Meet Oluwadamilola Apotieri, a wonderful humanitarian, improviser and so much more. Listen to how he got into improv, became a pioneer of virtual improv, teaching kids, playing in the virtual space versus in person, using theatre as a tool for social justice and more. We met through our mutual friend, Beth Boynton, RNOluwadamilolaspeaks of his childhood and passion for playing and performing. He put on his first show at age 7 and by 9 years old had his own TV show. As challenging as the pandemic is, it has also provided some amazing opportunities. He is part of the team that organized the online edition of the yearly Nigerian Children Theatre festival. This is taking place May 27 and May 28 and there’s still time to register. This is an exciting festival that you won’t want to miss! He and his team have been rehearsing online with a small group of delightful Nigerian students over the last couple of months.
What a great joy meeting LeWayne McQueen. He is one of very few Native American improvisers in the U.S. I know you’ll enjoy his great energy and humor as much as I did! One of the things he loves to do with Deboope Newe to put his urban Indian culture into the improv itself, put some language, and sometimes singing on display. His mother passed when he was 18, after seeing him compete in the first annual four directions talent competition. We talk about how this loss changed him. He ran his own independent improv show and class for eight years before the pandemic started. He performs with Mancandy, a musical improv show that fluctuates between full musicals and improv musical review style shows.
What a fabulous time I had chatting with the effervescent Laxmi Priya! We chatted about her work and I learned so much from her! I’ve also studied with her and I heartily recommend her to everyone for a lively and joyous experience!
Laxmi is a Playback Theatre performer and has been improvising for a decade in and around Bangalore, India. She performs with The Adamant Eves (India’s first all-female improv company) and is a co-founder of Citylamps Playback Theatre.
What a delight to get to know Stephen Davidson! Stephen is a totally joy-filled improviser who is the Artistic Director of The Improvised Play, Improvable, QI: Queer Improv, Carmen: A gender-swapped Film Noir Fantasy, and of Zeal: The Pride Improv Festival. Stephen is the author of two books about improv, Play Like an Ally and Improvising Gender. Stephen teaches improv independently and through Improvable, with the Free London Improv Project, City Academy, and Hoopla Improv. He has taught and performed all over the world. We chat about his improv origin story and so much more. You’ll understand why his students love him.
Brenna Judkins (they/she) is an improviser and artist from San Diego, CA in the United States. She currently plays with the Queen City Comedy team “Smells Like Ghosts”, and teaches their children’s improv courses. She also provides one on one improv tutoring for children. She regularly crafts her own costumes, props, puppets, and visuals arts projects at her home in California, including improvised cartoons and stop-motion videos. She also runs the page Brenna Judkins Improviser and a bi-monthly all LGBTQIA+ improv jam for the global improv community. We had so much fun in the podcast and could not stop laughing!
Koray Tarhan has an infectious smile and laugh! He is a generous and talented man who brought Improv to his home in Instanbul, Turkey in 2000 and author of the first handbook on improv in Turkish, Dogaclama Icin Elkitabi (2013). We had such a fun time chatting and playing with him and his wife, Zeynep Özyurt Tarhan. Koray works as an actor, musician, and project coordinator at Istanbulimpro and also applies improvisation in business, education, and social projects. He works with children, teenagers, and adults in different foundations and organizations. Koray authors improlog.blogspot.com is the coordinator of Istanbul International Improv Festival and a member of the Applied Improvisation Network (since 2009) which has invited him to present and/or lead workshops at several international conferences. He has also participated as an actor and workshop leader for improv festivals in Amsterdam, Berlin, Chicago, Beijing, and Ljubljana. Koray is a graduate of Ankara University Theater Department (2001).
I’m so excited to share the great news that my dear friend Clay Drinko’s book, Play Your Way Sane came out today! Clay is an improviser, author, coach, Dad who writes a blog for Psychology Today about Improv and mental health. This is a wonderful, very readable book for everyone! In Play Your Way Sane, Clay offers 120 low-key, accessible activities that draw on the popular principles of improv comedy to help you tackle your everyday stress and reconnect with the people around you. Divided into twelve fun sections, including “Killing Debbie Downer” and “Thou Shalt Not Be Judgy,” the games emphasize openness, reciprocation, and active listening as the keys to a mindful and satisfying life. Whether you’re looking to improve your personal relationships, find new meaning at work, or just survive our trying times, Play Your Way Sane offers serious self-help with a side of Second City sass.
David 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.
Marcus 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.
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