Well-known improv teacher and former Studio 312 host Jimmy Carrane explores the creative processes used to make great comedy.
Jeff Rogers is an accomplished improviser. He started out in the '80s, was part of the National Touring Company of The Second City and understudied for the Second City resident company. He is also an actor and a best selling author and his new book is called The PLAYMaker Mindset. He recently reopened the legendary improv school The Players Workshop in Chicago. We talked to him about why it was so important to him to reopen that school, how he brings gratitude on stage with him when he improvises, and what would happen if we got paid to improvise.
Erick Acuña is an improviser, teacher and lawyer. He started improvising in Peru ten years ago before moving to the States and studying at WIT in Washington, D.C. and UCB in New York. We talk to him about how he found his voice in improv, and he shares two exercises you can use to find it. He also talks about what it's like to improvise in English when that isn't your native language and what we can learn from having difficult conversations after a scene that may have reinforced stereotypes. This is a great episode!
Nancy Hayden is the Artistic Director of The Second City Training Center in Chicago. She is also a writer, actor, director, teacher and producer. We talk to Nancy about how she creates characters by using emotions and adjectives, how she believes improv can save lives, and what the future of improv may look like.
Brendan Sullivan started improvising almost 30 years ago in Chicago. He is an actor, corporate improv trainer and was a member of the legendary Harold team Blue Velveeta at iO-Chicago. We talk to him about how he found his role on that team, which was made up of strong personalities, how he learned to play things honestly, and the best way for older improvisers to play with the younger generation. In this moving interview, Brendan also talks candidly about the death of his 24-year-old son, Charlie, last year, and the dangers today of drugs that are laced with fentanyl.
Michelle Gilliam is the owner and artistic director of ImprovMKE in Milwaukee, WI. She is one of those great improvisers with a strong acting background. We talk to Michelle about how she applies her short form experience to her long, how she strives to make her theater inclusive, and she shares what it was like for her to be the only Black woman in an improv group.
Marcus Sams is the founder of Moment Improv Theater in San Francisco, the artistic director of The San Francisco Improv Festival, and one half of one of my favorite improv duos, Liss n' Sams, with the incredible Joe Liss. We talk to Marcus about doing Duo Improv, the importance of emotions and where he thinks Zoom improv is going in the future.