I am so blessed to know Laura Hall and have been studying Musical Improv with her. Laura and her husband, Rick Hall, teach musical improv at theatres, festivals, comedy clubs, and universities around the world. In Part One of our podcast, we chat about her passion for music and how she took a pay cut when she went from waitress to musical director at Second City. We mention some mutual friends like Jane Morris, who directed the first show she created at Second City., and Deana Criess Tolliver, who introduced me to Musical Improv. Part Two of our talk covers the challenges of teaching musical improv online and her upcoming video classes, which teach musicians how to play with improv groups, like what she does on Whose Line.
Learn more about Laura Hall:
Laura Hall is best known as the improvisational pianist and Musical Director on the hit TV show, “Whose Line is it Anyway”, which ran for nine years on ABC, with Drew Carey hosting. The show is currently in its seventh season on the CW Network, with Aisha Tyler hosting. In 2018, Laura played with the Whose Line Christmas Show at Royal Albert Hall in London, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the British & American versions of the show.
While at The Second City, Laura was Musical Director and Composer for the Jeff Award-winning E.T.C. revue, “Channel This!” She toured the world with “Drew Carey and the Improv All-Stars”, and has played with countless improv groups around the country, including The Improv Institute, iO, and iO West, Groundlings, Theatresports, ComedySportz, and “Opening Night: The Improvised Musical!” She composed original musicals at The Annoyance Theater and Theater-A-Go-Go, including “Patty, Patty, Bang! Bang!” which won an L.A. Weekly award for Best New Musical.
Laura has created “Improv Karaoke”, which are fully produced tracks designed to help improvisers learn how to do music improv. She’s co-written a book, “The Improv Comedy Musician: The Ultimate Guide to Playing Music with an Improv Group” based on her years of improv experience.