Today we’d like to introduce you to Rob DiNinni.
Rob, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The heart of my story begins with an Italian family in a small town in upstate New York. As a first-generation American, our family was built on stories of love, sacrifice, and humor. A deep loving connection that binds us still today. I discovered the power of curiosity, play, love, humor, and storytelling brings our most authentic self.
Even my 13yo paperboy self, took risks even driving my dad’s Buick Electra at 4 to 5 am to take on multiple newspaper routes and having other kids help deliver as I managed collections, learned customer service, and practiced driving. In my collegiate years, I worked for four years full-time in retail tech sales and management to help cover my tuition.
In retrospect, I broke conventional retail protocols through taking risks outside of sales norms by making human connections through humor, playfulness, and applying improv principles before I really knew what they were. The power of saying “Yes… and…” the tenant of improvisation story building to overcome conflict and find a resolution together. Creating stories and finding humorous connections resulted in being humbled by sales excellence and MVP awards without following the robotic sales formula but by being authentic building relationship and trust.
After graduating with degrees in Business Administration and Marketing Management with a Psychology focus, I ventured into New York software start-ups which then landed me in Boston (MA) for sales, business development, and strategic alliance roles in corporate IT infrastructure technology and software. My defining moment, where it all changed, was at a company’s national conference where I was one of the finalists for a sales presentation contest. I stepped on stage for my presentation in front of the entire company to find my slides, not on the large screen and the projector not functioning so I had to improvise.
I engaged various audience members with silly banter. I then opened with a story which set the stage for my presentation by acting out my “Momma V” (Elvira) with the theme of if “I can sell my Momma V, off the boat from Italy, the new company direction and value proposition, then I could sell anyone” which ended in a silly story of heartfelt miscommunication and humor in broken English and Italian.
After over ten years of applying storytelling improv principles and sense of playful humor to my corporate career building multi-millionaire dollar strategic alliances, developing sales and partnering sales channels, and receiving accolades for my sales and business development efforts, I left the corporate world and VP offers to pursue my passion to perform comedy, act, and coach emotional intelligence by encouraging people to go outside their comfort zone — where life and creativity thrives.
After a few years of actor and improv training (which continues to this day), writing and performing stand-up comedy, one-man, and two-person comedy shows, acting in films, TV, and theatre, there was an opportunity to pioneer a space to bridge the world of business and improve and in 2003, I started out on my StageCoach Improv journey to provide corporate improv comedy and training to showcase key learning through humor, skits, and storytelling.
And as principal owner, we have had a humbling and grateful ride connecting deeply with companies connecting people with people watching them grow both personally and professionally through the power of play, improvisation, laughter, and storytelling.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
A challenge we have is working with a variety of new venues’ AV staff, setting up participants’ “space to play”, and limiting wait staff from interrupting shows etc. It’s always about making sure we’re heard and seen.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about StageCoach Improv – what should we know?
We bridge the world of improv and business through interactive entertainment and experiential learning. Driven by our theatrical, comedy, and corporate experience, we customize comedy shows, video and film productions, and improve for business programs(e.g. business storytelling, team building improv, navigate challenging conversations, improve in sales, social intelligent leadership, and impact & presence).
We’re passionate about stretching participants outside their comfort zone to make deeper connections and cultivate emotional intelligence through an experiential learning process. And, we look to understand their group culture and dynamic to better engage them. An interactive high energy on-your-feet approach fueled by the power of play, improvisation, laughter, and storytelling.
Depending on time-frame and desired outcomes, we customize an improv for business program and run participants through a series of improv and acting exercises while facilitating storytelling and encouraging them to let go of expectations and egos.
Improv for Business Session Rates are subject to customization, number of participants, number of facilitators or coaches, time-frame (e.g. 2hr, 3hr, 4hr, or 6.5hr) sessions or on-going programs (e.g. weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly) incorporating areas of focused content, key learning, and/or specific business themes.
As a pioneer of “Play in the Workplace”, we give our participants permission to play while navigating the unknown through experiential learning… and laughing.
Our Mission: to cultivate awareness through improvisation inspired by humor and the search for truth and spontaneity in each and every moment.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Our corporate and coaching backgrounds combined with our professional actor and improv comedy training and experience.
-Being our Authentic Playful Selves
-Having Clear Intentions
-Engaging with Love and Humor
To make an impact by encouraging our participants to venture and thrive outside their comfort zone. We’re in creative collaboration mode right from the start with our clients. They are contributing to the creative process and are vested in their customized programs and/or comedy performances.
Silly FOCUSED FUN from day ONE.
- Website: www.stagecoachimprov.com
- Phone: 877-889-2127
- Email: email@example.com