- Repeat funny thing
41: Dickie Copeland
Dickie Copeland is on the show today! You know Dickie from Styx Martin, Bitty Schrim, D’artagnan, Heavy Goose, Bikini Tiger, her wonderful writing, more. Dickie and I talk a bit about improv, but even MORE about developing yourself as a professional comedy person. We talk about why I should have changed my name, how to focus on a path for writers, determining and going after your type for actors, and also, why is game so hard. Also, we spend the whole episode drinking whisky so you know it’s a good episode! Subscribe, rate, comment, enjoy, donate.
Great episode! Just a treasure trove of simple, practical advice for navigating your comedy career when you’re just starting out.
UCB-LA | Gravid Water | 04.07.13
Lucy Davis & Stephen Merchant
Guys, I love doing Wednesday Night Riot.
Riot’s the new show from the Miles Stroth Workshop, every Wednesday at 8:30. We put up shows from Private Street, Princess Cake, Soulmates, and bits and sketches and any craziness we dream up. Honestly, it’s the most fun I have all week.
This week’s particularly fun, because we’re debuting our new weekly headline show One Night Stand. Each week, Miles Stroth improvises with a new improviser for a special one-night-only, 2-person headline event. I love it, and it’s selected by raffle, which means if YOU show up this Wednesday then you could win a chance to perform in next week’s show. How cool is that?
Our first improviser to join Miles is the very funny Ryan Hitchcock, and I couldn’t be happier about it. What a way to kick things off!
(Photos by Sabrina London)
Ah shit! I just saw the LA Indie Improv festival post their flyer on their facebook page, so I guess that’s coming up soon.
This was an awesome event last year. Be sure to LIKE their Facebook page for updates:
This will be very funny.
Private Street has been winning the UCB Cagematch and now they’re putting up their very own spank at UCB. I recommend seeing this so hard.
It’s this Wednesday at 6:30 at UCB LA. You can get rezzies here.
“Dave Morris just asked the question, “If you had to recommend one book about improv to someone, what book would it be?” I could never answer with one, because each improvisor is different. If they are shy, Impro-Johnstone; if they are bold, Truth in Comedy-Halpern/Close/Johnson; if they are brash or revolutionary, Improvise-Napier; if they are all shapes and wiggles or music, Freeplay-Nachmanovitch; if they love history, Something Wonderful Right Away-Sweet or Compass-Coleman; if they are woman’s studies majors, Whose Improv Is It Anyway-Seham; if they want to use it for business, Improvise This!-Cox/Detmar/Bergren or Jill & Patrick’s Small Book of Improv for Business-Short/Bernard; if the front half of their scenes look like shit, Improv For Everyone-Taveras; if they’re starting coaching, Improvising Better-Allen/Carrane; if they’re directing or need a director, Directing Improv-Ronen; if they if they speak French, 300 exercices d’improvisation-Tournier; if they need to get in good trouble, Interactive Acting-Wirth; if I wish Keith were here to talk to them, Impro for Storytellers-Johnstone; if they are working on one-acts, Process-Gellman/Scruggs and How to Improvise a Full-Length Play-Adams; if I need them to understand the gravitas, Improvisation for the Theatre-Spolin, if they need exercises, Group Improvisation-Gwinn, if there was more I wanted to say to them but the clock was not my friend, Jill Bernard’s Small Cute Book of Improv.”
I mean this as a consolation: you will never completely figure out improv. Not forever, anyhow. It moves, somehow. You have a grasp on it for a few weeks, maybe even a few months, and then it’s gone. You stumble on a new exercise or a new mantra and can do no wrong. Decisive moves. Certain viewpoints. Audiences liking you right away. But then it just fades and you are lost again, searching for the next key.
Things that have given me the key to being good at this in the past:
- “listen and react”
- “find the game”
- “match energy”
- “accept every offer”
- “live life onstage”
- “point of view”
- “be brave and honest”
- “chill out”
Each one of those was like a booster rocket for a while, and then weirdly stopped working! I had to switch up my game and try something else. It’s like improv is this invisible balloon that you cannot get your arms all the way around no matter what. You hold it, just barely, but it gives and starts to slip away you must adjust your arms, and find your grip again.
I love this, and I’ve found it to be true as I’m sure we all have. Mantras that have booster rocketed me in the past:
I feel like those are different variations of the same 2 or 3 notes.