Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Thursday December 7, 2017, 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?

Yoshi Saito

Which team or show are you on?

Raw Denim

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Japan. I moved to the states when I was 18.

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

I was watching TV one day and thought to myself that maybe I could write funny material like that. Shortly after that, I found myself in a sketch writing class! I sometimes do improv and other performances as well even though I am a horrible performer (but at least I am aware of it and have fun doing it).

How long have you been performing/writing?

About a year and a half.

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

I like working with good listeners. So I would say Oprah Winfrey.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for? 

I can do a pretty good impression of Frank Ocean singing Pyramids. Other than that, I’d like to impersonate Yoko Ono, George Takei and Ken Watanabe. I’d love to write for SNL!

What makes you laugh the hardest?

Rehearsals with my sketch team Raw Denim make me laugh! Also wacky Japanese comedy.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

“I Love You, Earth” by Yoko Ono. It’s very simple and beautiful yet super hardcore at the same time.

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

So…what’s your real job?

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

You can find me getting a colonic.

What are your top 3 favorite comedy movies?

Team America, Airplane! and any movie by Aki Kaurismaki is very funny.

Tuesday November 28, 2017, 2:52pm - by Magnet Theater

A new Megawatt season began last month and, with it, a new Megawatt Director in Hannah Chase! Hannah has been an instructor and performer at Magnet for years now and, in addition to directing The Cast, performs every Thursday with The Music Industry.  We sat down with her to talk about her vision for Megawatt and to shed some light on the woman behind the curtain!

What are a few things you’re excited about for this upcoming Megawatt season?

I think Megawatt is in a really exciting place right now. We’ve got three new awesome teams and three existing teams that got new members. Even for the two teams without anyone new, the excitement of having fresh teams and players as part of the night definitely brings new energy to everyone on Megawatt.

What have you learned from the past Directors that you plan to carry with you to the future of Megawatt?

Oh man, I can’t say enough good things about Louis and Nick (the two previous Megawatt Directors I’ve had the pleasure of working with). Both of them brought such commitment, creativity, and warmth to the job (and to the night in general) that I can only hope to continue. To get specific, I am in constant awe of Louis’s thematic and philosophical eye when it comes to improv, and I deeply admire how much he pushed teams to be thoughtful about the overall presentation of their shows. Under Louis’s guidance, it didn’t just feel like we were doing improv, it felt like we were creating art that actually meant something. As for Nick, I continually marvel at his ability to inspire improvisors to genuinely play with each other. Megawatt can be a stressful place sometimes (unfortunately) and Nick did an A+ job at getting teams to gel, to support each other, and to truly play. These are some big shoes to fill, but I’m trying my best and will continue to!

Is there anything new that you’re hoping to bring to Megawatt?

I don’t think I can really claim this as “new,” but one thing I felt (and continue to feel) excited about is the idea of creating teams with a very specific style/vibe (or even a specific form) in mind. I’ve seen and been on lots of teams that felt like a perfect balancing act of improv styles and skills: a few big aggressive silly players, a few grounding and “actorly” players, a few folks with a sharp eye for pattern, and one or two improvisors who consistently use a wider lens to look at the whole piece in order to tie things together or enter toward the end with a walk on that is so perfect it feels scripted. The right balance of players on a team can create something truly great, and we’ve seen time and again that this works.

I’d heard it said before that it was inadvisable to create a team of players who all played similarly, and this always confused me. I can see that you wouldn’t necessarily want to make a team with eight players who all have the same limitations, but I think a team of eight like-minded (or like-styled) talented improvisors sounds genuinely thrilling. After all, the way we describe Megawatt to current and prospective students is a night in which you can spend four hours seeing eight completely different teams that represent a wide variety of improv and comedy styles. So…I wanted to double down on that! Long story [not so] short, each new team is made up of players with similar skillsets and the ability to play and [hopefully] have fun in a very specific style. Not to say that each team doesn’t have stylistic differences among the players, but we tried to match people who we thought would bring similar strengths, gel stylistically, and challenge each other to further hone those skills!

Who are the new Megawatt ensembles and what can we expect from them?

If you haven’t had a chance to see the three new Megawatt teams, You Are Missing Out. Here’s a little info about each one:

She Wolf was created to do organic improv, and they have taken to it like gangbusters. This is an exceptionally collaborative, playful, attentive team of improvisers. And they’ve been adding one organic skill/muscle/device each week, so the team is constantly evolving. If you saw them a few weeks ago, seeing them again will be a totally different experience. They’re doing weird stuff, in the absolute best sense of that word. Highly recommend!

Drama is the first Megawatt team in a long while to do an expansion. These eight improvisors are top notch actors who all excel at creating complicated, honest, unique characters that will somehow make you both laugh and care! In each show, they weave a web of lovable weirdos (in the absolute best sense of that word) and you’ll walk away feeling like you just saw an excellent, hilarious play. Highly recommend!

Scout is a fast, spunky, sharp-as-tacks group of improvisers doing a Harold. With a flare for the weird (in the best sense of that word), this is a group of truly unafraid and delightfully silly players who will jump on board anything and everything without hesitation. This is an ensemble that knows how to set each other up for success and laughs, and they do so effortlessly and with just the tiniest bit of snark. Highly recommend!

Can you tell us about a fond memory you have from your past as a Megawatt player?

When I first got onto Megawatt, I was horribly insecure and totally terrified (I cried a lot those first few months). That isn’t a fond memory, I know, but it’s true! But here’s the fond part: when I first got onto a team, I had so many people (lots of whom were veterans I’d admired from afar for years) reach out to both congratulate me and also offer up their ear(s) if ever I wanted to chat. I ended up taking a bunch of them up on that offer and was really grateful to connect with so many interesting people, many of whom had gone through similarly fraught adjustment periods when they first got on house teams. This shit is hard, man! And connecting with people who had been through similar experiences and had come out a-o-k was really helpful and meaningful for me. Megawatt isn’t just a collection of teams, it’s a community, and the generosity and support I received in those first few weeks has continued to this day. Sorry, I go sentimental real easy…did you want a funny memory? Once my team, TMI, did a super long tag run in which I got to actually slap each one of them in the face (!) over and over. It was totally bonkers but also felt ok because people were literally tagging in just to be slapped by me, which demonstrated the particularly high level of trust that’s always been present on that team. See, I made it sentimental again. Ugh I’m the worst.

Catch Megawatt every Wednesday at 7, 8, 9, and 10 pm, which two teams playing each hour. $7 for the whole night!

Wednesday November 22, 2017, 1:57pm - by Magnet Theater

Thanksgiving is upon us, which means food, family, and longform improv. This Sunday at 6 pm, gather around the imaginary dinner table with indie teams FAM and CHUCHO for The Feast. We talk to FAM member Michael Stevens about the show.

How long have you been part of the Magnet Theater community?

About 2 years. It’ll be 3 in May 2018.

How is The Feast different from a typical Magnet improv show?

I’m sure it’s been done before but the most fun thing for me about the show is that it’s essentially a very focused jam between two teams with distinct but complementary styles coming together to do something they don’t do. Chucho and FAM are both Spokane focused indie teams, so I thought it would be funny for us to do a big ole monoscene.

I hope I don’t sound like my head is up me ass, but if Chucho is David Bowie, and FAM is Freddie Mercury, this show is our “Under Pressure.”

What inspired you to create The Feast?

I had the idea for a “family reunion” themed show last year because my favorite scenes tended to be family group scenes. Then I saw the play The Humans and that idea sort of rattled in my brain for a while.

Then Fam & Chucho ended up at a lot of the same shows and we all sort of did some form of improv together in classes and one off shows so I basically pitched the idea to Melissa [Chucho], then Megan [Magnet AD].

The form itself is a Monoscene, so it’s nothing structurally groundbreaking. But I think everyone in the cast is a really strong actor, so I wanted to see what we could do with some of the “math” done.

What food, in your opinion, is the funniest?

Spaghetti or syrup sandwiches.

Do you have a go-to meal or food that your normally eat before performing?

Haymaker fries!

Sit down for The Feast this Sunday, Nov 26th, at 6:00 pm!

Thursday November 16, 2017, 10:46am - 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?

Tom Sanchez

Which team or show are you on?

Avalanche and Just Karen

Where are you from?

I was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but I grew up in Gilbert, Arizona.

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

I used to watch “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” with my Dad when I was younger, but I really got into when my high school theater teacher spent a semester teaching us how to do a Harold during my sophomore year. I’ve been doing improv in one form or another since then.

How long have you been performing/writing?

I’ve been performing since I was in high school and writing for the last 4 years

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

I would love to play opposite Amy Poehler. She’s so smart and sincere as a performer, how could improvising with her not be fun? I also secretly want to be in a Christopher Guest movie someday. Can we make that happen? He reads these, right?

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for? 

I kind of wish I had a solid Zach Galifinackis impression under my belt, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I dream of doing a Rosie O’Donnell impression one day.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

Moments of surprise or sudden understanding usually get me to laugh, but in reality, I still have the sense of humor of 12-year old me, and a solid dirty pun or innuendo will really get me laughing!

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

The “All Out 00’s” playlist on Spotify. Honorable mentions to the Dangerous Woman album by Ariana Grande and “Despacito” by Luis Fonzi ft. Justin Bieber.

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

“What do you do in your spare time?” This is always more fun than “What do you do?” because most people hate their day jobs!

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

If I’m not doing a show or rehearsing, I’m usually in bed re-watching Parks and Rec or falling asleep to a David Attenborough documentary. His voice is really soothing!

What animal would be cutest if it were scaled down to the size of a cat?

An elephant, hands down. Have you seen baby elephants? Now imagine that they are always that size! So cute!

Thursday November 9, 2017, 10:20am - 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?

Lanee’ Sanders

Which team or show are you on?

Nitro Girls

Where are you from?

Quantico, VA (where they pretend to shoot the hit ABC thriller Quantico)

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

I dabbled in improv in high school and sketch comedy in college. When I moved to New York a few years ago, I figured I could probably trick strangers into being my friends by attending weekly improv and sketch comedy classes with them.

How long have you been performing/writing?

Performing in any capacity? Since middle school. Writing? I don’t know. Aren’t we always writing? I wrote a novella called “The Bear Figurine” in the 5th grade, and even though it’s essentially a rip off of “The Indian in the Cupboard”, that’s probably when I first felt like a writer.

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

Mindy Kaling and Martin McDonagh. What a diverse team we’d be!

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for? 

I think I’d do a really good job writing for Niecy Nash. If you know her please pass this self-endorsement along.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

When a scene takes a dark, hilarious turn out of nowhere.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

Oh man. It would be upbeat…something you’d dance to. Like Jock Jams meats Jamiroquai meets the song “Fergalicious.” Pitchfork would give it a really bad review.

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

Why are you here?

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Probably eating chocolate chips in my bed, half-watching bad TV while trying to figure out how to get pictures of my butt off The Cloud.

What’s the best Wi-Fi name you have ever seen?

Unfortunately my memory is not great, so I’m going to have to say my current one, which is Zamunda.

Wednesday November 8, 2017, 7:00am - by Magnet Theater

Don’t you DARE call for a car home just yet because you *have* to stick around for One More Drink. This Friday, your best friends Megan Meadows and Hannah Wright are hosting a variety show that, for real, you can’t afford to miss. We chat with the show’s hosts about what’s in store, what they like to drink, and other hot goss. You’ll have to join them this Friday, 11/10, at 11:30 pm for the full scoop though.

Can you tell us a little bit about your show?

H: Our show is like a topical variety show meets a fun Friday night party! We are basically just being our ridiculous selves, discuss recent events in the ALWAYS HILARIOUS/TERRIBLE NEWZ, and highlight a bunch of different kinds of talent (drag queens, “experts”, etc.) It’s a good time!

M: You know how you go to like the best party of the year and nobody ever stops talking about that party because the hosts are so beautiful and the hosts are so hilarious and and the hosts are actually Princesses disguised as paupers? That’s our show. With a bean dip.

H: We might not have a dip this time though because Megan proved she could not handle the responsibility and lost it last time.

Both of you have experience with sketch comedy — how does that compare to putting on a variety show like One More Drink?

H: It’s totally different! When I was on sketch teams at the Magnet, I got really comfortable writing and performing a certain way, and always playing a different character. With this show, I’m basically just being myself and trusting my OWN comedic voice. It’s scarier but more rewarding!

M: We get to be drunker. And heckle the audience. ( I went to school for PR, so I know how to sell a show.)

What are some new things you’re hoping to bring to your upcoming show compared to the previous One More Drink show?

H: We have a bunch of different performers in this show, an amazing drag queen who will be performing, and a bunch of new REASONS TO PARTY. Last show we thought we were all gonna die because of climate change, and now we realize we will all die from nuclear war long before that!

M: Wait. Do you think we need to bring something different? Did you see the interpretive dance we did to Ke$ha last time? Bc… it was honestly pretty great. Should we get a blow out this time? Will the Magnet pay for it? Does Quinton do hair?

H: I’m honestly considering wearing that same jumpsuit though do you think that people will judge me???????? Chrissie Gruebel said I should wear it every time. She like, is good at fashion I feel like.

M: Yes. And. Do it. – IMPROV. I can’t wear my outfit again bc you can see my cucu. Haha and I wanna be able to DANCE THE SHIT OUTTA THIS. Ok, I’ll wear my jumpsuit too. You’ve talked me into it.

H: To answer your question, YES, we will be wearing jumpsuits.

What sorts of drinking games will you be playing during the show?

H: We play a game called “I’m Sorry What???” where we play clips from something like the Bachelor, and drink every time the awkwardness of it makes us say, obviously, “I’m sorry, what?!”

M: I dunno, we just copy what Andy Cohen does and pretend we made it up. Or, just watch the news and cry. That’s our fav drinking game.

H: Also Ru Paul.

How do you think alcohol affects each of your performing abilities?

H: Wait. Who told you to ask this? Are you judging us? We literally only have pinot grigio every time Trump says or does something horrifying. Or, if we have a date. But like, we never do.

M: Full disclosure: once Hannah had a dream she was drinking wine at 8:30am at work though. WE ARE FINE!!!

H: Mego I told you that in confidence. Honestly though, I could have a bloody mary right now.

What is your drink of choice – while performing?

H: WE’RE FINE!!!!!!!! (vodka)

M: Sorry, what was the question? Yes, George, another mimosa please.

 

You gotta see One More Drink this Friday, 11/10, at 11:30 PM – I mean, ya gotta!

Thursday November 2, 2017, 10:49am - 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?

Samara Breger

Which team or show are you on?

Kittyhawk

Where are you from?

NYC

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

I was very sad and living in Boston, which I hated, so I decided to try out improv and aerial silks. The improv stuck. I didn’t get into musical improv until I got back to New York, and that’s when it all really clicked for me. Thanks, Magnet Theater!

How long have you been performing/writing?

Kind of always–I did musicals as a kid and then focused on classical voice and opera from high school until my early twenties, when it wore me out. Musical improv really reminded me how much I love performing. Thanks again, Magnet Theater!

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

Judy Blume.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for? 

I would love to write zesty little one-liners for RuPaul for when the queens come down the runway. I like to impersonate the devil or animals doing people jobs. I used to celebrate my college’s official annual “Julia Child Day” by terrorizing my friends with my Julia Child impression. STEAK DIANE!

What makes you laugh the hardest?

When my buddies on stage surprise themselves. That look of shock commingled with delight and a tiny bit of terror gets me right in my sweet spot. Also, I’m always tickled when people can’t get through telling a joke without laughing. They’re laughing, I’m laughing, we’re all having a very good time!

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

Short answer: Liza Minnelli. Long answer: LIIIIIIIZAAAAA MINNELLLIIIIIII! WOOO!

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

Are you Liza Minnelli? Oh, you’re not? Get the fuck out of here.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Standing in my kitchen, debating whether or not I want to go to a geographically inconvenient party.

If life were a video game what would some of the cheat codes be?

If you pretend to be confident for a while, it can lead to actual confidence.

Thursday September 14, 2017, 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.

Who the heck are ya?

The Cast is a team of women at the Magnet that improvises plays, showing what is happening both onstage and also offstage during the performance. Sometimes we do special genres. Sometimes those special genres are insane.

How long have you all been performing together?

The Cast started as a Director Series in May of 2015, and was added as an official weekend show in the fall of that same year.

Who would be your ideal guest to perform with?

The list is long! To name a few: Tami Sagher, Rachel Dratch, Maya Rudolph, Lauren Lapkus, Carol Burnett, Kate Winslet, Lucille Ball’s ghost, and of course Benedict Cumberbatch.

What was your second choice for a name of the show?

I had to search my email for it, but I think the working title was “Onstage/Backstage.” I also found a brainstorming email chain with Chrissie Gruebel in which we alternatively threw out these** additional gems: Behind the Scenes, Cause a Scene, Make a Scene, Line!, On in Five, Off and On, Between Scenes, Players, The Show Must Go On, Curtain Up, Everyone’s Period Just Started, The Spotlight, 15 Minutes, The Original Queens of Drama, The Thing, and Staged. **All but one of these is real.

What’s the best part about performing at Magnet Theater?

The Magnet is home to so many incredible, creative, interesting and supportive artists. We truly feel that this is a community in which we can take risks and be supported not only for the final product but for the risk-taking itself. That’s been essential for this show to thrive.

If there was a biopic about your team, what would it be titled?

We Like Each Other…Too Much

Describe the soundtrack to said biopic!

We’re pretty into Kesha’s “Woman” these days. Also, does she not spell it K$sha anymore? Why not? Also, we know this isn’t a soundtrack, it’s just a song. But it’s our biopic so we can do what we want. Get off our back.

What makes your group laugh the most?

Scheduling.

If you could have a mascot for your shows, who or what would it be?

A girl’s aged 9-12 soccer team just after they’ve had their oranges and have all that natural sugar racing through their veins.

When can we see you perform?

Every Saturday night at 10:30pm at the Magnet! And occasionally at improv festivals around the country and in Canada! It’s not that we’re opposed to going outside of North America, we just haven’t been invited anywhere else yet, hint hint hint.

Anything else you all want to add?

We do occasional bake sales to raise money for causes we care about. We also do a [somewhat] monthly jam for any and all female-identifying improvisers; they’re super fun, and we’d love to see you there! Also, coming to The Cast isn’t just about laughing (which you’ll do! we promise!) it’s also about being part of a brand new never-to-be-seen-again full theatrical production, put on by people who like each other too much and are all on their periods at the same time. Beat that.

 

Thursday September 7, 2017, 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?

Kourtni Beebe

Which team or show are you on?

I’m on the sketch team Chillionaire!

Where are you from?

Norman, Oklahoma

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

My best friend suggested that I take an improv class for fun. After doing that for a while, I was curious about sketch writing. There was no turning back after I took my first sketch class.

How long have you been performing/writing?

I’ve been performing for 24 years. I’ve been doing comedy for 4 years.

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

I’d love to write and act with Amy Schumer. I have a comedy fantasy of us doing a film where we play sisters and Ali Wentworth plays our mom. Make fun of me all you want!!!!! It’d also be fun to write with Melissa McCarthy and Amy Poehler. Lucille Ball was one of my idols growing up and I wish I could’ve gotten the chance to share the screen with her.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for? 

I’ve impersonated Kellyanne Conway a few times and would love to dive into that more. With that being said, I have a comedy crush on Kate McKinnon and would love to write for her. I would also like to write for Jillian Bell, Ali Wentworth, and Jennifer Coolidge.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

When callbacks happen in regular conversations. It’s even funnier to me when someone does it who isn’t a comedian.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

Honestly, you can turn on the Legally Blonde The Musical soundtrack at anytime and I will never not jam out to it.

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

“Do you like dogs?” If the answer is anything negative, you can’t sit with us.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

A fun bar with my friends, usually chatting about what projects we want to work on together. If you’re good people and want to join us sometime, reach out to me!

What is the weirdest scar you have and how did you get it?

I have an insane scar on both of my hands from a Nutribullet (type of blender) breaking while I was using it and my hands fell into the running blades. There’s a lawsuit happening. And I’m writing a show about it called “Nutribullshit.”

Thursday August 31, 2017, 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?

Jessica Coyle

Which team or show are you on?

Captains

Where are you from?

Cincinnati, Ohio

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

When I was living in Korea, I saw a posting in a meetup group about doing comedy in English. I showed up a week early by mistake, I was so excited! It was great. I performed with them in Korea, China, the US, and Canada for 5 years. Most expat improv is short form, but after watching a show on a vacation to NYC that blew my mind I tried to teach myself long form techniques by reading books and watching YouTube videos. Trust me, it’s better to learn that stuff in a class. (Fun fact about that time: I accidentally said “improvist” instead of “improviser” for YEARS without anyone correcting me.)

How long have you been performing/writing?

My first big role was as a child bride Mrs. Claus in the 4th grade, so about 975 years now?

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

Paul F Tompkins, though I’d probably faint on him and get his fancy suit all rumpled.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for? 

A small goat.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

My sister – is she a what? Otherwise, certain Magnet performers I won’t mention here for fear of appearing too obsequious.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

A low droning moan, interspersed with the crack of fresh carrots being snapped in twain.

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

Oh God, we’ve actually met before, haven’t we. please forgive me.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Are you hunting me? Are you HUNTING ME? I AM DIONYSUS, GOD OF MASKS, AND YE SHALL NEVER FIND ME, WOODSMAN!

What, in your opinion, is the worst starburst flavor?

Burnt Foot (tied with Hot Wings Burp)