Wednesday, April 30, 2008
May's Player of the Month: Todd Freestone!
Todd isn't one to draw attention to himself on stage. But if you're lucky enough to see a show when Todd is in the cast, you'll notice that he's usually the smartest/funniest/most clever person in the room.
Todd was gracious enough to answer a few questions for the blog.
How did you get into ComedySportz?
Actually, one of those high school buddies, Josh Hiatt, got me started with ComedySportz. He was doing shows and invited me to start doing the workshops, so I did, and one thing led to another, and now I'm here. Before then I had always thought about doing ComedySportz -- I'd come to shows when I was in high school. I doubt that I'd ever give it a shot if Josh wasn't doing it.
You're not a crazy-super showy player--your humor is subtle. One player called you a "comedy sniper." What are your feelings about your sense of humor compared to other players?
I'm pretty comfortable with my sense of humor, but it did take time for me to accept that I'm not a high energy player and that I probably never will be. A lot of the crowd falls in love with the witty, energetic types, which initially made me feel that I needed to find a way to emulate their style. But great performances really come down to being yourself and finding your own niche.
Has your science background helped your comedy?
Yes and no. Science requires creative and conceptual thinking, which is very helpful in improv. Science is also about understanding relationships and explaining them well, which is what also makes a good scene or story. However, science is heavily dependent on procedures and reproducing similar results under similar conditions, which completely opposes that which happens on stage.
When did you first feel like you were in your element on the CSz stage?
The first (and perhaps the last) time I felt like I was in my element was about two years ago. But I find it a good thing to not be in my element much because if I were in my element I would get complacent and resort to a style of improvisation I'd feel comfortable with.
The most exciting stuff that happens on stage usually happens when we're stretching ourselves and doing stuff we're afraid of. Also, the more I concentrate on being at my best, the more self-conscious I become, and I tend to close up. For me, going on stage with a mindset that I'll blunder allows me to be more natural.
Any on-stage horror stories you wish to disclose?
I don't really have any on-stage horror stories. I am a little OCD, so I do get spooked out a little bit when I touch the carpeted stage with my hands, or if I get some hair from a wig in my mouth.
What have you gotten out of ComedySportz?
More than anything, I've learned a lot about myself. Some of the things I've learned have surfaced in this interview, such as the importance of being yourself and being comfortable with who you are. Along with that, I've come recognize strengths I never was aware of.