Friday, August 7, 2009

Player Since: 1999
Day Job: Scrapbook Supplies Salesman
Hometown: Orem, UT

Favorite thing about CSz: Ooh, I like the tortellini, but that's just me.

When no one is looking you like to: Sniff random objects

Biggest Influences: Bill Murray, Steve Martin, My Dad

Best Advice for People Who want to learn improv: Trust your instincts on stage and don't be a "you-know-what"-bag to other performers.

What prior stage/performing experience did you have before joining ComedySportz? Junior High School roles in 'Tom Sawyer', 'Joseph and the ATD', 'The Pied Piper', 'Tied to the Tracks', and 'Ducktails and Bobbysocks'.

What brought you to Comedysportz? Joseph Draschil and destiny

It seems you always shine during the musical improvs. Do you have a background in music, play any instruments? I've always loved choir. My first real exposure to music was when I learned to play trombone in Jr High. I'm obsessed with karaoke.

Which musical game is your favorite? Probably 'Greatest Hits' or 'Rogers & Hammersing', although 'Rosetta Song' is really growing on me.

People come see you at ComedySportz when they want to be entertained... what do you do to be entertained? Consume BYU sports, play with my iPhone, fishing, basketball, karaoke, Billy Joel, little brown packages tied up with string...uhh, what were we talking about?

So, I've seen you play on the red and blue teams but also caught you in the zebra stripes a time or two? I like to ref. To me, reffing is kind of like teaching the lesson in Elders Quorum. I enjoy it from time to time, but too much of it makes me nauseous...And sometime people fall asleep. Seriously though, it requires a little more thinking than I typically like to do on stage and sometimes it starves my insatiable ego.

Lots of the players here at ComedySportz are also involved in acting and film are you? I have never been in a real movie, and I don't aspire to do so. Screen acting isn't really my bag. I don't know. I guess Stage Improv is just kind of like my soul mate, you know? Everything else just falls a little short. Don't tell my wife I said that.

Is there anything else you want us to know? I have a wife, Katie, and two daughters, Lucy and Claire. We're expecting our third next Spring.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

MARCH 2009 Player of the Month!

Shaun Johnson

Player Since:
April 2007
Day Job: Bus Driver
Hometown: Pleasant Grove, UT
Favorite thing about CSz: Having an outlet for my stupid thoughts
When no one is looking you like to: Pretend that the carpet is hot lava and I can't fall off my bed or I'll die.
Biggest Influences:
Jerry Seinfeld, Michael Jackson, my family and many close friends

Best Advice for People Who want to learn improv:
- Be "YOU the improvisor", not somebody else. Everyone has their style and will perform best if they embrace that.

What brought you to Comedysportz?
- I thought the shows were great and I realized that I was just as attention hungry as all the guys doing the shows...

It seems you always shine during the musical improvs. Do you have a background in music, play any instruments?
- Yes, I love music. I play the guitar and I arrange acapella music sometimes. Most of my theater experience is with musicals and I really love a well-improvised song that makes the audience think, "That MUST have been planned!"
Which musical game is your favorite?
- I enjoy most of them. But I really like "Rodgers & Hammer-sing"

People come see you at ComedySportz when they want to be entertained... what do you do to be entertained?
- Well doing Comedy Sportz is quite entertaining for the players, as well. But like most players, I love movies. And just the simple company of good friends.

So, I've seen you play on the red and blue teams but also caught you in the zebra stripes a time or two? Is playing harder or being the referee? Which do you like doing more?
- Both jobs have their challenges. Being a referee gives an interesting perspective on the show and I really enjoy it. But ultimately I enjoy playing more because I like getting involved in the improvs.

Lots of the players here at ComedySportz are also involved in acting and film are you?
- I'm not into the whole film scene so much. I'm just going to school and trying to have a good time while I do it. As much as I would enjoy doing more film acting, it's just not my focus. We all have to follow our own destinies. It just happens that my destiny is Business Marketing with a Spanish minor...I feel depressed now...

Is there anything else you want us to know?
- When I was 4 years old, I was choking on a penny and my dad picked me up by the feet and shook me upside down til I spit it out. I almost died.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

February 2009 Player of the Month!

Jake Van Wagoner

Player Since: 2005
Day Job: Student
Hometown: Grand Junction Colorado
Favorite thing about CSz: Trying new things
When no one is looking you like to: smell the earth
Biggest influences: Matt Griffith and Jordan Huslig

How did you get involved with ComedySportz? I had friends that I was doing a play with that got me stuck in ComedySportz

Have you always wanted to be a entertainer? I honestly used to get thrown in the principles office every day from 1st-5th grade because i was crazy about making my class fellows laugh. SO yes.

In improv what style of games are your favorite to play (ie. musicals, guessing, scenes, etc.)? I love musical games the most probably but I also really enjoy just doing straight up free-range scenes. It is rewarding to get from the first line to the last line of a scene and make everything tie together.

So you like music? Who do you listen to? John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Kansas, Led Zepplin, George Harrison, The Beatles, Josh Groban,

Do your improv skills enhance your day to day life? If so, in what way(s)? I love how much my improv skills help me. I am not a fake person by any means, but i enjoy adapting myself to the people i am talking to, and that helps a ton with improv.

We heard you are apart of the local film scene! If you could pick your dream job on a feature film what would it be? I am really shooting to become an actor, cliche? I know, but i am learning how to be a director also so if i suck at acting i can fall back on directing.

Monday, January 5, 2009

January Player of the Month: Mel B!

Player Since: Feb 2003 (Off and on, since I was at grad school in Philly for a few years in there.)
Day Job: Speech-Language Pathologist, part time instructor in Theatre Dept. at BYU
Hometown: San Juan, PR (Believe it or not, I'm actually a quarter Puerto Rican.)
Favorite thing about CSz: The boyz and the laughs. I'm adding years to my life by the week.
When no one is looking you like to: Lick the bowl
Biggest influences: Miss Piggy, cuz she never gives up...c'mere, Kermie... Oh. And my mom.
Best Advice for People Who want to learn improv: Don't try to be funny. Focus on good improv skills like listening, responding, adding, etc. The funny'll come.
When did you first know you wanted to be involved with the theater?
I can remember saying in 2nd grade that when I grew up I wanted to be a famous singer or actress. Now I'm both!
You're a speech pathologist. Do any attributes of improv help you with your job and vice versa?
Oh, man, totally. I actually truly dislike planning, so it's really nice that doing things on the fly comes pretty easily. And in reality with a caseload of 85 kiddies and at least that many reports a week to write, who has time to plan? Occasionally, I'll also whip out an improv warm up like Zip Zap Zop to get my students' chops goin' and they love it.
Do you enjoy doing long form improv (like the Yellow #2 show) or short form (ComedySportz Main event) more? Why?
Oooh. Is this a trick question? Well, okay. You caught me. I came to CSz for the long form shows. I love 'em. Yum. Yum. I love building a story or just really sinking my teeth into a scene that could go for who knows how long. I love the patience and the creating and the who knows what's going to happen next. I also love the moments when we just all seem to be on the same wavelength, we listen, we follow, we give, we take, and brilliance occurs. It's truly delightful. I have to add, though, short form is awesome too. I think I was just intimidated by it in the beginning--the pressure to be funny FAST! But the truth is, if you just listen and respond by adding information, the funny just comes. I've never really considered myself a funny person.
In fact, I originally started doing improv 10 years ago because it was an audition I didn't have to prepare for* (see earlier comment re: distaste for preparation), not because I thought I was funny. I had no expectation of getting into the group*, which I did, but I had promised myself I'd go to any audition that came up to get more experience. It was way out of my comfort zone and my realm of thinking as an actor in training, but it worked. They picked me. Yay! And I LOVE doin' it.
*Sketch/Improv group called The Garrens at BYU
For every women improver at CSz there are seven men. What are the pro's and con's of usually being the only woman on stage?
Pro: The kisses. Con: The kisses. Pro: Less emotional who-ha (ladies, why are we so dramatic?). Con: Um...let me think for a min. Pro: A safe walk to my car after the show. Con: Well, I really can't think of any more cons, except maybe that since I rarely play with girls, when I do it's almost weird. Really, the boyz are great and I just love hangin' with them in and out of ComedySportz. They are delightfully talented people who know how to find the humor in life and share it with others. (The girls do too, I just don't get to see them as often!)
What is your favorite game and why? many to choose from... I think I'd have to say Acronym Panel. I just love character games and this one has the added challenge of finding acronyms that match that character. Yummy. It's like eating a juicy peach without a napkin--challenging, and you might drip a little on your shirt, but it sure does taste good.
Anything else you'd like to say?
Thanks for the love! Keep laughing and keep coming. Oh, and iphones are awesome. I just caught up with an old friend AND listened to an episode of This American Life without having to take my gloves off, while shoveling my driveway, with only the simple touch of one button. Beautiful.
Thanks, Mel B.