Improv Comedy Connection

Whit Shiller

The Improv Comedy Connection podcast explores how to more deeply connect with audiences and co-performers in improv, stand up, sketch, and communication through comedy. read less
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Episodios

Jay Sukow
30-08-2021
Jay Sukow
For this episode, Whit has a conversation with Jay Sukow — a US improviser based in LA, but in New Zealand traveling for this recording.  After catching up a bit, we jumped into an amazing conversation about his favorite (by far) of over 300 10-minute scenes that he’s been doing since early on in the pandemic.  This is all the more impressive given that his online series “10 Minutes with…” where he improvises a 10 minute scene with someone from anywhere on the planet, has over 100,000 views. Jay is very much about positivity towards improv and saying yes within your improv. This has led to a continued desire and enthusiasm for improv and improv community online – something that we also spend some time talking about in this episode. As far as Jay’s background, he’s been improvising for nearly 30 years.  A few of those he has trained with include Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, David Razowsky, Keith Johnstone, Del Close, Charna Halpern, Jeff Michalski and Mick Napier. He is a graduate of training centers of The Second City, The Second City NW, iO Chicago, and ComedySportz Chicago and the founder of Today Improv.  He also served as the Artistic Director/Head of Training at the Improv Comedy Copenhagen Theatre, where he taught improv and sketch comedy to expats from all around the world. He previously taught for Second City Chicago, Second City Hollywood, Westside Comedy Theater, iO Chicago (where he was also head of its artistic committee), iO West and ComedySportz Chicago, and has taught at many improv festivals around the world, including the Oslo Impro Festival, the Copenhagen International Improv Festival, the Barcelona Improv Festival and the Chicago Improv Festival. He is the winner of The Golden Pineapple, awarded to the best visiting teacher at Improv Comedy Copenhagen. At the Westside Comedy Theater, Jay is in the cast of Mission Improvable and Improv Famous, an Armando-style show featuring some of the best improvisors on the planet. He is also part of the duo Zer0 H0ur with Bill Chott and was an ensemble member of ComedySportz Chicago, several weekend “house” improv teams at iO Chicago and many other improv and sketch comedy groups. At least, that’s the in person stuff!  Also, Jay is the co-host of ImprovCast with Jay and Landon. Follow Jay and Jay-related stuff at: JaySukow.com Today Improv Facebook Twitter Instagram Jay also appeared as a panelist on the first session of the Covid-19 Improv Summit and both sessions related to online improv in the Summit. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/improvcomedyconnection/message
Sophie Scott
10-05-2021
Sophie Scott
Our third episode in Season 4 is with Dr. Sophie Scott, the Wellcome Senior Research Fellow in Basic Biomedical Science and Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London.  She is part of UCL's Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and in the Division of  Psychology & Lang Sciences.  So of course we're having her on the podcast, right?  Well it is an of course because of her particular lines of inquiry do have quite a lot to say about a subject that all improvisers, comedians and communicators who use humor care about -- laughter. More generally, Dr. Scott's work looks at the neural basis of vocal communication - how our brains process the information in speech and voices and correspondingly produce what comes out of us that's audible. Within that, is a very special and interesting focus that she has placed on laughter.  And her conclusions can -- if we let them -- be quite transformational, I think, in how we evaluate our work.  I don't want to give too much away, so I will leave it there -- but what for more follow up material on the topics addressed. You are also welcome and encouraged to check out more of Dr. Scott's background and work product.  Here are a few places to get you started: Official Site: http://ucl.ac.uk/pals/people/profiles/academic-staff/sophie-scott Select Lectures and Resources from Dr. Scott: Sophie Scott: Why we laugh | TED Talk The Science of Laughter with Sophie Scott - YouTube ‎The Neuromantics on Apple Podcasts --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/improvcomedyconnection/message
Joe Bill
24-01-2021
Joe Bill
Listen in to a fire side chat with Joe Bill -- widely regarded as one of the best teachers of Scenic and Comedic Improvisation in the world today. He is one of the founding members of Annoyance Theater Chicago where, for 12 years, he performed in and/or directed more than 60 different shows. He was the Director of Corporate Training at iO Chicago for 15 years and a Teacher & Guest Artist in Residence at The Second City Conservatory & Training Center for another 15 years. Joe first learned Improvisation and in 1977 studied and worked with Del Close from 1985 through the mid 90’s. Joe is ½ of the original improvised Monoscene, BASSPROV with Mark Sutton, . They have been heralded by the NY TIMES: "BASSPROV refreshingly has the feel of a quiet character study...jokes emerge organically, using wordplay, character quirks and quicksilver wit." Joe tours all over the world, teaching and headlining with extremely talented Duo partners like Mark Sutton (Annoyance Theater Co-Founding Member and Artistic Director for Training and Development at The Second City) in the long-running BASSPROV,  Jill Bernard (Huge Improv Theater – Mpls.) in their hit show SCRAM!, with Lee White (CRUMBS – Winnipeg, Berlin) in their heroic Duo show PARADIGM, with International Improv Legend Patti Stiles (AD - Impro Melbourne) in their groundbreaking show Our Play, Stacey Hallal (Curious Comedy Theater – Portland, OR) in Stacey & Joe and We Slept Together, Heather Urquhart (Improviser/Director The Maydays & Showstopper The Improvised Musical – London/U.K.) in their magical improvised Musical Blues Hammer (with the stupendous Joe Samuel on Improvised Orchestra) and with David Razowsky (Host A.D.D. Comedy Podcast) in Razowsky & Bill. He’s played with many other Duo partners, in the U.S. and abroad, in many Festival Ensemble shows and in every improvised format and/or style imaginable. For the last 6 years he has also been teaching and performing in French, in many cities in France, Belgium & Luxembourg. He is living his dream! He has played as a guest in Play Unscripted with ImproTheatre L.A., Grand Theft Impro at Impro Melbourne (Australia), The Scene at The PIT in New York City and UCB in L.A., with Let’s Have A Ball and ASSSSCAT 3000 at UCB Theater in New York & L.A. and with Kornfeld & Andrews at Magnet Theater in New York City.  And, of course, he has performed, directed, taught and served as an Artistic Adviser for a number of Improvisation/Comedy Theaters & Festivals on every continent except Antarctica (but he’s working on that!) and at every major Improv Festival in The United States. You can find Joe on facebook at Joe Bill Teaches! | Facebook, which is also the best place to get connected with the Story Chain sessions that Joe hosts. --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/improvcomedyconnection/message
Jon Carr
13-12-2020
Jon Carr
As we get ready to close out Season 3 of the podcast, Whit has a conversation with Jon Carr -- just a week or so out from the big news that Jon has been hired as Executive Producer at Second City.  Just prior, Jon was serving as Artistic Director at Dad's Garage in Atlanta.  Jon was not only a fixture for many years at Dad's, but also in the Atlanta creative community as a whole.  We discuss his start in improv at Dad's, his approach to the craft, and so much more. In addition to his work at Dad's Garage, Jon impacted and connected with many other organizations.  He has had staged readings at Synchronicity Theatre, Happy Accident Theatre, and Stage Door Players. He worked with Alliance Theatre as their Audience Development Manager. Jon founded United Atlanta Improv and has helped improv theatres around the city come together through collaborative works. With his improv group Dark Side of the Room, he has been able to work with The Center For Civil and Human Rights and perform around North America. He has appeared in a number of Dad’s Garage shows such as: “Cannibal! The Musical,” “The Dad’s Garage Going Out of Business Show,” “The Wrath of Con” and “Effed Up Fairy Tales.” Dad’s Garage has also given him the opportunity to write shows as he has written “Wrath of Con 1,” “Wrath of Con 2,” and “Black Nerd” (Winner of the 2018 Suzi Bass Award for Best Orginal play). You can connect with Jon on social media: Instagram @joncarrjr Twitter @JonCarrJr And keep watching as he makes his mark on Second City in 2021 and beyond! --- Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/improvcomedyconnection/message