Magnet Theater Blog
John O’Donnell, longtime friend of Magnet Theater and kind onstage powerhouse talks about how he first fell in love with performing, improv, and stumbling upon the early evolution of musical improv.
John has appeared in pilots for Comedy Central, the HBO Aspen Comedy Festival, on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, as well as numerous commercials.
He has also written and performed a trilogy of one-man shows, O’Donnellogues, Son of O’Donnellogues, and Beneath The Planet of The O’Donnellogues. At the Magnet Theater he has made appearances in Thursday Night Out, The Armando Diaz Experience, The Tiny Spectacular, and currently improvises weekly in Magnet’s ‘The Made Up Musical‘.
John has a Masters Degree in Education and has been teaching in New York City for over a decade.
Enjoy Episode #13 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
The Magnet Theater’s Video Lab is pleased to announce a new 10-week program open to beginning filmmakers, as well as those with some (or lots of) experience in the field. Fill in your knowledge gaps or start from the beginning.
Learn the skills necessary to produce comedy shorts with hands-on guidance from current Video Lab members:
- Expand skills by shadowing experienced filmmakers
- Try your hand at various production roles including camera, lighting, audio, pre production, editing and more
- Gain production experience & video credits
- See your work on the Magnet Theater big screen as well as online!
This 10-week session is a prerequisite for applying to the Magnet Video Lab program. Program begins Saturdays in mid-October. Email email@example.com for more information.
Congratulations to the newest Magnet Sketch Teams and the newest additions to Party. and Baby Shoes:
18-time Moth StorySlam Champion (2-time GrandSlam Champion) and Magnet instructor, Adam Wade, as interviewed by Alex Marino. Adam Wade is an actor and storyteller based in NYC. He was recently seen on Comedy Central’s ‘Inside Amy Schumer’. Adam has been featured on The Moth Podcast numerous times and has performed at renowned NYC shows such as The Moths Main Stage, The Nights of Our Lives, The Rejection Show, The Liar Show, Mortified, Stripped Stories, Speakeasy Stories, and True Tales From College (which he is the co-producer and co-host of). He has appeared on the NFL NETWORKs Top 10 Football Follies, ESPNs Mayne Street and ESPN CLASSICs Classic Now where he interviewed such legends as Mike Ditka and Reverend Run from RUN DMC. He was a featured performer on Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and NBCs Late Night with Conan OBrien. He has written for NY Times, NY Press, Glamour Magazine, ESPN The Magazine and Hoboken Reporter.
Enjoy Episode #12 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
Magnet Theater is now accepting applications for the 2014 fall season of Megawatt. Please fill out THIS FORM no later than AUGUST 16th to apply for an audition slot.
Anyone who has completed Magnet Level 6 is eligible to apply, though please note that a completed form does not guarantee an audition slot. Due to the high volume of eligible improvisers and a limited number of slots, priority will be given to students and performers who have finished the class or performed on a Megawatt team within the last year.
Confirmations will be sent out by SUNDAY, AUGUST 17th.
CLICK HERE to apply.
I’m very happy to share this recording from the archive of Craig Cackowski interviewed live onstage at Magnet Theater by the well-prepared Louis Kornfeld. Craig and I were in class together with Del Close, on our first IO teams together, and when I was promoted from understudy, Second City placed me in his touring company. We did a lot of scenes from the Razowsky/Colbert/Carell and McKay/Adsit eras. He was great to tour with because he’s both reliable onstage in scenes and touring the country for long stretches in a van. Usually people are one or the other, but he was both. Onstage he’s casual but precise, and he’s got great timing both as an audience-pleasing comedian (in the good way) and as an improv partner. He rescues things, and if it can’t be rescued, he’ll go down with the ship. And it seems like he’s really enjoying himself either way. And since I’m on a roll here, I should mention he’s become one of the best, most sought after improv instructors in Los Angeles. Possibly because he’s committed to the things we learned in those classes with Del. But also because he’s sensitive to the advancements that have been made as long-form has evolved from an obscure experiment in the basement of an anonymous Chicago apartment building 24 years ago to the dominant comedy language spoken across America and beyond. And that’s thanks in no small part to Craig. So listen to this episode and see if you can hear what I hear – a genuinely good guy who cares about what he does, does it well, and has no need for false bluster. Enjoy. — Ed Herbstman PS: Craig is okay. But his little sister is like, 12 times funnier than him and at least twice as funny as me. Hi, Craig. Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here. Enjoy Episode #11 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
Congrats to Magnet writers/performers Lauren Olson, Christian Paluck and Jana Schmieding (20/400) and musical improviser Lisa Flanagan (La Donna Improvvisata) on their upcoming shows in the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC). The Magnet is proud of everyone involved! Be sure to check both of these shows out in August. Show Info HERE.
Greg Hess is an actor, writer and comedian in Los Angeles. He is an improviser with The Improvised Shakespeare Company, Cook Country Social Club and performs at The Upright Citizen’s Brigade in LA.
Greg talks with guest host Rick Andrews about making a living as an improviser and how he’s been ‘giving it a year for the last eleven years.’
Rick confesses that he felt like quitting improv after seeing an Improvised Shakespeare Company show. But Rick didn’t. And now he’s hosting this great interview!
Enjoy Episode #10 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
Rachel Hamilton. Where do we start? Teacher, Actor, Writer… former Second City MainStage, frequent performer and instructor at Magnet, and all around wonderful human being. She’s also the driving force behind the creation of Camp Magnet. She lives in Northern California and we never see her enough, but we grabbed her last time she was in New York so Magnet Podcast host Louis Kornfeld could sneak in a great conversation between her workshops.
Listen to the insights and observations of this master teacher about what keeps her drawn to improvisation, seeing characters as energy, and seeking out new ways to challenge yourself.
Enjoy Episode 9 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.