Strategies for Professionals: Improvisation and Acting

Group of Professionals Networking

The mode of instruction for Spring 2022 classes varies. Students should remain in communication with their instructors and follow their instructions. 


Program Description

According to LinkedIn, the #1 skill shortage in Los Angeles is in oral communication.

This one-of-a-kind professional training program addresses a problem that nearly anyone can relate to, connecting with others in professional, networking, and social settings. The Strategies for Professionals: Improvisation and Acting program utilizes the approaches and exercises developed in the realm of improv and acting to assist business professionals in developing and increasing their interpersonal (speaking, listening, presenting, pitching, networking) and intrapersonal (self-awareness, nonverbal communication, managing emotions, being respectful of others, showing empathy and understanding) skills. The intimate workshop format will allow participants to engage with an experiential trainer and connect with other business professionals, resulting in real-time coaching and feedback. This course adopts the fundamentals of actor training, based on the concepts of diving deeper into exercises where you discover your voice, overcome fear, and spark creativity.

Join our interest list to stay up to date on the latest program news and enrollment windows.

Strategies for Professionals: Improvisation and Acting Professional Development Program

Takeaways from this program:

  • Master soft skills that are advantages for the workplace and business settings
  • Engage in “Yes, and…!” exercises, the golden rule of improv
  • Gain transferrable soft skills and improvisation strategies that can transfer to video conferencing calls, interviews and team meetings via online platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams
  • Strengthen intrapersonal skills (self-awareness, nonverbal communication, empathy, and understanding)
  • Improve interpersonal skills (speaking, listening, presenting, pitching and networking)
  • Expand your creative problem-solving and collaboration skills
  • Develop reflective practice habits
  • Create meaningful and long-lasting business relationships

Who Should Enroll?

  • Business professionals either early in their careers and eager to develop “soft skills” or move up, or seek a better position at another company
  • Someone recently promoted to a managerial/leadership position who wants to improve their interpersonal and intrapersonal skills to create a collaborative and creative work environment
  • An experienced business person who is looking to make a career change and wants to develop a new pitch, expand their networking and interpersonal skills
  • Anyone seeking an opportunity to forge stronger relationships either in the workplace or in day-to-day interactions

Total Program Cost: $295

Course Requirements: A laptop or desktop with a camera for class participation. (A Zoom meeting link and login instructions will be sent out a few days before the start of the class.) 

Financial Assistance

Federal financial aid is not currently available for this program. However, you can apply for a private student loan here.

Program Schedule

Coming soon.

About the Instructor

Instructor Jay Lay wearing a blue and white striped polo shirt, smiling with light brown/blonde wavy hairJay Lay is an actor, writer, director, teacher, and experiential trainer.  

After receiving a B.S. in Mathematics and B.S. in Psychology from Vanderbilt University, Jay moved to Los Angeles. He has performed in television (​How I Met Your Mother, ​Arrested Development, and others), film (Evan Almighty and others), and over 85 commercials. He is also featured in the upcoming Melissa McCarthy film ​Superintelligence ​and recently starred in the short film ​The Garage, which he also executive-produced. 

Jay’s corporate/executive training background stems from his tenure at the Groundlings Theater and School in Los Angeles. He served there for 15 years - first as a student, then as a performer in the Sunday Company, and for seven years as a Senior Instructor and Director. In 2016, he created his own improv and sketch comedy collective called Hancock Park Jai-Alai Club and currently serves as its executive director. Jay has taught all levels and styles of comedy improv and improv for business and has directed 100+ live improv and sketch shows. 
Through his own experiential training company, Indigoburst Creative, Jay has led numerous seminars for Microsoft, Facebook, Netflix, Starbucks, Kaiser Permanente, and dozens of other companies. Jay also served as the in-house corporate creative consultant for the PR/marketing firm IgnitedUSA in Marina del Rey for over a year.


Coming soon.


For more information about the Strategies for Professionals: Improvisation and Acting program, please contact the College of Professional and Global Education at Cal State LA via email or (323) 343-4915.