Amy can be found teaching, directing, writing, performing, and generally doing it all at numerous venues in Austin. We covered a lot of ground in this interview from specifics about her teaching philosophy to asking her to reflect back to when we were improv students, and what questions we had at that time…
Also remember to check out our Comedy Nerd-out featuring 13 speeches from some great local comedy minds.
Featured song in this episode Carbonation By Enon
COMEDY NERD-OUT SEASON ONE
Got Your Back podcast hosted 4 live shows where we invited 13 of our favorite improvisers, teachers, and other great comedic minds from Austin, TX to speak at length on a topic of their choosing.
Here are links to the full length videos as well as clips of each segment. Audio of these episodes will soon be released as podcasts on this page and on podcasting services like itunes.
Episode Four (full episodes)
– “Conspiracies, Meaning, and Hidden Messages” by Cody Dearing
– “Unconditional Support” by Jericho Thorp
– “The Career Comedian in Today’s Industry” by Will Cleveland
– “Western Theatrical Tradition and Moving On” by Arthur Simone
In the midst of a summer project KC and I sat down for a quick episode about what’s been on my mind this week. Namely, bios and bailing.
As the artistic director of ColdTowne I am blessed with the task of reviewing submissions for stage time, and I wanted to share some opinions about the tendencies I’ve noticed.
We also take a few minutes in this episode to talk about bailing in improv. Worse than a mere lack of commitment, giving up entirely is not at all uncommon in improv…and so we had a brief conversation about bailing and where the impulse comes from.
We’re excited to tease some big news in this episode as well, but that will have to wait until it is ready to give you the full scoop. So for now, a vague reference is all we can offer.
Have a good summer, and get those backs.
Featured song in this episode is Lipstick Tree by Tipsy.
This summer a dozen improvisers from Austin are all headed to the Annoyance Theater’s week long summer intensive in Chicago, IL.
We sat down with Brian May, Matt Needles, Cortnie Jones, Lance Nealy, Frank Netscher, and Got Your Back’s own KC Harvey-Taylor to talk about the upcoming trip. We cover what they’re excited about, what they’re nervous about, what they think they could use work on as improvisers, and we even were able to convince them to make some wild predictions about what might happen along the way.
The episode was fun, silly, honest and revealing.
If you would like to support this group they are hosting a fundraiser party where your donations will help cover their travel expenses. In exchange you can enjoy a live surf rock band, and enter to win some amazing prizes in a raffle (including headshots or a voice over demo reel): https://www.facebook.com/events/476620439175845/
Featured song in this episode by
I (Cody) asked KC if he’d like to do an episode called “you aren’t listening” after becoming frustrated with some common patterns I’ve noticed in the improv I’ve been watching recently.
So, we sat down for what was intended to be a short discussion on not listening…and it turned into one of our longer episodes.
From not listening on-stage, to not listening off-stage, to not listening after the show at the bar/yogurt shop we covered the gamut of how this common problem manifests itself and how that effects a group/show/performer.
Then we gave our advice and opinions on some possible solutions and exercises.
Many thanks are due to KC (as always) for keeping the episode positive and on track while I used the show as a platform to publicly grieve about some peeves.
The featured song this episode is “It’s Up to You” By KVHW.
Jericho is a member of Midnight Society who perform weekly improv shows on Saturdays at 10pm at ColdTowne Theater. Midnight Society is one of the longest running groups in Austin (the second student group created out of ColdTowne conservatory). They’re masters of improv, sketch on stage and on screen, commercials for this podcasts, and seemingly anything else that comes their way.
I find Jericho to be a tremendous actor whose commitment and ability to believably portray characters both big and small is inspiring. He always seems to be having a good time, and his skill and energy often reminds me of why I love doing improv.
In this episode we talked with Jericho about character, commitment, and much much more. Then to top it all off we played a great game that KC created where we improvise short scenes, and then talk about the process and why we made certain choices.
Midnight Society can be found on the web here:
This episodes featured song is “Smiling Like A Buddha” by Railroad Earth. railroadearth.com
Also Don’t forget to subcribe to and rate/review our sister podcast Victrola!victrolapod.com
If you’re thinking about putting on an improv show, or any kind of show, our opinion is that you should go for it!
Particularly if you’re new to the process or new to a city you might not know the ins and outs of exactly how show comes together or how they wind up on stage. Don’t worry though. The process isn’t so complicated once you break it down…so, come on…it’s time to have that talk about where improv shows come from.
We had a lot to say about the benefits of reacting to the last thing said, and really trying to “use the whole buffalo”.
In part our theory is simple; if you react to what is already going on (ideally the last thing that was said or done) then you won’t have to work to invent something to do next.
One thing we didn’t talk about on the recording is how this reminds me of a Jason Shotts lesson I heard of second hand.(**EDIT: My apologies for remembering this incorrectly. Corrections at the bottom)
Someone would say an opening line and then as a class they would ask 3 questions about that line:
– What was just said?
– What did they really mean? (subtext)
– What else can we infer from that line?
If improvisers really took the time to use each line (or offer to include information added through physicality) they might realize the abundance of information in each move…and perhaps slow down some to use more of what is already there.
I feel that in the classes I teach that this is the concept I end up covering more than any other.
Often times an offer will be made by someone, but will get no reaction at all from the group.
I had someone in a recent class say they felt like “nothing was going on” in a scene. I felt though, there were all kinds of things happening, and offers being made. I agreed however that no one was really reacting to and using the information in those offers. Digging in to them to do more of what was explicit, implicit, and inferred…it was just sort of unused offer after unused offer. A “denial of omission” as Bill Arnett might say.
Again, I agree with that student that even though there were things happening the group didn’t seem to make an attempt to get any of those things going. Which seemed to indicate that people were more in a mental space of “what’s next? What’s next?” instead of reacting to the last thing.
The conversation in this episode goes deeper and deeper into this metaphor of “eating the whole pizza”. Bon appétit.
Also please download, subscribe and listen to our sister podcast: Victrola! Sketch Comedy Podcast! Produced and created by Micheal Jastroch, it features many of the great comedians and performers we’ve interviewed on GYB podcast.
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