Posts Tagged ‘comedian’

Tuesday June 19, 2018, 10:04am - by Promo Team

Ah, love. The greatest and worst romcoms of all time have pondered it, from You’ve Got Mail to Crazy Stupid Love and, yes, even 27 Dresses. For all you shippers out there, Ari Miller and Bryan Berlin are here to assuage your yearnings, longings and meaningful glances with their new show Love Stories, on Monday June 25 at 9. It may not be February 14, but Ari and Bryan are here to meditate on the meaning of l-o-v-e with us.

Ari Miller & Brian Berlin arm wrestle

Why make a show about love stories?

After years of Ari and Bryan going through your classic will they or won’t they do a show together trope, Ari finally held a boombox outside of Bryan’s window and said “I’m just a boy, standing in front of another boy, asking him to do a show together. So Bryan said yes  and it felt natural to make it about love. But we are also two people who both greatly love stories, and we wanted a night to celebrating them in all their different forms.

Did the ghost of Nora Ephron…ghostwrite this show?

We’ve been sending Nora e-mails back and forth for many months now. Although at first we didn’t know it was her and it was awkward because the huge rom com retail chain we run was going to put her indie rom com out of business. So unfortunately she’s not helping out with the show, but we do have a few talented writers and storytellers who are going to be contributing!

Your show features animation! Tell us a little about that.

Ari spent 11 years and $250,000.00 learning traditional animation and cartoon theory in MIT’s controversial “not engineering” department. Then he found a 5 dollar stop motion app and he used that to make an animated backdrop for his stories. Basically, as we read the stories there will be moving illustrations behind the performers. Like a picture book but by all dead and lifeless! Ugh! Lame! Still paintings suck! There will also be special guests reading for some of the characters and while we don’t want you give anything away, one of the guests will be Ashley Glicken.

You don’t have to give it away, but what’s your favorite story in the show?

Well we already gave away the story of how we met, but if you come to the show you may be able to see it played out over 3 acts with the final scene of us kissing in the rain. But we’re both excited to have some of our talented friends share some of their stories about love and loving stories in this show.

Fall in or out of love with Love Stories, Monday June 25 at 9!

Tuesday June 12, 2018, 10:00am - by Promo Team

What is love? It’s certainly strange, perhaps the most confusing human emotion of all time. Do you like me, yes or no? Will they or won’t they? Do you love me? Will you make me the happiest person in the world?? The new sketch show Love Is Strange is here to explore all the questions, concerns and strangeness that love entails. Nick Pappas is our romantic compass–and you can catch Love Is Strange at Magnet on Sundays June 11 & 24 at 6:00.

Nick Pappas holding a black dog

What’s your show all about? Are we gonna see sketches or more of a cohesive play?

Our show is a series of sketches that talks about love and relationships in all their unusual forms.

What kinds of strangeness can the audience look forward to seeing?

The audience will get to see love at first sight in Penn Station, dealing with exes in a galaxy far, far away, and what happens when the love story is over and the cameras are shut off. Also, there’s a really cool guy named Matt Canonie. You’ll see.

Love Is Strange is coming out of the Sketch Directing Lab. How did the lab shape your process?

The Diversity Directing Lab was amazing. Zackery really helped us define how to put on a show that gets the audience laughing. A good show is more than just putting up a series of funny sketches. You need to understand the importance of the show order and how well all the sketches work together. Most importantly, in the lab we really focused more on sketches that deal with relationships between characters more than finding a game. That’s why my group ended up with the theme we have.

Have you heard the song “Love Is Strange” from the TV show Galavant? (It’s on Netflix and seriously, you should check it out.) “Love is straaaange and sometimes kinda gross, it’s embarrassingly gassy….”

I hadn’t heard the song until you mentioned it, but it’s great! I think you’ll see similar ideas in the show.


Don’t miss Love Is Strange, Sunday June 17 & 24 at 6:00, only at Magnet!

Love Is Strange

 

Thursday June 7, 2018, 10:12am - by Promo Team

Prepare to laugh. Prepare to cry. Prepare to be up. Prepare to be down. Prepare to be amazed. Confused? That’s because no one can prepare for the zigzag of feels that is The Melodrama, showing Monday June 11 at 9:00! Here’s what light director Jana Heaton has to shed on the journey ahead.

The cast of The Melodrama

What’s The Melodrama going to be like?

Over the top but not too much, you know? You know.

How high are the highs? How low are the lows? Will Jane and Rafael (Jane the Virgin) ever get their happily ever after?

Like a double chocolate, cold brew, molly-topped milkshake, we’ll leave you feeling bad all week but wanting more. Like I said, over the top but not too much.

You’ve done this show once before. Did the original run inform this newest edition?

Yes, I cut Ann Ziata. Just kidding. But she won’t be in the next show. Also, I realized I could mess with the cast via the lighting design. So, looking forward to that on Monday, June 11th at 9pm.

You guys are recommended by TimeOutNY???

Yes, we’re an important show. A very important show. Full of very funny improvisers creating impactful comedy. If you’ve read this far, you should probably come see what I mean on Monday, June 11th at 9pm. [NOTE: We’re also recommended by the instagram account, @janaheaton.]

Can we expect Lorde to make an appearance?

Slid into her DMs. Awaiting response.


Ride the roller coaster of emotion at The Melodrama, June 11 at 9:00pm!

The Melodrama

Tuesday June 5, 2018, 10:00am - by Promo Team

If you’re asking yourself, where’s a good show for a gambler, a risk-taker, someone who knows when to hold ’em and knows when to fold ’em, whose boots are made for walkin’ and that’s just what they’ll do, look no further than Results May Vary, Saturday June 9 & 16 at 6! After all, the only constant in life is change. Desmond Thorne is here to help us get comfortable living in the uncertainty of it all!

Desmond Thorne

Tell us about your show!

The show features a mix of performers with a sketch comedy background, and some with a theater background. It’s about half and half! I did this because I want to see how the worlds of sketch and theater can meld together in terms of writing and in terms of performance. I think two things that can really take a sketch show to the next level are specificity of environment and specificity of performance! I believe this special group of people can achieve both!

According to the ‘recipe‘ for the show, we can expect political satire, puns, and musical panache–anything else?

Along with these other elements in the “recipe”, you can expect to see a lot of Blackout sketches! I think Blackouts can really amp up the energy of the show and our writers wrote some really excellent ones! I also love to play with visual and auditory comedy in sketch shows, so expect to see and hear some of that!

Okay, we know they may vary, but what sort of results can be expected?

Whatever the results may be, they will be fun and high energy! Along with seeing how much theater we can get into a sketch show, I’d love to see if we can never drop the ball and keep the energy super high and fun for the entire 30 mins of the show!

How much of an influence did the Sketch Directing Lab have on the final product?

The Sketch Directing Lab greatly influenced the final product of the show. We were shown sketch shows from Second City in Chicago, and many of their ideas on how to approach a sketch show go along with my theatrical instincts that I’ve gathered since high school. The Lab also gave me and everyone else in the class a freedom of voice that I don’t think we get to experience very often, which leads to a lot of experimentation that you don’t usually see on the NYC comedy stage!


Roll the dice at Results May Vary, Saturday June 9 & 16 at 6:00 on the Magnet stage!

Results May Vary

Thursday April 26, 2018, 10:00am - by Promo Team

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.

Michael Stevens and his nephewWhat’s your name?

Michael Stevens.

Which team or show are you on?

Oh boy. I’m with Gary from HR (sketch), Good @ Sports (indie), FAM (indie), The Neighbors (Megawatt), and then a smattering of duos: Just 2 Brothers w/ John Ross, Can’t Catch A Cab w/ Ashley Glicken, Father & Son w/ Brendan Goggins, and Squirtle Squad w/ Aditya Otiv. I also am directing The Multiplex, which is a fun lil’ form near and dear to me. Eaves is also an indie trio I’m on but we’re less of a team these days and more of a state of mind.

Where are you from?

I’m from Brooklyn and I went to school on Long Island. Yes, I commuted everyday.

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

Honestly, I found improv after finding live theater as a creative outlet. My older brother was an improvisor so I took a whack at it in college. I think I probably considered myself more of a actory-type boy than a comedy-type boy… but I found improv and loved it. Took a break after college and picked it back up in 2015.

How long have you been performing/writing?

I learned to read very early and have been writing since I was 3, I shit you not. All of the stuff I wrote when I was 3 was garbage. I didn’t really establish my voice until I was eight. I’ve been writing very well ever since.

I started acting in high school. I was just coming out of homeschool into my formative teen years so I was naturally a bit of a quiet weirdo with voices running around his head.

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

Scene partner? Either Keegan Michael Key or Aubrey Plaza. I saw Keegan in Hamlet where he played Horatio. I thought he did such a good job adding light to a play that’s actually VERY funny. I think he’s obsessed with pathos in the same way that I am. Aubrey Plaza because I think she’s an insanely underrated actor who Warner Bros should be paying $500,000,000 to play the Joker. I shit you not, she’s the best incarnation of the Joker that will never be performed.

My ideal writing partner would probably be Jordan Peele, for very obvious reasons. I think he and I would write a kick-ass superhero movie together. I already have the plot and everything. My next pick would be David Lynch. I would like to write with him because I love his films, but feel guilty because there are never enough black characters.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for?

Impersonate: Jeff Goldblum. He’s an actor I love, and a natural comic talent that I love but CANNOT impersonate.

I’d like to write for LaKeith Stanfield. He’s a special kind of weird. Maybe a Lethal Weapon type cop movie with LaKeith and me playing Jeff Goldblum is the thing I oughta work on.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

Without going into too much detail: Sadness.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

  1. Mercy Mercy Me – Marvin Gaye, because this song is my politics.
  2. Rikki Don’t Lose That Number – Steely Dan, because I am a figurative dad.
  3. 2Shy – Shura, because, yeah, I’m totally that girl who didn’t feel cool in high school and dresses like cool people she sees on TV.
  4. Bad Girls – Solange ft. Kendrick Lamar, because it sounds like a rainy and you’re sad, but chillin’.
  5. Cool – Gwen Stefani, because breakups should be healthier in this culture we live in.
  6. Frank Ocean – Wise Man, because this is some baller ass shit to play at a funeral.
  7. Bambi – Prince, because this is what it sounds like to beat up a bully.
  8. That Power – Childish Gambino, because this is what Summer 2003 sounds like.
  9. Princes of the Universe – Queen, because this is what it sounds like when Mercury is in Retrograde again and you’re READY for it.
  10. Starman – David Bowie, because David Bowie is good.
  11. Kiss It Better – Rihanna, because this is the sexiest song ever written, but also sounds like the happy medium between sex during the apocalypse, and a regular co-dependent relationship.
  12. Cristo Redentor – Donald Byrd, because it sounds like a peaceful death.
  13. All That – Carly Rae Jepsen, because the first time I heard it after I saw Moonlight for the first time and literally cried tears of joy on the L Train home. This song is all of the cosmic highs and pre-apocalyptic lows of a little crush.
  14. La La Means I Love You – The Delfonics, because goddamn it, I love a black wedding.
  15. In Your Room – Airiel, because I should have been in my 20s in the 90s.

I have to stop here, because if I don’t I’ll be here forever.

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

How someone answers “What’s your favorite superhero” usually tells me everything I need to know about a person’s values.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Gassed Up w/ Good @ Sports! 10:30pm! And if by some twist of fate I’m not doing improv, I am at some movie theater. Or on the subway listening to shoegaze, smiling and crying next to some ghost while metal spiders crawl out of my body.

What’s your favorite Disney Channel Original Movie?

My favorite Disney Channel Original Movie is High School Musical 2. For a variety of reasons:
1. Zach Efron did not lip sync in this one. In the original he was dubbed over by some weak ass tenor named Drew Seeley. I don’t have a problem with Brother Seeley’s voice, but I do feel that pretty ass tenor voices are over represented in music, especially musicals. Zac Efron is on the lighter side of baritones, but I think he has a stronger voice, and I think he gave a better performance. I think it’s very weird they dubbed his voice over in the original.
2. Bet On It is a legit, relatable song and a total BANGER even after all these years. If you wanna see me punch a dude in the face, play that shit. He has a falsetto note in that song that I cannot hit to this day. I mean. I can hit it. But it sounds like shit.
3. For more questions about all things High School Musical related, please email me, because I saw all three, and love them all.
4. THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NO GLEE WITHOUT HSM.
Thursday April 12, 2018, 4:07pm - by Promo Team

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.

Lida Darmian of Mama's BoyWhat’s your name?

Lida Darmian.

Which team or show are you on?

Mama’s Boy (Sketch Team) & Fly Gurlz.

Where are you from?

Born in Dallas Texas, raised in Agoura Hills, CA.

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

I used to watch the SNL reruns that they would play on E! when I was in elementary school, and I would watch the show as it aired in the mid-90s (I had a cool mom). Was introduced to improv with Whose Line Is It Anyway like everyone else, and my high school had a ComedySportz team (I was not on it). I I went to an improv camp when I was 16, and that was my first taste of it.

How long have you been performing/writing?

I was in a play called “The Elephant Child” in 2nd grade. It was the story of how elephants got such long noses(I played one of SEVERAL elephants). The big Ru-veal was when we pulled off the paperclip that was holding back our accordion construction paper noses, and suddenly we our transformation was complete. Ya gotta love the drama of a mid-show make over.

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

I would love to work with both Phoebe Robinson and Jordan Peele. I love that their work doesn’t shy away from pushing the boundaries of race/what it means to be a minority, and they add humor to it too. I strive to do work that celebrates individuality and doesn’t ignore our differences as people.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for?

I would most like to write for my friends because I would love to pimp them out in a good way, and I know their voices, so it would be easy. I want to impersonate any diva, complete with full dance numbers.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

I love when anyone is earnestly dumb but still comes from a hopeful place. Also, mispronouncing words can really get me good.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

There would be some songs you could definitely dance to, something with a great build or drop, some musicals thrown in, and a few songs to cry to.

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

“What’s your favorite and least favorite food?”

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Ideally: eating at a really delicious hip restaurant and seeing a movie or show. Reality: probably babysitting or lying in bed.

Are you still upset about Pluto not being a planet?
I wouldn’t say I’m upset, I just don’t want Pluto to feel that it’s experience has been invalidated.
Thursday April 5, 2018, 4:33pm - by Promo Team

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.

What’s your name?

Frankie Johnson.

Which team or show are you on?

Milwaukee! (the *new* Magnet Sketch Team).

Where are you from?

Mostly Tennessee (I moved around a lot).

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

I was living in Charleston, SC and a friend recommended I try an improv class at Theatre 99 (shoutout!). It was super fun, and I continued studying improv (and later sketch) after I moved to NYC. Three comedy schools and a billion classes later, here I am!

How long have you been performing/writing?

A little in college, but fairly regularly for about 9 years.

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

Babs Bunny from Tiny Toons.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for?

Impersonate: Bette Davis. Write for: Maya Rudolph.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

Really, really dumb stuff–like people dancing on stilts.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

A lot of Beatles, some musical theatre, with a dash of ~2000 top 40.

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

“What are you drinking? Is it good?” Cool stuff like that.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Probably at home complaining about the lack of options on Netflix.

If you could Freaky Friday body-swap with any other Frank(ie) or Johnson, who would it be and why?

I would swap bodies with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I’d really like to know what it’s like to lift someone over my head. Also, he’s a national treasure.

Thursday March 22, 2018, 10:00am - by Promo Team

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.

What’s your name?

Lauren Stripling.

Which team or show are you on?

Pyros, on Tuesdays at Musical Megawatt.

Where are you from?

Fort Worth, Texas, which is its own city and not just “part of Dallas,” I swear!

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

I’ve been a Story Pirate for about 9 years, and so have been surrounded by comedians from the Magnet forever. Then, about 4 and a half years ago I went to see a musical level 1 class show that my friend Louie Pearlman was big sibbing, and I thought it was absolute magic. I signed up for musical level 1 the next day.

How long have you been performing/writing?

The first musical I was ever in was when I was 3 and played Mrs. Duncan in an adaptation of “Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.” Even then I was playing moms. Toddler typecasting! I mostly was a music kid growing up, and played the harp at people’s events during middle and high school. Then I really got into theater in high school because we had a phenomenal teacher (shoutout to Mr. Moore) who would do this sort of experimental theater stuff with us with a lot of movement and devising.

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for?

I love doing accents. I’d love to do a Downton Abbey Maggie Smith or a show where Amélie is old but still an ingenue and nobody indulges her any more.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

When highbrow and lowbrow get smashed together. Absurdism. I love seeing a genius fall on their face.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

Currently listening to Janelle Monáe while filling this out, Punch Brothers and Beck also currently on high rotation. Also, the Judge John Hodgman podcast.

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

What book they’re currently reading.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Doing an escape room or having a board game and wine party.

If you were in a circus, what job would you want?

Fire-breathing lion tamer!
Thursday March 8, 2018, 10:00am - by Promo Team

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.

What’s your name?

Ingrid Ostby.

Which team or show are you on?

I perform every Wednesday at Megawatt with my beloved team, Tallulah.

Where are you from?

Flint, Michigan. (Yes, Michael Moore and bad water. I know.)

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

One day in a college computer class, out of curiosity, I looked up how Tina Fey and Amy Poehler got their start. I had grown up watching SNL and embarrassing my friends by turning it on at college parties, and I had a crush on Jimmy Fallon that I suspect was just a desire to do exactly what he did. Fey and Poehler started out doing improv in Chicago, so I looked up what clubs (like extracurriculars, not bars) at my alma matter, Michigan State, focused on doing improv. There was only one, and the picture made it look extremely embarrassing (I think they wore … costumes …?). It was also defunct. So I looked into Second City approximately 8,000 times and, once I graduated, I moved to Chicago to do comedy.

How long have you been performing/writing?

I’ve been performing improv and sketch for [coughing to disguise words] over eleven years.

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

My ideal improv scene partner would be Jet Eveleth of the Reckoning, because she was one of my mentors in Chicago years ago and I think she is one of the finest improvisers out there. My ideal writing partner is my friend Meghan from back in Chicago. She’s now in social work, but she is the best human I know of and we used to write shows together, and it was the time of our lives. These aren’t famous people, so if you are thirsting for those, I would say 1. Angela Lansbury and 2. Bob Newhart or John Mulaney.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for?

As far as who I’d most like to impersonate, my dream would be for Lady Gaga to forever stay relevant because she has a very specific, crackly speaking voice and accent I find extremely pleasant to listen to and it’s fun to attempt to do. My favorite person to write for so far in life has been my pal Dennis Pacheco. He’s a character as it is and a great actor and plays great weirdos and great regular dudes. Plus he’s great at table reads, which is an extremely undervalued skillset.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

This video.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

It would for sure have some garage-y lo-fi female-led pop-y stuff in there. It would probably have some Jon Brion, too. Maybe some Fiona Apple sprinkled in for good measure. Fabolous would probably make an appearance. But I dunno, depends on how I’m feeling. Maybe it’ll all be Gambino.

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

I like knowing what people do outside of work hours. I think that says a lot about a person. But “Hey what do you do when you get out of work?” is pretty weird to ask off the bat, so I’d probably just ask them their name and how they know Sandra who’s graciously hosting us this evening.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Saturday is my get-shit-done day. I have the most energy on Saturdays. It’s the best day!!! That said, I’m a woman over 30 who is tired of socializing every single night of the week, so ideally I’d be with a very small group in a cozy, quiet-ish place talking a lot about nothing. Otherwise I’ll just be on my couch or at a movie.

If you were a super villain, what would your schtick be?

If I were a super villain, I’d force all the Avengers to retire because they’ve been given far too much screen time.

 

Thursday February 8, 2018, 10:00am - by Promo Team

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.

What’s your name?

Marie Denny.

Which team or show are you on?

SNACKS!

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in London, England, then Chicago, IL.

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

I moved to New York 8 years ago as a dramatic actor associating improv with comedy-which felt out of my league. After a few years here I decided to take an improv class to book more commercial auditions so I could be somewhat poor instead of all the way poor. I didn’t really know what long form improv was before that but I was hooked immediately. Sketch felt like a natural progression a few years after that.

How long have you been performing/writing?

Since high school but it wasn’t something I thought I would do with my life until after college.

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

Michaela Coel. Chewing Gum was one of the most brilliant, weird, authentic and original shows I’ve seen in awhile.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for?

I’d love to write for Robin Thede on The Rundown. The show has a voice and perspective you won’t find anywhere else in late night and she brings a fun energy to our current, nightmarish news cycle.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

Silly wordplay and inventive physical comedy.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

Well I’m a big old 80’s baby so it would start with some manic 80’s pop and then move into some smooth 90’s RnB. Throw in some Snoop and Riri for good measure.

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

“How’s it going?” Practicality won out.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Probably slinging drinks in a bar dreaming of one day being an old, eccentric hermit.

Would you ever consider keeping a rodent as a pet?

Only if it could do useful stuff like bring me the remote and make my bed. That would actually be pretty dope, I might be into that.

 

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