John Ratliff – Ep.28

John RatliffWe’re blowing the doors off of this show, and starting 2015 with a bang by interviewing one of Austin’s great improvisers, teachers, & directors, Mr.John Ratliff.

One of the things I most admire about Ratliff is how deeply thoughtful and passionate he is about improv. I think more than anyone else he has changed how I think about performing.

Full disclosure, I will often have moments of uncertainty in which I will do a test where I imagine what Ratliff’s reaction to my choice might be because I so highly regard his opinion of improv to be “pure” in a way that it gives me reassurance to think he might agree with me.
So, that is all to say when we started this show we couldn’t wait to conduct this interview with Ratliff.

In the initial portion of the show we spoke at length about the project he is currently directing, The Church of Indeterminate Divinity, that is an incredible and loving mash-up of religious services with the (often alluded to) religion of improv. We also discuss his reputation as a teacher who doesn’t bullshit his students, along with a discussion on some of the challenges, perceived challenges, and benefits of starting improv at an older age.

After the break we have a deep dive conversation into process vs. product in improv. We’ll dig further into this topic throughout January, but Ratliff had some very thought provoking points on the balance between the process of improvising vs the end product of the show.

In our final segment we hear and deconstruct a story from John about an ill-fated series of dates.

Ratliff teaches and performs regularly at ColdTowne Theater in Austin, TX.

Featured song at the end of this episode: Ever Since the Turn by The Paper Chase.

Listen to the episode below or:
Here on Itunes
Here for Direct Download and Android.