Once upon a time, there were some adults adulting – working, pushing buttons, scrolling their lives away. Suddenly, one of them said, “Hey! Let’s play!” And so they made stuff up and they played. “Yes, And… For The Love of Improv, let’s keep playing together, forever!” they declared and skipped, hopped and summersaulted into the sunset. For The Love of Improv is a podcast dedicated to adults who are interested in discovering the freedom of play – making stuff up, talking in a silly voice, moving your elbow weird, dancing like a monkey, laughing, pretending.
Stage Acting in Improv
To be or not to be? That is the question that William Shakespeare asked, but in this 7th episode of Season 2 of For The Love of Improv, we are asking: To act or not to act in improv?! Amelia Giles, improv teacher and player at Reno Improv is the perfect guest to answer this question and many more about the relationship between acting and improvising! She is a seasoned actor who began in the theater AND THEN came over to improv so she should know the answer to questions like: Are improvisers actors? Should improvisers study acting to improve their skills? What skills can theater actors teach improvisers? Join us as we talk to Amelia about “Acting & Improv” Afterall, as Shakespeare himself would say: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…”Support the showVisit ForTheLoveOfImprov.com for more!
Where Stand Up and Improv Meet
What does Stand-up comedy and improv have in common? Well, let’s break it down. If one is the loneliest number, carry the two for duo improv, multiply by an improv team of 7 and divide and conquer. What do you get? Um….a really weird math problem that makes no sense. Don’t worry, in this episode of For The Love of Improv, stand-up comedian, Kat Simmons, is going to sort it all out for us. Not only has she performed standup professionally for decades, she dabbled in improv for many years. If anyone can help us understand the connection between stand-up and improv, it’s Kat Simmons.Support the showVisit ForTheLoveOfImprov.com for more!
Improv As It's Own Artform with Lisa Woods
This episode will focus on Improv as an ongoing artform. Speaking with Lisa Woods who has delved into nearly every class that has been available to her in all different types of improv, Lisa takes her craft seriously. We at For The Love of Improv have a strong belief that Improv is never perfected, and is always being learned. We can all improve and we are all perfect as we are right in this moment.Lisa started improvising as a New Year’s resolution. Starting at a Playground Night at Reno Improv eventually led to classes, and performing, leading jams, and teaching. Falling in love with the art of it, Lisa became a Jack of all trades in her craft taking classes as far as they could go, leading online jams through COVID, doing stand-up, and even clowning. Lisa has written sketch comedy and performed her own shows. Like Katie, her latest passion is clowning and absurdity in performance art. Support the showVisit ForTheLoveOfImprov.com for more!
Clowning & Improv with Chad Damiani
Improv and clowning have gone hand in hand for centuries, even before improv as we know it in America was invented. Tonight we will speak with world renowned clown, Chad Damiani about how improv affects clowning and what improvisers can learn from the ancient art of the clown. Support the showVisit ForTheLoveOfImprov.com for more!
Improv in Real Life with Joe Van Haeke
Your life is one big improv stage and you get to play any character you want. In any given situation, most of us are just making it up as we go anyway. Why not make improv off-stage as fun as it is on stage? From supporting your scene partner, to active listening, to getting to the real relationship behind the words, improv skills seriously translate to real life. Joe Van Haecke has dedicated his life to sharing improv skills with the world for personal and professional development among fellow humans. _______________For over 20 years, Joe has studied, performed, and coached improv. As the Chief of Inspiration at Inspire Me Mr V, Joe brings improv into business, education, and 1:1 coaching. Improv skills help us be better communicators, better collaborators, and stronger leaders. Improv is not just for actors anymore!Support the showVisit ForTheLoveOfImprov.com for more!
Solo Improv With Mike Brown
Imagine a world where you didn’t need a scene partner, a world where you could perform improv with yourself, you, thee, thou. That’s right! Just you, yourself and ye. “Is that possible?” you ask. A question of many we ask Mike Brown in this, our first episode of the Season 2! Listen as Mike tells us all about Solo improv, his experiences as an improv teacher, performer, podcaster and all around amazing guy._________________________“Mike Brown’s Biography is the biography of Mike Brown.” – Perd HapleyMike is an improviser, teacher, producer, casting director, and YouTuber living in New York City who occasionally moonlights as a flight attendant just, you know, to pay the rent.His impressive toy collection seems to impress only himself, and he takes much pride in it.Though not the founder of Solo Improv, Mike considers himself a pioneer in this area, and has made it his signature style of improvisation since 2009.In 2017, he was brought on to teach full time at the People’s Improv Theater (NYC), and simultaneously produced a running monthly show (Fury: Earth’s Mightiest Improv), and a yearly Halloween themed show (The Improvised Escape Room) on the same stages.In the months leading up to the global pandemic, Mike took a job touring internationally with BeerProv, a short-form improv show performing nightly aboard the MSC Meraviglia, a cruise ship sailing through Eastern Canada and the Caribbean.Mike met his wife in improv class. They once did an improvised musical together about ants bravely defending their colony against scorpions. Mike’s character turned out to be a traitor. All the ants died.Support the showVisit ForTheLoveOfImprov.com for more!
Jason Sarna | Sketch Comedy
We talk with Jason Sarna about sketch comedy and how it relates to improv. Jason studied at Second City, IO, and The Annoyance. Most recently, he taught a year-long sketch course at Reno Improv which culminated in the 60-minute sketch show, Herd Immunity. We discuss the process of writing a sketch, character creation, heightening, and much more! Support the showVisit ForTheLoveOfImprov.com for more!
Courtney Ropp | Finding What The Scene Needs
Courtney offers some tools and tricks to use on stage when a scene falls flat, gets stuck in negotiation or is just plain boring. We also discuss how to know when to add something or when it’s a good idea to just leave a scene alone. When one of us royally messes up an improv game (what? there are no mistakes in improv, I say!), we talk about the very fundamental improv concept of “listen and respond” and turn the clock back to 1974 when John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd became a strong improv duo. We hope you can join us on our 6th episode of “For The Love Of Improv”!Support the showVisit ForTheLoveOfImprov.com for more!
Aurora Boles | Short Form & Beginner Improv
Most improvisers start by learning fundamentals through short form games. It is where we can quickly fall in love with the sport of improv and find our communities. In this episode, we talk with Aurora Boles, a co-founder at Reno Improv who also teaches their short form beginner class. We chat about the evolution of short-form into professional troops and its relationship to long-form. Today's game explores heightening scenes and is a clear example of the this concept throughout the show. In our history segment, we will chat about The Harold as it forces skills that help us improve, much like short form. Today's concept is Organic Transformation. Listen to learn how to use this to enhance your improv confidence. Support the showVisit ForTheLoveOfImprov.com for more!
Tim Mahoney | Narrative Improv
The basics of storytelling inherent in every player get to the root of how long-form improv magic works. Tim Mahoney talks about the 8-step process that makes narrative improv come to life. In this episode we talk with Tim about narrative improv, secondary characters, Theatre Sports, and much, much, much, much, much more. (Let’s just say, Tim is never at a loss for words and that’s why we love having him on our podcast!).Tim Mahoney is an improv coach and teacher at Reno Improv. He would rather be doing improv than almost anything else (who wouldn’t?), so you’ll see that beautiful, bearded face consistently around the improv scene, at conventions, or anything improv-related. Support the showVisit ForTheLoveOfImprov.com for more!
Justin Kavanagh | Processing Grief & Trauma
We all have to deal with complex emotions regarding loss and tough situations at some point in our lives. In this episode, we talk with Justin Kavanagh about how we can use improv off-stage to process those feelings and work through the grief and trauma life throws at us. Today's game explores how we listen to and respond to emotions on stage. In our history segment, we will chat about Del Close, and how he views the process of emotional connection with and through the audience. Today's concept is playing to the top of your intelligence - learning how to play low-status characters intelligently and with humanity. This episode is dedicated to Brad Vance - our friend and a fellow player who left life's stage all too early. We miss you! Support the showVisit ForTheLoveOfImprov.com for more!
Taylor Riedeman | Character Building
On August 9th, we discuss character building. We delve deep into things like building a platform and how to use emotion and physicality to create a character. Listen as our guest, Taylor Riedeman, demonstrates some of her quirky and out-of-the-box characters and explains how she conceptualizes them. Our history segment presents the story of the birth of Saturday Night Live (yup, improvisers started that sh*t!) along with a Gilda Radner quote that brings out our inner child. Finally, we have a special improv game in store for you that might be a tad naughty (how’s that for a teaser?!).Support the showVisit ForTheLoveOfImprov.com for more!
Chris Thigpen | Community & Impact
In this episode, we go deep talking about our community and the value of having a strong one. We talk about why loving the people you play with is so important, even if they are not your favorite folks to begin with. We talk about the place of competition in improv, how you can support your fellow players, and how that affects us all on-stage. We will get into a bit of history, introducing you to Viola Spolin, the fore-mother of improv in the US. We will talk about beats and how to recognize them as well as what it means to be a good player off-stage. Our guest, Chris Thigpen, is an amazing improviser who plays on two house teams at the Reno Improv, Ghost Team and All Things Reconsidered. As a natural creative, Chris uses improv as a place to express his talents as an actor and writer. As a businessman, Chris owns his own successful marketing agency, Ace Studios. He is also a filmmaker, photographer, and screenwriter. Support the showVisit ForTheLoveOfImprov.com for more!