I’ve been doing comedy for over 10 years. I started doing long form improv by performing it in front of large audiences comprised of cheerleaders. Then I did Comedy Sportz in Madison, WI. Then I moved to NY in May of 2004 and saw one show at UCB, was amazed, and signed up for a class the next day.
I took improv classes because it looked fun. I had no intention of becoming an actor or a writer for film or TV. I was already a creative in the world of advertising. Improv was just another creative outlet. I had no idea what this was going to lead to, I only knew that I liked making people laugh and being on stage. I had no idea why I wanted to keep doing it or what my future was going to look like by training at UCB. I took the same teachers over and over at UCB because, aside from the fact that only a few taught at the time, I felt like I kept learning new things. I had journals of notes from classes and practice groups/indie teams. I knew it took forever to get on stage so after my level 2 class, I asked a performer, who I thought was kick ass, to direct a one person show and she said yes. So I wrote my first one person show and a few years later I would write and perform another one person show on the UCB stage.
You wouldn’t be able to tell much now, but I am a shy person. I was way too scared to ask people to join an improv or sketch team with them. I felt (and still feel) like an idiot when talking to people. I’m pretty sure there are people out there that think I don’t like them, when really I just feel stupid saying words around them.
Around 2005 I took my first class with Armando Diaz. He was the only one that taught the original form of the Eventé (and still is). Since I did take that class, I was able to get into the advanced level of his newly formed theater, the Magnet Theater and ended up playing on house/harold teams there for 4 years.
I had friends in NY who knew people in San Francisco, so I was lucky enough to be warmly welcomed into their community. I played with indie teams and performed with Unscripted Theater Company. It was in SF when I had the breakdown, literally crying and screaming, that I was not just an improvisor, but an actor. I had spent oodles of money into grad school for advertising and was working in advertising and was not completely happy. Acting made me happy and I felt like I was good at it. I would have never ever ever discovered that if it wasn’t for improv. So I moved to Los Angeles to become an actor.
I didn’t do improv for the first year I was in LA. I concentrated on the business of acting and booking work. Then I missed improv. It’s like a goddamn addiction. This time was different though. I had to start over in an comedy community with 7 years experience under my belt that no one cared about. I retook level 2 at UCB to get my feet wet again. That class was super special. I was able to play and expand with that group, and I met some awesome new friends. I then ventured over to iO West. Eventually, my feet landed over at The Pack Theater. The wonderful thing, is that all of these theaters are surprisingly supportive of another.
The comedy community has given me so much. I’ve met so many best friends and even my fiancé in this community. I’ve been able to grown from an improvisor to an actor to a sketch comedic performer to a writer. Since I’ve had the opportunity to really expand my creative self in comedy, it’s allowed me to have deeper performances as a serious actor and to take chances in my writing.
Being in this community.
Everyone gets fart jokes. (Never not funny.)