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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Miki Manting and why her “Vintage Improv Festival” is a gift for improvisors over 50

Miki ManningJoin me today and meet Improvisor, OBGYN, and creator of the term “Vintage Improv,” Miki Manting. Miki talks to us about how she became involved in improv and what inspired her to start this festival where improvisers who are fifty-years-old and over perform. At Improv theaters where casts were largely made up of improvisers in their 20’s and early 30’s vintage improvisers often experience the phenomenon of invisibility. Miki talks about how Vintage Improv changes that dynamic and about her upcoming 2020 Vintage Improv Festival (VIF) that runs September 10-14, 2020 https://www.vintageimprov.com/ In addition to the festival the VIF hosts several improv classes each week with improvisers that include Jay Sukow, David Razowski, Jill Bernard and Faustino Solis.
 

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Peter Margaritis is the Accidental Accountant who proves Improv is No Joke

Peter Margaritis
Peter MargaritisJoin me and meet Peter Margaritis, CPA, CGMA, business coach, and author of Improv is No Joke, who uses applied improvisation to inspire people to achieve higher levels of success in their business. Through the improvisation tenets of Yes, And, keep it simple, collaborate and experience, Peter teaches his clients to embrace C.H.A.N.G.E. (Creative | Humor | Aspire | Navigate | Gracious | Ethical) and realize their visions and goals. I was lucky to meet Peter through my good friend and improv coach Jay Sukow, and I know you will be glad to get to know him too.
 
When asked about why he uses applied improv in his work, Peter says
“Applied improv is all about the ability to draw upon your experience, knowledge, and education to apply them in a way that meets the needs of the person you are talking to or working with – and it can be taught.”
 

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Patrick McCartney and the gifts of learning and teaching improv

Patrick McCartney Improv Interviews
Join me and meet the multi-talented Patrick McCartney who is a talented actor, improviser, and teacher who has studied with and taught some of the most respected names in the entertainment industry. We learn about the great teachers who inspired Patrick’s teaching style and the effects of COVID-19 on the industry from his home in NYC.
 
Patrick’s improv journey began in Chicago in the late 1990s where he studied with the legendary Del Close and Mick Napier. He spent two years in Chicago’s Second City Touring Company Blue Co where he toured the country with Ali Farahnakian, Amy Poehler, and Tina Fey. Currently, Patrick teaches all advanced levels of improv, as well as Acting for Scripted Comedy at the People’s Improv Theater in NYC. Some of Patrick’s former students include Eric Stonestreet, Julie Klausner, and Ed Helms.
 

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Deana Criess on Musical Improv and Beyond

Deana Criess PhotoJoin me and meet my friend Deana Criess, as we talk about the magic of musical improv and her work using improvisation games and techniques with her students at the Perkins School for the Blind. Deana is a professional improviser, master instructor, director, writer, and performer with a specialization in applied improvisation. Deana’s work has been featured on PBS, NPR, KBS (the Korean Broadcasting System), The Boston Globe, CNN, and Slate.com. Her original musical comedy, Lube had a sold-out premiere run in Boston.
 

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Deana Criess on the Joys of Musical Improv

Deana Criess PhotoJoin me and meet my friend Deana Criess, as we talk about the magic of musical improv and her work using improvisation games and techniques with her students at the Perkins School for the Blind. Deana is a professional improviser, master instructor, director, writer, and performer with a specialization in applied improvisation. Deana’s work has been featured on PBS, NPR, KBS (the Korean Broadcasting System), The Boston Globe, CNN, and Slate.com. Her original musical comedy, Lube had a sold-out premiere run in Boston.
 

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Clay Drinko Theatrical Improvisation, Consciousness, and Cognition

Clay Drinko Photo

Join me and meet Clay Drinko who is an educator, an improviser, and the author of Theatrical Improvisation, Consciousness, and Cognition. He earned his Ph.D. in drama and theatre studies from Tufts University and a Master of Science in education and a Master of Arts in performance studies. Clay started improvising over two decades ago and experienced firsthand the powerful effects of finding flow onstage. This started a lifelong journey to understand how improv affects the brain and how to harness this understanding to improve our everyday lives.

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Izzy Gesell Applied Improv in the time of COVID19

Izzy Gesell

Join me and meet Izzy Gesell, an organizational alchemist who helps individuals and organizations transform their thinking from commonplace to extraordinary. He is skilled at delivering meaningful material in a way that makes participants enjoy their time with him.

Izzy is also the author of Playing Along: Group Learning Activities Borrowed From Improvisation Theater, a co-author of Humor Me: America’s Funniest Humorists on the Power of Laughter, and a contributor of a chapter on Improvisation as a facilitation tool in the IAF Group Facilitators Handbook. His latest project is a deck of cards with improv games on them. Learn more about Izzy at izzyg.org

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