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Erick Acuña is an improviser, teacher and lawyer. He started improvising in Peru ten years ago before moving to the States and studying at WIT in Washington, D.C. and UCB in New York. We talk to him about how he found his voice in improv, and he shares two exercises you can use to find it. He also talks about what it's like to improvise in English …
 
Brendan Sullivan started improvising almost 30 years ago in Chicago. He is an actor, corporate improv trainer and was a member of the legendary Harold team Blue Velveeta at iO-Chicago. We talk to him about how he found his role on that team, which was made up of strong personalities, how he learned to play things honestly, and the best way for olde…
 
Michelle Gilliam is the owner and artistic director of ImprovMKE in Milwaukee, WI. She is one of those great improvisers with a strong acting background. We talk to Michelle about how she applies her short form experience to her long, how she strives to make her theater inclusive, and she shares what it was like for her to be the only Black woman i…
 
Marcus Sams is the founder of Moment Improv Theater in San Francisco, the artistic director of The San Francisco Improv Festival, and one half of one of my favorite improv duos, Liss n' Sams, with the incredible Joe Liss. We talk to Marcus about doing Duo Improv, the importance of emotions and where he thinks Zoom improv is going in the future.…
 
Adam Cawley is a three-time Canadian Award-winning actor, who is also a writer, improviser and teacher. He has written four revues at The Second City Main Stage in Toronto and is the co-host of the podcast The Backline with Rob and Adam. We talk to him about variety in improv, how he approaches improv shows in different venues and how he deals with…
 
Shaun Landry is an actor, teacher and improviser. She teaches at The Pack Theater in Los Angeles and is is the Artist Director of Oui be Negros, which is an African American sketch and improv group that she started back in 1994 in Chicago. Jimmy talks to her about why it's important to make social statements in her improv, why she does not back off…
 
This week Rob and Adam take a break from their Sketchtown Series to address some of the massive changes happening at improv theatres across the world due to Covid-19 and the economy. In this episode they chat about the 1980's stand-up bubble, obstacles once countries open again, and how formats might change in response to recent closures.…
 
Ric Walker has performed with Improvised Shakespeare Company for 15 years and is the director of Chicago cast. He is also a professor at Columbia College in Chicago, where he teaches improv, sketch and stand-up. Jimmy talks to him about Improvised Shakespeare, why emotions are our friend in our scene work, and his thoughts on improving diversity in…
 
Will Luera is a renowned improviser, actor, director and instructor who performs and teaches all over the world. He has served as the artistic director at Improv Boston and the director of improv at Florida Studio Theater, and was recently named artistic director of Improv Asylum in Boston and New York. In this episode, Will shares with us how he h…
 
Jane Morris is an actor, improviser and director. She is the Johnny Appleseed of comedy clubs, having opened the Chicago Comedy Showcase and the Second City e.t.c. in Chicago and the Upfront Comedy and the Comedy Underground in Santa Monica, CA. She currently manages the Fanatic Salon in Culver City, CA. Jane has a reputation for doing incredible c…
 
Armando Diaz is widely regarded as one of the best improv teachers in New York. He is the co-founder of The Magnet Theater there, and help create one of the most popular long forms ever, The Armando Diaz Experience. We talked to him about what makes a good Armando show from both the monologist and the players and why he doesn't like the term "game.…
 
George McAuliffe is the writer and star of the short film The Improv Guru, which is based on his popular Twitter account. Jimmy sits down and talks to him about his dark comedy, why it is so important for improvisers to make fun of themselves, what he hopes improviser get from the movie and advice about following your own path in improv. In the sec…
 
Rich Baker is an incredible improv teacher at Second City Hollywood, as well as an improviser and author of the book Improv Made Easy. He has performed with The Second City, iO-Chicago, and ComedySportz, and has toured the country with Mission Improvable. Jimmy talks to Rich about why you need to fail to get better, why an improviser's goal should …
 
With the pandemic upon us, Rob and Adam launch a new mini-series on The Backline all about sketch comedy, finding premises, and trying to write them down for the first time. In this episode, Rob and Adam discuss their first experiences in their sketch troupe My First Crush, table reads vs. working on your feet, and the awkward feeling when you reim…
 
Joe Liss is one of those improvisers whom Jimmy looked up to when he was coming up in the improv scene in Chicago back in the '80s. Jimmy says Joe is truly one of the funniest performers he has ever seen. His character work is incredible. Joe was in the National Touring Company, Etc. and Main Stage at Second City. We talk to him about how he create…
 
This week Rob and Adam, discuss the term "playing to the top of your intelligence" within scenes. Will they have conflicting opinions? Will this be the topic that finally ends the podcast. Also, Adam confronts Rob about Spinegate 2019, they discuss their Los Angeles trip, and teaching in Vancouver.By Rob Norman and Adam Cawley
 
In this episode, Rob talks with two entrepreneurs who are building parallel improv companies in two very different countries. Martha Stortz (Toronto) and Sara Delile (Mexico) discuss what its like expanding their respective troupes into an international organization with classes, shows, and (maybe one day) a brick-and-mortar theatre ...…
 
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