148 episodes

Canadian Comedy Award winners Rob Norman and Adam Cawley discuss weekly improv-based topics based on a theme. New episodes every Wednesday.

The Backline - An Improv Podcast Rob Norman and Adam Cawley

    • Performing Arts
    • 4.9 • 72 Ratings

Canadian Comedy Award winners Rob Norman and Adam Cawley discuss weekly improv-based topics based on a theme. New episodes every Wednesday.

    198 - Stereotypes

    198 - Stereotypes

    On this episode, Rob and Adam discuss gender, identity and how stereotypes manifest in scenes. Also: homemade saunas, illuminati pizzas, and why every scene you should walk onstage as a bear (or something equally as clear).

    • 41 min
    197 - Deals

    197 - Deals

    This week we discuss the art of the deal - initiating with a half-idea to inspire your scene.  Rob and Adam also tackle the difference between preconceived notions and deals, existential ennui onstage, and how this philosophy can help perform in Zoom shows better.

    • 45 min
    196 - Lying

    196 - Lying

    This week Rob and Adam try to answer a simple question about characters lying in improv scenes.  Instead they chat about pre-constructed narratives, fractal storylines, the Act of, and ever shifting character dynamics.

    • 43 min
    195 - Ambition

    195 - Ambition

    One of the first things we lost in the quarantine was ambition. Performers looked at their calendars and realized their careers (and lives) might never be the same. This week Adam Michael Cawley schools Rob on how to stay ambitious, set long term goals, and be ready for when things open up.  

    • 40 min
    194 - The Zoom Shift

    194 - The Zoom Shift

    Six months ago Adam started teaching improv via Zoom; Rob did not. This week Adam reveals his observations.  From example exercises, and his altered lesson plans; to the differences (and limitations) of improvising within the medium, and how the art form changes when performing through a screen. 

    • 53 min
    193 - Making It Worth It

    193 - Making It Worth It

    This week Rob and Adam debate over an improviser's responsibility to our audience and how we might renegotiate that relationship in the age of Zoom improv shows. Also discussed: the nature of risk, improv's meta-narrative, and pushing improvisation forward during the pandemic.

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
72 Ratings

72 Ratings

redhouseryan ,

So helpful!

Learned of this podcast after having Adam & Rob as teachers for improv classes. Loved them both as instructors and wanted more access to their brains, so checked out the show. Damn! What a treat! I’ve learned so much from each episode, and am recommending it to everyone else in my class. A must-listen for anyone who wants to get better at the craft of improv, while also a great intro for anyone who is curious to learn more about the art form from two greats who really, really know their stuff - (yes) and know how to communicate that knowledge. So good!!!

lmontop ,

Hilarious. Informative.

This has helped me enormously with my improv, and had entertained endlessly!

improvster ,

Love the backline

Everyone in my improv classes listen to this podcast cause it’s the best. Fun and informative👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

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