SRM: Season 4 Episode 2

SRMiTunesImageThis episode of Stark Raven Mad: A Game of Thrones Podcast covers Season 4, episode 2: “The Lion and the Rose”. Pretty big episode for only the 2nd episode in the season! This has gotta mean there’s some even bigger things to come. Maybe it’s white walker giants as I predict in this podcast! ha. This week features myself, David Donnella, Jessica Ross, Kaitlin Thompson, Kevin Pettit and of course Andrew Stanton. Without them I’d just be some idiot talking into a microphone about a show I should know more about as host of a podcast. Remember to subscribe and rate on iTunes!

If your’re in the Philly area then be sure to visit one of our sponsors- the Philly Improv Theater! PHIT is an alternative comedy theater in Philly where each of us performs. In January we opened up Philly’s first full-time theater for alternative comedy in downtown Philadelphia. In addition to shows 5 days a week we also offer classes in improv, sketch writing and stand-up. Our Summer session is enrolling now and if you enroll in most classes by Friday, May 9th you get $50 off!

Please check out our other sponsor, Audible.com, by going to AudibleTrial.com/StarkRavenMad to sign up for a freeno risk 30 day trial. When you do so you get one free audio book download. So, if you haven’t read the GoT books yet- you can listen for free and help support this podcast at the same time.

If you have any questions for the podcast email SRMPodcast@gmail.com. Please like our SRM Facebook page, follow us @SRMPodcast. You can also email us any questions/comments at SRMPodcast@gmail.com. Also please rate and review us on iTunes! Favorably!

Play
Posted in Stark Raven Mad | Leave a comment

¡Venga a Celebrar Cuatro Años de Pasiones en Miércoles!

318862_2412435469096_680736729_nOn Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 I’ll be performing with Pasiones de Pasiones. We’ll be doing the classic longform improv format, the Harold, as part of Philly Improv Theater’s Wednesday night Harold night. Pasiones strives to be a somewhat coherent improvised telenovela… but usually fails. In a fun way though.

In 2010 the Troika competition was happening. Troika is an improv competition held occasionally by improv performer/producer Matt Nelson in which 3 people are grouped together who have never performed together and are tasked with putting on a show. At the time it was myself, Andy Moskowitz and Ralph Andracchio. They had already decided a format when I came on board. My main contribution was our editing style. We won our round and then we also ended up winning the Championship that year. We also won the PHIT Cagematch multiple times. Since Andy has moved to NY, Steve Kleinedler usually steps into his zapatos. Nearly 4 years after its creation it’s still fun to do. Probably because we don’t do it too often.

I can’t promise a coherent show. Nor should any students look to this show for instruction. I can promise I’m going to have fun doing it. Hopefully you have fun too. It’s a little shy of our Birthday, but who knows the next time we’ll perform. Feliz cumpleaños, Pasiones.

The Pasiones Harold (opening up for PHIT Harold Team, “This is Your Captain”)
7:30pm  $8 online / $10 door
Philly Improv Theater
2030 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Pretty sure the photo was ‘shopped by Kristen Schier.

Posted in Show News | Leave a comment

SRM: Season 4 Premiere!

SRMiTunesImageSeason 4 has finally arrived! After several episodes going over old footage we finally have some new things to argue about. This episode was different for us in that we had a “live audience” that took part in the podcast from time to time with healthy dose of information and bits. I tried to keep it as neat as I could, but it got messy at times. It was a real fun recap /discussion of this week’s premiere, which set a up a lot of things. Nothing ever seems to slow down in this show. As usual Andrew does a great job of filling in some back story. Don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review on iTunes!

If your’e in the Philly area then be sure to visit one of our sponsors- the Philly Improv Theater! PHIT is an alternative comedy theater in Philly where each of us performs. In January we opened up Philly’s first full-time theater for alternative comedy in downtown Philadelphia. In addition to shows 5 days a week we also offer classes in improv, sketch writing and stand-up. Our Summer session is enrolling now and if you enroll in a improv 101 or sketch 101 by Friday, May 9th you get $50 off!

Please check out our other sponsor, Audible.com, by going to AudibleTrial.com/StarkRavenMad to sign up for a freeno risk 30 day trial. When you do so you get one free audio book download. So, if you haven’t read the GoT books yet- you can listen for free and help support this podcast at the same time.

If you have any questions for the podcast email SRMPodcast@gmail.com. Please like our SRM Facebook page, follow us @SRMPodcast. You can also email us any questions/comments at SRMPodcast@gmail.com. Also please rate and review us on iTunes! Favorably!

Play
Posted in Stark Raven Mad | Leave a comment

SRM: Game of Thrones Season 4 Preview

SRMiTunesImageGame of Thrones Season 4 premieres in under a week! Mike and Andrew are joined David Donnella making his second appearance on the podcast and Lizzie Spellman who is making her first appearance. Hopefully they were not completely turned off to the idea of joining us again. In this episode we recapped most of where every important character is up to this point as a refresher as well as discussed some scenes, images and documentaries released promoting the show’s fourth season and what those things could mean for what’s to come. Lizzie and I give some predictions as we are the only 2 tonight that haven’t read through the books, Andrew and David make hand vagina’s… typical SRM episode. New microphone was used. Still working out the kinks. Subscribe to the podcast and you’ll get new episodes within a couple hours after the show ends. Enjoy!

If your’e in the Philly area then be sure to visit one of our sponsors- the Philly Improv Theater! PHIT is an alternative comedy theater in Philly where each of us performs. In January we opened up Philly’s first full-time theater for alternative comedy in downtown Philadelphia. In addition to shows 5 days a week we also offer classes in improv, sketch writing and stand-up. Our Summer session is enrolling now and if you enroll in a improv 101 or sketch 101 by Tuesday, 4/1 you get $100 off! So for only $199 you get several hours each week where you can explore your creative side and make new friends. Best $199 you’ll ever spend.

Please check out our other sponsor, Audible.com, by going to AudibleTrial.com/StarkRavenMad to sign up for a freeno risk 30 day trial. When you do so you get one free audio book download. So, if you haven’t read the GoT books yet- you can listen for free and help support this podcast at the same time.

Please like our SRM Facebook page, follow us @SRMPodcast. You can also email us any questions/comments at SRMPodcast@gmail.com. Also please rate and review us on iTunes! Favorably!

Play
Posted in Stark Raven Mad | Leave a comment

The Sideshow debut of Impression-prov

Mike-Marbach-as-Johnny-CarsonFor Christmas the last couple years I’ve performed “Twas the Night Before Christmas” in about 42 different celebrity voices. Some better than others of course. After I did it this year I had the thought to do a show in which I play those people in improv scenes. Not necessarily the characters they portrayed, but them. For example if it was Jeff Goldblum, it wouldn’t be him as Dr. Ian Malcolm it would be him doing a scene about not being able to pay the rent or whatever. On March 20th, which was also my birthday which was also the first day of Spring, I performed this show with the help of some friends. I gave a punch of digital images to Ryan Barlow who was doing tech for me and he put up the images in no particular orders. So although I knew I could somewhat do the voices, I didn’t know which was coming when. The show, just like some of the voices, was messy at times, but it was a lot of fun and I hope to do it again soon. Ryan Carey from Witout.net saw the show and took some pics, write mini reviews for a couple scenes and posted them. Also, I still can’t think of a good name for it, but it definitely isn’t impression-prov.

http://www.witout.net/2014/03/21/photos-from-note-to-self-and-the-sideshow/

Posted in Press, Show News, The Sideshow | Leave a comment

SRM Live at Philly Podcast Festival!

SRMiTunesImageAnd we’re back! Sort of. This special episode of Stark Raven Mad was recorded back in August of 2013 as part of the first ever Philly Podcast Festival. We had real microphones and real people listening to us for some reason. I thought I had already posted it, but apparently not. Consider this a “lost” episode. Maybe it should have stayed that way. We will officially be back this Spring with new episodes including a look ahead at season 4 soon as well as weekly recaps of the show starting April 6th. For now, enjoy this live episode of SRM!

Joining the podcast as a sponsor going into this next season will be the Philly Improv Theater! PHIT is a comedy theater in Philly where each of us performs. In January we opened up Philly’s first full-time theater for alternative comedy in downtown Philadelphia. If you’re looking for shows we have them 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. If you’re looking to get involved in comedy we have classes in improv, sketch, standup and more! Our spring session starts the week of 3/16 and there is still some limited availability in improv and sketch 101 classes. Email classes@phillyimprovtheater.com for more information or visit PhillyImprovTheater.com. Support live comedy!

Please check out our other sponsor, Audible.com, by going to AudibleTrial.com/StarkRavenMad to sign up for a free, no risk 30 day trial. When you do so you get one free audio book download. So, if you haven’t read the GoT books yet- you can listen for free and help support this podcast at the same time.

Please like our SRM Facebook page, follow us @SRMPodcast. You can also email us any questions/comments at SRMPodcast@gmail.com.

Play
Posted in Stark Raven Mad | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Broad Street Review Article on PHIT and Improv

Oe-xUvk0For anyone that doesn’t know I’m the Education Director of the Philly Improv Theater (PHIT). I’m in charge of the Training Center… the curriculum, the instructors and how everything involved works together. Judy Weightman is a recent graduate from our Improv 101. She was under the watchful guidance of Corin Wells from the start. She took a free workshop with Corin and enjoyed it enough to jump into a whole level.  Judy enjoyed the class so much she jotted those thoughts down into an article for the Broad Street Review. I particularly enjoyed this part:

So improv is playful, supportive, and egalitarian. It’s also collaborative. An improv set is the mutual creation of a group of people who all add their own touches to a piece that none could come up with individually. Improv thus involves a kind of teamwork utterly unlike anything else I experience in the rest of my life. In a business environment, even when there’s genuine camaraderie and mutual support on a working team, there’s also a division of tasks, to say nothing of a hierarchy. Not in improv — there’s no leader, no boss, no director. All responsibility for creating and shaping the performance is shared.

This was Corin’s first full length level to teach on her own, but by the sound of Judy’s experience she handled herself pret-ty well. It’s reading things like this and hearing stories from students and instructors that don’t find their way to print that make me so proud of our instructors, our theater and improv in general. Thank you, Judy for your kind words about all three.

To read the full article on Broad Street Review click here.

If this article sparked your interest in a class, click here to go to PHIT’s class enrollment page.

Posted in Press, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The 2014 Oscars Improv Jam Videos

jamphoto2012Each year for the last four years I’ve hosted the Oscars Improv Jam along side Kristen Schier. I use “host” somewhat loosely as I tend to drink while Kristen hosts most of the show. The Oscars Improv Jam is a celebration of the movies that takes place the weekend of the Academy Awards. It’s a bunch of movie themed improv games such as “film & theatre styles”, “forward/reverse” of  course “Oscar winning moment”. We also slip in “CSI” which is more of a television thing, but it’s a lot of fun so it stays every year. We started doing it several years ago at the Philly Improv Theater, but had it off site the last 2 years due to the theater’s rental not lining up with Oscars weekend. Now that PHIT has its own space we were able to bring it back. And good thing too… sooo much easier when it’s in a real theater with tech and screens and seats.

Part of the show has always been that people would create videos inspired by films created in the previous year. Below are two of last night’s videos. The first is a staple of the Oscars Improv Jam. “Starstruck” created by Brent Knobloch of PHIT improv team Asteroid! and sketch team The Flat Earth in which he “interviews” Dame Judy Dench and Jared Leto. The second is a parody of “Her” created by Sean Landis (also of PHIT Sketch team The Flat Earth) which parodies the film “her” now starring the hilarious Bill Burr.

Thank you to everyone that attended last night. Thanks to Kristen for being a great host and helping to move things along. Thanks to Tom Whitaker for jumping in to do tech and thanks to Brent and Sean for the awesome videos below. See y’all at the 2015 Oscars Improv Jam!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Study Hall Back in the Paper!

Study Hall’s Professor Michael Yudell has a column in the Inqurier- “The Public’s Health”- and used his influence to put in a blurb for the show!

Study+Hall--1234037_662646910421553_841209504_n

Photo by Tom Lovelund

Beginning Saturday night, Feb. 22, and then monthly for the next three months (March 22, April 26, May  24), the Philadelphia FringeArts Festival show Study Hall will be returning to the Adrienne Theater in Center City for an hour of history and improv.

Study Hall, directed by Philadelphia Improv Theater’s Mike Marbach, works like this: yours truly tells a wacky story from the history of science, medicine or public health, and then an amazingly talented group of improv comics uses that information to, well, improv hilarious (warning: sometimes raucous) comedy.

Shows start at 7:30 p.m.; you can purchase tickets here.

Study Hall features: David Donnella, Frank Farrell, A.J. Horan, Jessica Ross, Andrew Stanton, Becca Trabin, Aaron Unice, Caitlin Weigel, Corin Wells, Addie Weyrich, and Professor Michael Yudell. Directed by Mike Marbach.

Hope to see you all Saturday night.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/public_health/Come-join-us-at-Study-Hall.html#Ehj6KgrOf6HiBW4C.99

Posted in Press, Show News | Leave a comment

Study Hall: The New Class

StudyHall

Study Hall was developed with my former PHIT House Team, Asteroid!, for the 2013 Philly Fringe Festival. The idea is built on the Armando improv form. In an Armando, named after improv dignitary Armando Diaz, a performer will tell a story inspired by the suggestion and the group will improvise scenes based on ideas in the monologue.

In 2012 Asteroid! was asked to perform as part of PHIT’s night in the Philadelphia Science Festival. We were paired with Drexel University’s Professor Michael Yudell. We decided to do a modified Armando. For our purposes, Professor Yudell would deliver short lectures based on different topics and Asteroid! would improvise scenes based on the lectures. It went over very, very well. So well that we were asked to do it again at 2013′s Science Festival, which we did with Professor Yudell once again.

Asteroid! was always looking to do their own thing within the Philly Improv Theater. Whether it was theme dressing, holiday shows, or special runs like the Improvised B-Movie. So when 2013 Fringe Festival submission time came around Asteroid! wanted in. We were originally planning on doing our version of the The Movie form, but that was thrown out in favor of what became Study Hall (though naming it Back to School was part of the debate for a while).

The Science Festival shows we did were about 15 minutes. The 4 Study Hall shows we did for the Fringe Festival were each about an hour long. It was one of the best attended shows of the 3 week long festival and did wonders for bringing in new people to the Philly Improv Theater.

In October 2013 Asteroid! ended its run after 3.5 years. Again doing something that separated them from the rest- a two week long run of the Improvised B-Movie. It was another very successful run with several sold out shows, including the final two shows which saw the full Asteroid! cast assembled for their end run. Bert had moved to Las Vegas in August 2013 and Luke had Moved to NY in September 2013. Bert flew in and Luke rode down so that the team would go out with everyone- something else that separated them from the rest. They were one, unchanged unit for years. Twice winning the WitOut Award for Best Improv Group and also taking home a Best Short Run show for their 2012 B-Movie Run. They accomplished a lot as a team an I as their director and I couldn’t be prouder of them even now.

In late 2013 it was announced PHIT would finally be getting its own theater! With that permanent space comes lots more show opportunities. I was originally approached in November about doing a remount of Study Hall in some capacity once things were up and running in the new theater. at first I wasn’t sure exactly how that would happen. Asteroid! was over and I was always of the mind with that team that once we decided to end- we were done. Even if Asteroid! would do it… Bert was in Las Vegas. Luke moved to NY and Brent was talking of doing the same. And Lora wanted to follow some other creative endeavors. So if Study Hall was to continue… It wouldn’t be Asteroid!, so I was kind of dragging my feet on the whole process and idea.

After talking it over with Asteroid! about the possibility I let Ralph know I was officially on board to helm the project again. The show itself, if done well with another good group of people, could hit all of the same points that it did during Fringe with welcoming new people to improv and to PHIT overall. Then this Winter when a date was given I knew I needed to get shit together and if it was going to happen- make it happen and do whatever I could to make it great. If it sucked then, to me, it would kind of tarnish the rep of the show Asteroid! developed. First order of business was seeing who on the original crew was still interested in performing. Thankfully most of them were. AJ, Jess, Caitlin and Aaron were on board. Next on the list was re-enlisting Professor Yudell. He was on board as well. I think maybe he was a bit hesitant as I was with the idea, because both of us developed the show with Asteroid!. Regardless, he was on board.

Then I had to build around the original four. One of the ideas of this show is that it’s monthly and does not meet to practice as often as say a PHIT house team does. So I needed people that were good performers on their own, but that would also slip into this group and complement and supplement the group in place. To behave as a team without the amount of practice that a team might get. I found them. I feel like they have some built in chemistry based on their personalities, but also their play styles and I know that they will only get better and better.

The cast of Study Hall includes some of the most fun and talented improvisers I’ve had the pleasure of watching. David Donnella, Frank Farrell, AJ Horan, Jessica Ross, Andrew Stanton, Becca Trabin, Aaron Unice, Caitlin Weigel, Corin Wells, Addie Weyrich and of couse, lectures provided by Professor Michael Yudell.

To be honest the show sounds kind of odd. Ok, so there’s this professor form Drexel that’s going to talk about medicine and some historical things and then this group of improv comics then do scenes inspired by it… but trust me, it’s A LOT of fun to watch. And you learn something! There’s isn’t any other show like this in Philly that combines these worlds. I of course also like it for the reaching out that it does to other disciplines. This is also the main reason Ralph Andracchio picked it to be part of PHIT’s Dynamite Series, which aims to do exactly that- connect various disciplines and parts of the community to the theater.

The first show is February 22, 2014 at 7:30pm at PHIT. If practices are any indication this show is going to be fantastic. The group that’s been put together is just so. damn. good. And they’re only gonna get better. They’re fun, but the real star is Drexel Professor Michael Yudell who will have you laughing just as much as any of the performers. So grab your note books and some beers and come on down to Study Hall.

Dynamite Series @ PHIT Presents: Study Hall
February 22nd, 2014 @ 7:30pm
Philly Improv Theater
(Monthly thereafter)

Posted in Asteroid!, Show News | Leave a comment

The Sideshow is Moving to PHIT!

The headline is the short. If you care about what’s all gone into this decision, then here is the long…

When I first started teaching improv classes in Philly I wanted to make sure people were seeing shows and watching them constructively. So, in classes one of the things I’ve always done (and if you’ve had me in class you know this) is ask what shows students have seen when we return from the class break.

Problem was that when I first started teaching improv classes in Philly there could be 2 or more weeks when zero longform improv shows were taking place. PHIT had recently started doing shows at the Shubin Theatre 2 weeks out of every month. So when I’d come back from break and ask “Who saw shows???” … people wouldn’t have anything to say. Some would say I saw ComedySportz or I saw NCrowd, both great shows, but not longform shows.

1239857_510430495707413_1398558194_n

After about a year of being back and teaching I was approached to start coaching this improv duo that called themselves “Beirdo”. I didn’t want to take on a group that did not have regular practices and regular performances. About this time I was kicking around the idea to start a show that sort of filled in the blanks of PHIT weeks at the Shubin as well as gave people the opportunity to step outside their comfort zones. To try one off groups, do forms they’ve never done- and get paid to do it. A show that made sure that was at least ONE longform improv show to see every single week of the year. I talked to Beirdo about the idea, they were on board and so on July 17, 2011 “The Sideshow” was born!

Over the last 2.5 years The Sideshow has seen the debut of groups and their final shows. We’ve expanded from just longform improv to include sketch groups, standup, singing, dancing, clowning and much more. We’ve done one act plays, Musical reviews, two Oscar Jam events that encourage people to do short form improv as well as create videos, hosted two years of the Troika Tournament which creates new groups, two Freaky Friday events that raise nearly $1000 for MS and encouraged performers to try a comedy form they don’t normally do. We gave people like Lizzie Spellman playing the uke and singing, Kristen Schier clowning, Tim Butterly & Mike Rainey doing the Not for Nothin podcast and others the chance to showoff a different side of them they’re now known and loved for. We’ve done this for many people and we’ve paid them to do it. The Sideshow has given back nearly $4,000 over the last 2.5 years back to the performers of Philly.

Two of the reasons I started Sideshow are now no longer relevant. The first is Beirdo has scattered to the ends of the Earth with occasional (and awesome) shows. The other is that starting later in January 2014 The Philly Improv Theater will have a permanent home at the Adrienne Theater with shows 52 weeks a year! So the need for The Sideshow to fill in the gaps of PHIT weeks will no longer be there and as Education Director I didn’t want to be running a “competing” effort. So, after some talks- The Sideshow is moving to PHIT starting January 23rd!

I am very excited for this move. It puts the Sideshow in a legit theater with all the space and tech that goes along with that. So the possibilities are opened up even more to what people can do at Sideshow. So the spirit of Sideshow will be fully in tact once it’s up and running at PHIT. I’m also excited for what the move means for PHIT. Moving Sideshow to PHIT means that PHIT will have a show that, in one hour or so period, people can see a wider variety of comedy that they might not otherwise have seen. It also means we can bring over all the the things we started doing there… one off groups, team mashups, performer challenges, more student opportunities and lots more. It also means we can bring over the different theme nights like Freaky Friday and Oscars Jam as well as some new ideas I’ve got. It’s gonna be great.

Though Sideshow is moving to PHIT I’ve made sure that there would still be a show taking place at the Arts Parlor in its place. Starting on January the improv group Bill Parks will be heading up a show there and the name they chose is “The Brewery” Here’s what they had to say about the new show:

“Our view of the show is that it will emulate a brewery in more than name alone. Experiment, collaborate and enjoy the results. In general, the show will be similar to the Sideshow. Established comedic talents and budding new acts will take to the stage, bringing a consistently great show to the Arts Parlor twice a month.”

It was important to me to make sure there was still going to be a show taking place at the Parlor to give people even more chances to perform. They said the show will be similar to the Sideshow and one way that’s certainly true is it will continue to pay performers whereas with The Sideshow’s move to PHIT that one benefit had to be lost due to the costs involved in production. So this will make sure there’s a “indie” show happening that allows performers to get paid for their efforts. The first Brewery will take place at the Arts Parlor on January 11th and can be seen just about every other week thereafter.

So that’s the long story behind the movie and its replacement. I’d like to thank Bill Parks for keeping a show going. And I’d like to thank the Beirdo guys, Fred Brown, Joel Thomas and everyone else that’s helped out at the Parlor over the years. I look very forward to Sideshow at the PHIT and the Brewery at the Parlor continuing to give performance opportunities, challenge performers and help grow the scene overall.

Posted in Show News, The Sideshow, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Sideshow: Holiday Potluck!

SideshowChristmas

On Friday The Sideshow will have its Christmas show! All acts (for the most part) will be holiday themed in some way. Not only that, but it’s a pot luck! Bring a dish or drink for everyone to enjoy. Doors will open at 7:30pm so show up early with your treats. Show starts at 8pm.

The fantastic, holiday line-up includes:

LIZZIE SPELLMAN: Host and Musical Guest!

DAY OF THE MULE: Improv from Dave Piccinetti, Bobby Lang, Andrew Stanton, Kaitlin Thompson and Rob Gentile. The Nativity scene had a mule. Now we do too.

JESSICA ROSS: Performing a Christmas themed dramatic monologue.

CHISTMAS WITH THE MCGREGOR TWINS: Improv from Andrew Stanton and Kristen Schier.

BEIRDO- Improv. Denny comes down from NY as Dan visits from the midwest. It’s another festivus miracle!

MIKE MARBACH: Reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in roughly 40 different celebrity voices of varying quality.

NOT FOR NOTHIN PODCAST: Tim Butterly & Mike Rainey. It’s the official podcast of the Delaware County Times. It’s f’n pretty decent.

The Sideshow Holiday Potluck!
Friday, 12/20 @ 8pm
Arts Parlor at 1170 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia
ONLY $5.00 and it’s BYOB.

Posted in Show News, The Sideshow | Leave a comment

Gettin’ Close with Scott Adsit!

Photo: Dan Hallman. TimeOut Chicago 11/09.

My guest this episode is none other than 30 Rock’s, Scott Adsit! Many know him as Pete Hornberger, but he’s done lots of other things including Moral Orel on cartoon network, Mr. Show and tons of bit parts and guest spots. He was in town for Duofest at Philly Improv Theater in June where he did a set of shows with Jet Eveleth (whose Gettin Close episode was already posted). We talk a lot about comedy and hear some great stories, but we also talk about his thoughts on comedy and philosophies on improv. Took me a while to get it posted, but it’s finally done. Enjoy it and share!

Also- Friday 11/8 at Greg Sestero and his Disaster Artist book tour is coming to town! He played “Mark” in what is arguably the best-worst movie ever made- The Room. I never miss a chance to watch this movie with people. I really do enjoy it every time. He will be at the PhilaMOCA where he’ll not just be signing copies of the book (I just got mine!), but also reenacting scenes from the film! I’m going to get to reenact a scene from the film as “Peter” and it’s gonna be amazing. Even more amazing- it looks like the next episode will be Gettin Close with Greg Sestero!

Support me and the podcast and sign up for a free, no risk trial of Audible.com! I’m not sure if the Disaster Artist is up there yet, but if it is- there ya go. Free.

Play
Posted in Gettin' Close Podcast, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gettin’ Close with Susan Messing!

SusanMessing_webIn this long overdue to be posted episode I sit down with one of my improv mentors, Susan Messing. Susan was in town in July when she did a weekend of workshops and shows at PHIT with Christina Gausas. Susan is one of my biggest inspirations. Not only do I think I get my class room potty mouth from her, but I like to think I get some improv know how as well. This was a great chat in which we talk about how she got involved in comedy (of course) as well as the history of the Annoyance and loads of improv theory talk.

At the top of the show I also talk briefly about Asteroid! Asteroid! is a PHIT house team I’ve coached for over 3.5 years now. We are calling it a run and we have our last 3 shows coming up. 10/24-10/26 at 7pm. It’s the Improvised B-Movie, which is an improvised comedy show inspired by sci-fi and horror films of the 50′s and 60′s. So it’s loaded with aliens, monsters, soviets and lots of other strange goings on. They won a WitOut award for last year’s run of it (Best Short Run Show) as well as took home the “Best Improv Group” honor. It should be a really fun show and I suggest you buy tickets in advance. Saturday is nearly sold out. I’ll write more about Asteroid! tomorrow or Friday, but for now I’ll just say… I’m really, really going to miss this team. They’ve been not only grown into great performers but have all grown to be great friends and I wish them the most fun final 3 shows they could have.

458576_526335747386004_1898876945_o

Asteroid! seen in a promo shot for “The Improvised B-Movie”
Photo by Tom Lovelund

Lastly, Greg Sestero will be at PhilaMOCA next month! Still hoping to snag a chat with him about his book, “The Disaster Artist”.

Play
Posted in Gettin' Close Podcast | Leave a comment

EXTRA! EXTRA! SCIENTISTS PREDICT ASTEROID! TO BREAK UP IN SPECTACULAR NIGHTTIME SHOW THIS SATURDAY!

This Saturday night at PHIT… the Asteroid! makes its final descent. This is quick bit PHIT posted today about the show.

After 3.5 years of traversing the solar system, their orbit bringing them closer and closer to the Earth, Asteroid! will finally enter our atmosphere and break apart in a spectacular show set to happen this Saturday at 7pm at The Shubin Theater. Local director/amateur astronomer Mike Marbach had this to say about this weekend’s events:

“I’m not known for being of few words, so I’ll just say I’m going to miss this team. Tremendously. Like… a lot. The love they have for each other and the fun they have with each other is evident on stage. In improv you’re supposed to make each other look good. They’ve made me look good for years now. They’ve done nothing but make me proud time and time again. I’m their biggest fan and I want to thank them for all the good times we’ve had both on stage and off. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have something in my eye.”

Tickets are now on sale for this once in a lifetime event. Please click here for more info and tickets. And enjoy this short video made by Asteroid! member Caitlin Weigel.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

EXTRA! EXTRA! ASTEROID! BREAKING UP! GOING OUT WITH A BANG!

After over 3 very fun years, the team known as Asteroid!, my improv family, will be coming to an end. The Asteroid! is breaking up and this run of shows will be their final as a PHIT house team. This was posted on the PHIT site today to announce the end times.

8164994374_b0bfe38bdc_z

After over 3 very fun years, the team known as Asteroid! will be coming to an end. The Asteroid! is breaking up and this performance will be their final as a PHIT house team.

——————–
Join PHIT Improv House Team Asteroid! as they bring back their successful fall production, The B-Movie! This fully improvised show celebrates the fun of the low budget film genre of the 50′s with an hour long double feature inspired by suggestions from the audience. Mutated 50 ft. ants? Creatures from a forgotten lagoon? Armies of the undead in space? You could see all of these and more at B-Movie! Grab your tickets now!

TWO WEEKS OF SHOWS!
CLICK AND JOIN THE SHOW YOU ARE ATTENDING!

10/17 @ 7pm: http://goo.gl/Q3YNzf
10/18 @ 7pm: http://goo.gl/BLal6e
10/19 @ 7pm: http://goo.gl/0i2NBh
10/19 @ 11pm: http://goo.gl/1vOaLf
10/20 @ 4pm: http://goo.gl/bdE1yf
10/24 @ 7pm: http://goo.gl/HpO5zK
10/25 @ 7pm: http://goo.gl/ywlTBA
10/26 @ 7pm: http://goo.gl/K09Brp

Looking for a fun, low cost, family friendly way to celebrate the Halloween season? Then look no further than Asteroid!’s Improvised B Movie. Run for your lives… to see this show!

Audience members can bring their own beverages to enjoy during the show. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online for a discount at phillyimprovtheater.com.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Study Hall Reviewed by Phindie

Not sure which night the reviewer went on, but by the date I’d guess it was the final night.  Overall it’s a good review. So thanks to that guy for coming.

phit-study-hall“The conceit of Philly Improv Theater’s STUDY HALL is that we the audience are a bunch of prep school students, awaiting a lecture in an auditorium. A few uniformed “classmates” sit on the stage, along with our lecturer, Dr. Michael Yudell (a Drexel professor with a PhD in Sociomedical Sciences).  After learning some real facts about different public health topics, the students start improvising a series of small scenes. From the get go, the members of the cast are able to establish strong characters, and a wide range of them too…”

For full review click here

Posted in Press, Show News | Leave a comment

Study Hall reviewed by City Paper

City Paper reviewed Study Hall! And aside from having the wrong photo (pictured is the Fringe show Reasonable Doubt) it’s good!

Asteroid! presents Study Hall. Pictured from Left: Jessica Ross, Lora Magaldi, Milkshake, Caitlin Weigel, Aaron Unice and Brent Knobloch) Photo by Tom Lovelund

Asteroid! presents Study Hall.
Pictured from Left: Jessica Ross, Lora Magaldi, Milkshake, Caitlin Weigel, Aaron Unice and Brent Knobloch)
Photo by Tom Lovelund

“…the talent of the team was obvious, although not every attempted sketch was always firing on all cylinders — and yet, strangely, some of the joy of improv is witnessing the fizzling out. The cute premise here is that of a teacher is giving a science lecture to six students, and then those students go on to riff on the subjects, which will change for each performance and when I saw it included the genesis of condoms. You’ll probably learn several weird science-history facts.

Full article here.

Posted in Press, Show News | Leave a comment

Study Hall and Professor Yudell featured in Drexel News!

How a Health Historian Became a Comedy Headliner

Posted on by Leave a comment

993393_639036242782620_882650631_nSometimes comedy is all about the timing: The Yellow Fever epidemic that swept through Philadelphia in 1793 was absolutely not funny at the time when it left 5000 Philadelphians dead.

“But more than 200 years later, we can laugh at the ridiculous treatments that heaped even more misery upon the epidemic,” said Dr. Michael Yudell, who studies the history of public health as an associate professor and director of the initiative in public health ethics in Drexel’s School of Public Health. Continue reading

Posted in Press, Show News | Leave a comment

“Study Hall” featured on Geekadelphia!

Asteroid! The Show: Geeky Improv at the Adrienne Theater

By | on September 17, 2013 | 0 Comment

Asteroids

Looking for something fun and geeky to do this weekend? And by that I mean, something other than celebrating the birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins?

There’s hope for you, friend to Hobbits! There’s lots of laughs and science at Philly Improv Theater’s “Study Hall” at the Adrienne Theater.

The show started at the Philadelphia Science Festival, when Michael Yudell, a professor at Drexel University, would give a lecture, and the PHIT comedy team Asteroid! would then do improv based on it. Since it’s been so popular, Yudell decided to make it into its own show.

Depicting subjects ranging “from impregnation to parasitic strategy,” this “brutally honest science” will meet the experienced improvisation skills of Asteroid! The show runs September 19-22 at the Adrienne Theater starting at 7PM. Tickets cost $12 for the Thursday and Sunday shows, and $15 for the Friday and Saturday shows.

http://www.geekadelphia.com/2013/09/17/asteroid-the-show-geeky-improv-at-the-adrienne-theater/

Posted in Press, Show News | Leave a comment