Teacher – Jon Nguyen

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Our October Improv Retreat is going to be here before you know it and with the retreat almost Sold Out, we’d like to introduce you to your improv teachers who you’ll be playing with this year. Next up, our smasher, Jon Nguyen!


Hey Jon, what’s the feeling like in the Maydays camp the night before the retreat kicks off?

It’s all hands on deck, busy making sure we have all the bits and books which make the retreat super fun and super easy for all our wonderful students. Batteries, chargers, bags, anything we can think of frankly, we pack it in and bring it with us! 


Is there a particular part of the retreat that you’re most looking forward to?
I really enjoy a jam, I love sitting in the audience and watching the participants play with each other and laugh and be silly and feel they can do anything while we Maydays sit back, relax and bask in the glory of those jammers having an awesome time.

For someone that has never been before & is tempted to join us in October, but is feeling a little nervous to push that Book Now button, what advice would you give?

Ask around, there have been hundreds of improvisers who have been to the retreats over the years. It’s very possible you know someone who has been, and though each experience is very individual you can get a good idea of the fun and joy you experience in a place like this and trust me you will probably make some lifelong friends, I did after my first retreat as a student before I became a full-fledged Mayday.
We offer the Jason Chin Scholarship each year, why should people apply?
As an Asian man with non-visible disabilities, I am glad more companies are recognising that everybody needs a little help sometimes. We want to remove as many barriers to improv as possible. If you think you qualify, then you do! The scholarship is there for anyone who needs it and we hope you will apply and not be polite and say there is someone more deserving. The diverse people of the world should be able to say “I deserve this” and we believe you do. So if you are not sure, I say apply and help us spread Improv to everyone.

For those returning to the retreat for another 3-days of joy, what can they expect from our 15th residential?

They can expect new classes, new instructors, new friends and my luxurious long hair and moustache I have been growing for about 18 months by the time October comes around. 


What’s one of the funniest moments from previous years for you?

Watching four Maydays struggle to pick up one Mayday on their shoulders. Not once but twice during a song. It was a spectacular failure. 


What’s one of the most magical moments from previous years?

Just seeing people transform in three days. Some being super shy to singing superstars. Some having never done long form to creating pure bliss out the air. I very much enjoyed watching one of our students last year clown around and struggle to pick up a box. Totally wonderful.


Sum up The Maydays Improv Retreat in a little one-liner

An Improv experience of joy, growth and loving support.


To join us at this year’s Improv Retreat, grab one of the last spots here or apply for the Jason Chin Scholarship here, scholarship entries open until 1st September – we can’t wait to meet you, see you again and most of all play!