David Leventhal Dance for PD

David Leventhal
David LeventhalDavid Leventhal is the Program Director and founding teacher of Dance for PD. He tells about his journey to becoming a dancer and his career with the Mark Morris Dance Company. Learn how he helped start this amazing program in 2001 when a local support group leader who had a dance background approached the Mark Morris Dance Group with the idea for specialized dance for Parkinson’s classes – even before there was tangible evidence about the benefits of exercise and movement. I’ve taken several of these classes and the combination of simple movements and beautiful music creates a sense of wellbeing, calm, and energy.

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Improv Interviews with Margot Escott, LCSW

Ed Asner joined me for my Improv Interviews podcast

Welcome to Improv Interviews with Margot Escott, LCSW. Improv Interviews are podcasts with innovative improvisers from all over the world and therapists who are using improvisation in their clinical practice.

More about Margot Escott, LCSW: Margot Escott incorporates over 35 years of experience as a counselor, speaker, and teacher in her wellness classes that are designed to use humor, play and improv to achieve well being. In addition to teaching and performing improv professionally, Margot has presented workshops and seminars on “Therapeutic Value of Humor and Play” on a national level and was a featured speaker at the Chicago “Yes, and” conference on Improvisation and Mental Health.

Listen on Apple Podcasts: Click here

Listen on Soundcloud: Click here

The many voices of Tara Langella

Tara LangellaJoin me and meet the dynamic Tara Langella who shares her history in theatre and voice-over work. She describes how she got “hooked” on acting when she saw her uncle, Frank Langella, die on stage as Dracula and then re-appear alive for the curtain call.  Her uncle has been one of her biggest fans. Tara trained in classical and contemporary theatre at Stella Adler Conservatory. As she began studying acting and recognized her gift for vocal acting.  She shares her talent with accents and was so much fun to interview!

Marcus Sams Improviser & Teacher

Marcus Sams
Marcus SamsMarcus Sams is a beloved improviser and teacher in the Bay Area for 20 years. He is a dynamic, generous fellow who has developed incredible technology for on-line improvisers. In addition to fantastic classes on Improv, Marcus has developed techniques to move Online improv games out of the “Hollywood Squares” boxes into productions that look like TV & film. The Fixed Lens Improvisation Technique, a.k.a. F.L.I.

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“Improv Talk” with Ellen Schnur

I was fortunate to meet Ellen Schnur at the Yes, and Mental Health Conference held at the Annoyance Theatre in Chicago, September 2017! We recently reconnect through Beth Boynton, and the seminars Beth has been co-hosting with Ellen on Medical Improv. Ellen and Landon and I did a fun improv scene that you can see here.
 
Ellen is passionate about experiential learning and helping everyone on the team to “Be the Difference” and work better together. After 25 years in business and training, she grew tired of the endless PowerPoints and toxic cultures. She dared herself to take classes at 2nd City – fell head over heels with improv and moved on to iO and many other theaters. She began studying Applied Improvisation and best practices in leadership, team, and work cultures. Ellen is now Chief Possibility Officer at her company, ImprovTalk, Inc. and collaborates with Jim Mecir, ten year MLB veteran pitcher, born with a club foot, who is the most resilient and inspiring teammate she has ever met.

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Will Hines and The World’s Greatest Improv School

Join me and meet the multi-talented musician, improviser, actor, and author, Will Hines.  Founder of The World’s Greatest Improv School   Will is a beloved teacher in the improv world. He started at UCB in NY and then LA. I really enjoyed chatting with such a relaxed and authentic person. We talked about mutual improv teachers like Jimmy Carrane and Jay Sukow.

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Daniel DeWalt Covered Bridge Theaters and Studios

Daniel is a delightful artist, actor, writer, and improviser that I met in a Susan Messing workshop this summer. He has taught thousands of young and old folks acting and improv and produced many plays. Daniel is one of only four people who graduated — twice— from the Player’s Workshop Of The Second City; once in 1992 and then a few weeks ago after the studio reopened.  Daniel is also a 1995 conservatory graduate of the Second City Training Center.

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Brian Palermo Improv at the Groundlings

Brian Palermo

Join me and meet the multi-talented improviser, actor, and true gentleman Brian Palermo. In his early days at the Groundlings, Brian was lucky enough to play with, learn from, and direct a gaggle of Big Name Comedy People that include Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Will Ferrell, Maya Rudolph, Lisa Kudrow, and many others. 

I met Brian at the Vintage Improv Festival this fall and loved his style of teaching. In our chat, we talk about his career in film and TV and his many years with the Famous Groundlings improv group. He is a beloved improv teacher; he’s been a regular in The Crazy Uncle Joe Show – which is The Groundlings’ weekly long-form set – every Wednesday for 19 years! The longest-running long-form set in L.A.   https://www.groundlings.com/shows

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Francine Wolf and Leigh Shein keep people laughing with Pants Optional Comedy on Zoom

Francine Wolf and Leigh Shein
Leigh Shein and Francine Wolf

Join me and meet Meet Francine Wolf and Leigh Shein of Pants Optional Comedy. They share their lengthy experience in improvisational theatre and tell us about how they are adjusting to virtual shows on Zoom to entertain and keep people laughing.

Pants Optional Comedy is an online improv comedy short-form show with an emcee and actors from Ohio, Florida, and the United Kingdom.  The show was conceived in May 2020 when producer, Francine Wolf of ZaZu Productions, LLC, was quarantined at home and live and on-stage acting was halted.  Having toured with a one-woman improv show, “Half-Baked Boomer,” for the previous two years, Francine thought it would be more fun to do improv with seasoned improvisers and friends.
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Emma Bird Liverpool Comedy Improv

Emma Bird
Emma Bird

Join me today and meet Emma Bird, the creator of Liverpool Comedy Improv, a leading improv teaching school. Emma founded, developed, performed, and directed three improv teams: BossBirds (current); The Unscriptables, and The Hee Ha’s.creator of Liverpool Improv Comedy. Emma is an improviser, teacher, and professional actor and director. She has been improvising since 2007. She was trained in improv by The Maydays (Brighton/London) and has been on training courses and workshops led by world-renowned improvisers: Rachel Mason & Susan Messing (Second City, Chicago); Rich & Rebecca Sohn (Annoyance Theatre, Chicago); Michael Gellman (Second City, Toronto), Shawn Kinley (Loose Moose Improv Theatre, Canada), Armando Diaz (iO, Chicago & Magnet Theatre NYC); Jaime Moyer, (Second City Hollywood and  Westside Comedy LA) at Copenhagen International Improv Festival (Apr 2019)

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