One Month At A Time

Improv: Getting to Know You -Craig Snider

Share This Article

This is another of The Fearless Fools. There are still a couple left in the box. We’ll finish these off before we stretch into the new month of stuff.

 

Name: Craig Snider

Age: 36

Hometown: Volga, WV

Occupation: Receptionist/writer/editor/TBD

craig
Craig is to the left of the creature in red that will haunt your dreams.

 

What’s your life like outside of comedy?

I spend most of my time either reading, writing, watching television, or quietly ruminating on life’s mysteries, or as a friend of mine calls his process, “have a Big Think.”

 

How did you get started in Improv/Comedy?

My friend and mentor, Steve Goff told me he was going to start doing improv workshops, and asked if I’d help. I had always loved Whose Line, so I was eager to assist. After several of his workshops were a success, he said he had been approached to put together a team, and asked if I’d help with auditions. I later learned I had made the team.

 

What was your first workshop or show like?

Our first Fools show left a huge impression on me. I have never been a performer, unless you count class clown, but being on stage, essentially playing make-believe was like nothing I had ever done before. I get nervous if I’m doing a play, or if I have to speak in front of people, but not when I’m doing improv. I have never had any problem making a fool of myself. It was an experience I’ll never forget, and probably many others won’t either, for good or bad.

 

In comedy or the improv comedy world, who do you look up to?

As Steve Goff helped us learn the art of improv, he brought us a DVD called, “Trust us…,” which was a documentary about TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi, two improvisers who have a two-man, 60 minute improv show. They create an entire comedic drama, complete with characters they each take turns playing, and by the end, you never second-guess the reality they’ve created. It is a brilliant combination of acting and improv that had our whole team captivated. We still refer to that video often, and have even created improv warm-ups we call a “TJ and Dave.”

 

What’s the best part about what you do?

I get to be a kid again. I always played make-believe, and there were always strange characters and voices in my head when I was young. Possible psychosis, or future skill? Either way, all through my life, I spent most of my time trying to entertain myself or others by being silly. As we grow up, it becomes harder and harder to find venues for that type of outlet without being shut up in a rubber room. With improv, I get to do that again. It is a liberating and cathartic experience.

 

What’s the hardest part?

For me personally, it has being trying to deconstruct improv from an artistic standpoint, how to improve and make my game better. I can’t afford to go to Second-City, or have one of the fantastic teachers from Unplanned Comedy or Steel-City Improv come down. At least not until my one man show about the bubonic plague takes off. So, in the meantime, I find myself just trying to be a cosmic improv sponge, and I hope the universe will send me the knowledge I need.

 

What’s (almost) always funny?

As far as improv is concerned, it is when the performers are completely invested in the reality they’ve created, and they aren’t TRYING to be funny. That is the surest way to kill an improv scene. It is hard to just let go of the comedic instincts that tell you to go for the punchline. It is a very zen experience to just trust in your scene partner and see where you end up.

 

Advice for someone who might want to do Improv?

It is absolutely vital to get some kind of guidance. Go see other teams perform and talk to them afterward about their process. Take a class, and join a group. Just jump in and say, yes.

 

Are two drink minimums necessary or are they just a rip off?

Depends on the context. Hanging out at the bar? Rip off. House party? Rip off. Seeing a comedy show? Recommended. Monday morning staff meeting? Absolutely essential.

 

Do you believe in Santa Claus, unicorns or global warming (choose one)?

Personally, I think if Santa Claus would stop feeding his unicorns high octane fiber, we would have less methane, and global warming wouldn’t be an issue.

 

If you could ask Drew Carey one question, what would it be?

Why do you always look like you are staring into the sun?

 

Is prison really as bad at they say or is that just the media?

I think prisoners are just misunderstood, and need a big hug. And an improv show.

 

How good is your spelling?

Perfekt.

 

Do you have any time/money saving tips for our readers?

If you want to save money, don’t spend any. If you want to save time, stop doing other stuff.

 

Have you ever been to Ohio?

Cleveland rocks.

Here’s another one of The Fearless Fools.
I kind of regret that I didn’t get a chance to talk with them during my month of Improv –that just means I need to do a different story about the group when the opportunity comes a-knockin’ again. From their Facebook page, it looks like they kill.
Name: Matt Tolliver
Age: 32
Hometown:French Creek, WV
Occupation: School Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor
matt tolliver
What’s your life like outside of comedy?
Most of my time consists of working as a school counselor at Skyview Elementary School in Morgantown. I meet with kids for individual and group counseling as well as teaching classroom guidance lessons to whole classes. My main focus is on conflict resolution and teaching kids appropriate social skills.
How did you get started in Improv/Comedy? As a child at 4-H camp, we would have to come up with skits during the nightly council circles. Though there was no “formal” training, that was when I first experienced entertaining others without a script and having to use my imagination to create characters for short sketches.
What was your first workshop or show like?
Stressful, but a type of stress or pressure that challenged me with the reward of laughter and applause from the audience.
In comedy or the improv comedy world, who do you look up to?
Robin Williams was the master of improv comedy. His ability to instantaneously create characters and jokes was awe-inspiring.
What’s the best part about what you do?
With a day job dealing with people’s social and emotional problems, it can be very overwhelming to take that on. Improv allows me to explore my creative side and let my mind be free.
What’s the hardest part?
Trying to stay in character when my fellow players or myself say or do something that completely catches you off guard.
What’s (almost) always funny?
Typically anything that my Kindergarten students tell me
Advice for someone who might want to do Improv? I feel like everyone has to improvise many times every day when it comes to making decisions. Some times we have to conventrate hard on those decisions, and some times it’s so fast that we don’t even realize it. Improv comedy is in that space of opening your mind and not overly concentrating.
Are two drink minimums necessary or are they just a rip off?
Rip off
Do you believe in Santa Claus, unicorns or global warming (choose one)?
I want to believe in unicorns…it’s a thin, blurry line of believing and wanting to
If you could ask Drew Carey one question, what would it be?
Do you ever get to drive the cars on The Price is Right?
Is prison really as bad at they say or is that just the media?
Depending on the prison and crime. Are we talking federal penitentiary or a low security prison? If I could get my doctorate for free…sign me up!
How good is your spelling? How did I do on this questionnaire?
Do you have any time/money saving tips for our readers? Don’t take our private student loans, unless absolutely necessary!
Have you ever been to Ohio?
Yes…it was flat and underwhelming
At long last, we’ve started getting The Fearless Fools comedy troupe some improv blog love. The group is part of the Vintage Theatre Company (why does everyone reverse the er/re in theater?) in Clarksburg. VTC were the folks responsible for bringing some Shakespeare down Charleston way, back when we were having a shortage (So, I love them, even if they do that reverse er/re thing in theater, which makes me affect a snooty British accent).
Meanwhile, The Fearless Fools are doing some regularly scheduled improv comedy at Mainstreet Cafe in Clarksburg.
Become their Facebook friends. It’s not creepy at all.
Name: Lauren Swann
Age: 28
Hometown: Clarksburg
Occupation: Mental Health Therapist
lauren
She has the Sarah Palin stare down cold.
What’s your life like outside of comedy?
Still pretty hilarious…Busy with work, family, friends. Also playing with cats. Lots of cat play.
How did you get started in Improv/Comedy?
I had been acting for several years when a friend of mine invited me to an improv show he was in. I went to the show and I laughed so much my face hurt. I was scared of the idea of doing improv, but I went for it anyway. I auditioned for the troupe a few months later.
What was your first workshop or show like?
Terrifying, exhilarating. I didn’t know I would be in the show that first night, but I ended up having to fill in for another member who couldn’t make it. Perfect for improv, always a surprise.
In comedy or the improv comedy world, who do you look up to?
Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris
What’s the best part about what you do?
Feeling completely free, like a kid again. And playing games with a group of grown ups.
What’s the hardest part?
Getting in the zone when the energy is down or we’re in kind of a comedy funk. Sometimes we have to freshen up with different games or exercises to spice it up.

What’s (almost) always funny?
I don’t know that anything is always funny…fart jokes?
Advice for someone who might want to do Improv?
Go for it. Let go, don’t censor yourself. Pay attention to your partners.
Are two drink minimums necessary or are they just a rip off?
Is that a thing? I’ve never had less than two drinks…
Do you believe in Santa Claus, unicorns or global warming (choose one)?
Global unicorns. One day everyone we’ll see the havoc they’re wreaking on the ozone layer!
If you could ask Drew Carey one question, what would it be?
Whatcha got in that desk?
Is prison really as bad at they say or is that just the media?
The media is definitely as bad as they say it is.
How good is your spelling?
Excellint.
Do you have any time/money saving tips for our readers?
Wear your shoes to bed.
Have you ever been to Ohio?
Sigh…yes.

Improv Comedy: Getting to Know You -Dave Lomely

Share This Article

After a short break from doing these profiles (I had company at the house. We went to Ryan’s and ate the fried okra), we’re back. This is Dave Lomely from Improv 304.

Name: Dave Lomely

Age: 43

Hometown: Logan, WV

Occupation: Founder of Sushi Fun Run. Also, I do healthcare analytics

david

What’s your life like outside of comedy?

Growing odder by the day. I just got back from Los Angeles where I spent most of my time discussing races that involve sushi.

How did you get started in Improv/Comedy?

I knew the people that started the improv group and they asked me to attend. I did and enjoyed it.

What was your first workshop or show like?

It was a fun, low pressure opportunity to let loose. I enjoyed it and kept returning.

In comedy or the improv comedy world, who do you look up to?

I don’t consider myself an improv/comedy person. This is just something that I enjoy doing because it’s so far removed from my everyday life so I’ve never really thought about who I look up to. Maybe Drew Carey.

What’s the best part about what you do?

Just being myself and not worrying about what that means.

What’s the hardest part?

Letting go of yourself and not worrying about looking foolish

What’s (almost) always funny?

Kittens and puppies

Advice for someone who might want to do Improv?

Come join us at Taylor’s. It’s a fun, low pressure way to wet your feet in improv. We don’t judge; we just play.

Are two drink minimums necessary or are they just a rip off?

They are necessary. The more drinks you have the better the show. Two drinks might not be enough in some circumstances.

Do you believe in Santa Claus, unicorns or global warming (choose one)?

Global warming is the only one I don’t want to believe in but it’s all too real.

If you could ask Drew Carey one question, what would it be?

Was it really you I saw in a van in a Dayton, OH parking lot shouting at everyone to watch the Drew Carey show?

Is prison really as bad at they say or is that just the media?

I’d rather not find out.

How good is your spelling?

My spelling is meadiocher. Hahaha, see what I did there.

Do you have any time/money saving tips for our readers?

Yes, but they are not free.

Have you ever been to Ohio?

Yes, I have family in Ohio and may have seen Drew Carey in a parking lot while there.

Improv Comedy: Getting to Know You: Nick Griffith

Share This Article

Here’s another profile from one of the Improv 304 people: Nick Griffith.

 

Name:Nick Griffith

Age: 33

Hometown: Charleston

Occupation: It’s complicated.

nick

What’s your life like outside of comedy?

I write, hustle and I work at Kroger.

How did you get started in Improv/Comedy?

I worked at the Dayton Funnybone for a year before I moved to LA to be a film-maker. I bought decent pro-sumer video gear and that led to shooting comedy videos.

Shortly after I moved to LA I went to see a few short form improv shows at places like groundlings and brushed off improv until I saw a long form class show at UCB in LA. After seeing what improv could be I started going to more shows to watch Harold and long form teams.

When I took a Second City sketch class they kept pushing improv. I wanted to take classes through UCB or Miles Stroth but they all cost about $500 and have attendance policies. When you freelance in TV and Film you can’t turn down work because you have improv class and you can’t leave early. Sometimes there’s travel involved.  I found free weekly improv classes through yelp that generally followed UCB principles. It was a now defunct school / group called Monkey Butler.

What was your first workshop or show like?

I was incredibly nervous because I’m a behind the scenes guy. I get super nervous performing and even just meeting large groups of strangers so it was limit testing.  In my first “serious” improv class there were people who had been funny on TV and regulars who could just destroy in every scene and then a couple as first timers like me. I jumped in because I realized that if I’m going to buy the ticket I might as well take the ride. Everyone starts somewhere. Eventually I got good enough to get moved up a level or maybe they just took pity on me.

In comedy or the improv comedy world, who do you look up to?

My comedy heroes are a lot of Largo, Mr. Show and “The State” alums with Bob Odenkirk probably being the at the top of those. Larry Gelbart, Phil Hartman, Conan / Jeff Ross. Kids in the Hall. Steve Martin, Mitch Hedberg. KITH.

I’m also into weirder stuff like Kristen Schaal, Scott Aukerman (Comedy Bang Bang) and Tim And Eric

What’s the best part about what you do?

It’s challenging and almost impossible to perfect and when you do get something exactly right it seems so remarkably easy people think you could learn to do it in a day.

What’s the hardest part?

Killing the voice in your head that tells you what you’re currently working on sucks and sticking with it until it’s good.

What’s (almost) always funny?

Water skiing squirrel.

Advice for someone who might want to do Improv?

Don’t worry about making people laugh or messing up. You’ll do both and sometimes the audience won’t know the difference.

Don’t get discouraged when you watch “whose line”. It is improvised on the spot but there’s a little Hollywood magic behind it as well.

Short form is for quick laughs but if you learn long form you can play with anyone who also knows.

Are two drink minimums necessary or are they just a rip off?

Just tip your wait staff.

Do you believe in Santa Claus, unicorns or global warming (choose one)?

Our politicians keep on asking Santa to bring big coal back to save WV but we’re about as likely to get a unicorn under the tree. I think this is pretty much the only region in the world that considers global warming anything but a fact and for a group of people who’s so concerned about looking ignorant to outsiders we sure look stupid for that.

If you could ask Drew Carey one question, what would it be?

Are you mad Aisha Tyler stole your gig?

Is prison really as bad at they say or is that just the media?

It depends on what media you’re watching. Also what you consider a prison.  Also yes. I’ve been to prison. Not like sent there, it was for a shoot. You’re not allowed to spit. Also legalize it. Not spiting. You know what.

How good is your spelling?

My blog is Totalyrealnews.com so if you couldn’t tell it’s beyond impressive.

Do you have any time/money saving tips for our readers?

The best things in life are free and it just so happens most local comedy shows are also free. Quit putting it off and go see live comedy.

Have you ever been to Ohio?

What’s an Ohio?

Improv Comedy: Getting to Know You -Jim-Bob Williams

Share This Article

For this edition of Profiles in Comedy, we move on to the Improv 304 group (these are the people who are letting me hang out with them in the basement of Taylor Books. It’s just like high school. We even have beer!)

This is Jim-Bob, probably one of the nicest guys I’ve met through this project, and really encouraging, which is important. I need encouragement, and also to know whether Pina Coladas are vegan (one thing at a time, one thing at a time)

Unrelated, it’s his birthday today. So, happy birthday, Jim-Bob.

 

Name: James B. (Jim-Bob) Williams

Age: 59

Hometown: St. Albans, WV by way of Brooklyn, NY

Occupation: Disabled Environmental Engineer Reinventing Himself

jim-bob
Jim-Bob as the Ghost of the Maytag repair man. Is Maytag still a thing?

What’s your life like outside of comedy?

Presbyterian Elder. Tai Chi novice. Acting or trying to act. Working out at Anytime Fitness. Going to doctor’s offices.

How did you get started in Improv/Comedy?

After being bitten by the acting bug by hamming it up as Marley’s Ghost for the Alban Theater’s “A Christmas Carol” , wanted to do something to improve acting skills. Found the Charleston Improv Practice Group (aka Improv 304).

What was your first workshop or show like?

Open mic night at Kanawha Valley Unity. They gave us 10 minutes and didn’t throw us off after 20. Major adrenaline surge – better than a performance appraisal.

In comedy or the improv comedy world, who do you look up to?

Locally, the No Pants Players. I love them all – special mentions to Joe Wallace, Jeff Bukovinsky, and Tony Slack. May they forgive me for suggesting “Bird Flu” as a topic – and also remember I also offered “It’s a Wonderful Rash”. Outside of NPP, the Fearless Fools. Tijah Bumgarner was our first coach. Bill Goff gave us a boot camp that was amazing.

In the professional world, Jonathan Winters, Robin Williams, and Second City. T.J. and Dave (the guys from the Sonic commercial) do magnificent long-form.

What’s the best part about what you do?

Meeting interesting people and making magic. Not that engineers and Presbyterians aren’t interesting and/or magical. Doing an intro class for kids and watching them play.

What’s the hardest part?

Taking my time. I love a good punchline, but if it’s not relevant to the scene I struggle to remind myself to take it out of the RAM and save it to the hard drive for later retrieval. Also, realizing I should have started doing improv in 1973.

What’s (almost) always funny?

Fifty Shades of Greyhound.

Advice for someone who might want to do Improv?

Tuesday nights, 6 PM, basement of Taylor Books.

Are two drink minimums necessary or are they just a rip off?

If you have to force someone to drink, you’re either a bad entertainer or a waterboarder.

Do you believe in Santa Claus, unicorns or global warming (choose one)?

Santa Claus is a friend of mine. I trust him unquestioningly. I am also in a play he wrote called “Sherlock Holmes and the Beast of Whitechapel” [ Yes, that was a shameless plug ]

If you could ask Drew Carey one question, what would it be?

Which door should I pick?

Is prison really as bad as they say or is that just the media?

Let’s put more of the media in prison and find out.

How good is your spelling?

My spelling are greats but me grammar not so much.

Do you have any time/money saving tips for our readers?

You know those signs the janitors put in the hallway saying “Wet Floor” ? They really don’t want you to.

Have you ever been to Ohio? I have seen sewage treatment plants and dioxin-contaminated landfills there. Ohio is New Jersey without the glitter.

Improv Comedy: Getting to Know You: Mandy

Share This Article

Today’s profile is from Mandy of the No Pants Players. It’s just Mandy, like Cher is just Cher (Cherilyn Sarkisian) or Madonna is just Madonna (Madonna Louise Ciccone). Actually, I know her last name, but figured since she didn’t include it, she maybe didn’t want it published. Secret spy stuff. Witness protection.

These are all possibilities.

Anyway, meet Mandy.

Name: Mandy
Age: 33
Hometown:  Cannelton
Occupation: Corrections Counselor

mandy
Anál nathrach, orth’ bháis’s bethad, do chél dénmha


What’s your life like outside of comedy?

I like to dress up as movie characters to raise money for charities.
How did you get started in Improv/Comedy?

I met some of the No Pants Players during shows with other companies, they invited me to shows, and I auditioned at the first opportunity.

What was your first workshop or show like?

Cold. The heat was broken in the building.

In comedy or the improv comedy world, who do you look up to?

Everyone’s taller than me except Jeff.

What’s the best part about what you do?

The people, colleagues, fans, friends.

What’s the hardest part?

Tom Petty said it was the waiting.

What’s (almost) always funny?

Opening an umbrella inside a room full of people.

Advice for someone who might want to do Improv?

Be honest with those you’re going to work with.

Are two drink minimums necessary or are they just a rip off?

I go back and forth. If there is a cover and the door it is a rip off. If the bar tender and the servers split the tips it’s a necessity.

Do you believe in Santa Claus, unicorns or global warming (choose one) One?

All three have be proven by Science.

If you could ask Drew Carey one question, what would it be?

Are you related to Mariah?

Is prison really as bad at they say or is that just the media?

It’s not bad in the way the media says it is, but so much worse in ways you didn’t expect.

How good is your spelling?

Eets grate!

Do you have any time/money saving tips for our readers?

Try to get more fiber in your diet. Where blue to a job interview. Follow the speed limits.
Have you ever been to Ohio?

I think so. I was in this scary flat place where no one could drive I just assumed it was Ohio.

Improv Comedy: Getting to Know You -Jeff Bukovinsky

Share This Article

Eventually, we’ll run out of No Pants Players to profile, but to quote Rosie O’Donnell from “Harriet the Spy,” “that day is not to-day” or was that Mel Gibson?

I get them confused. Which one was in “Alien?”

Anyway, this is Jeff.

Name: Jeff Bukovinsky
Age: 35
Hometown: Charleston
Occupation: by day: I work in the offices of Loved Ones. By night I… Sleep. Mainly. Maybe watch some tv.

jeffb
Doing cosplay before cosplay was moderately tolerated by the rest of the world, Jeff Bukovinsky is the reindeer. Not sure about those hands, people.

What’s your life like outside of comedy? When I have time I love doing plays in the area. But mainly it’s family. Spending as much time as possible with my wife and kids. I read… I read a lot. And play fallout 4.

How did you get started in Improv/Comedy? Waaaay back in 2001 a friend suggested I come over and try out for the npp. I already new most of the people who were starting the troupe, but I was reticent. I was afraid of being foolish or failure or whatever. But I went and never looked back.

What was your first workshop or show like?
As much as I remember , the first workshop was maybe the most fun I’d ever had. The NPPs first was almost snowed out, but we went on anyway. I don’t remember too much of that either. I remember I made a “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ” joke.

In comedy or the improv comedy world, who do you look up to?
All the pros on snl and sctv I watched growing up along with master writers like Mel brooks and Monty Python. My fellow troupe members always continue to amaze me and make me up my game.

What’s the best part about what you do?
Bringing a smile to people’s faces. I know that sounds insanely cheesy. But it’s true. I love making people laugh.

What’s the hardest part?
Keeping it new for yourself. Challenging myself and never getting too comfortable. So I can give the audience something new.

What’s (almost) alway funny?
People falling down. Adam kings face (in a good way) , anything Steve Martin does or writes. The No Pants Players.

Advice for someone who might want to do Improv?
Give up the idea of being cool. Be willing to act a fool. Don’t dumb down. Trust your fellow actors and don’t underestimate the intelligence of your audience.

Are two drink minimums necessary or are they just a rip off?
Only two?

Do you believe in Santa Claus, unicorns or global warming (choose one)?
Global warming because al gore is my spirit animal

If you could ask Drew Carey one question, what would it be?
Your place or mine?

Is prison really as bad at they say or is that just the media?
It’s probably a lot like Denver : it depends on why your there and who your neighbors are.

How good is your spelling?
God gave us spellcheck for a reason.

Do you have any time/money saving tips for our readers?
Find a wish granting monkey and you can have everything your heart desires. But you can’t have my wish granting monkey. Gregory owes me. I saved his life in San Antonio.

Have you ever been to Ohio?
I once found a portal there in the back of my lazy Susan. I became a king and saved all of the mythical creatures of Ohio. Lived to old age, then travelled back through the lazy Susan. It was a hell of a thing.

Improv Comedy: Getting to Know You -Stuart Frazier

Share This Article

Our profiles in comedy (name changes depending on my mood) series continues with Stuart Frazier (no relation to the tree). Stuart is with the No Pants Players, who perform Feb. 11 at Mardis Gras Casino at 7 p.m.

The group has been promoting the show extensively on Facebook. However, a press release to the local newspaper is still in development.

Anyway, it’s free show, and there may be gambling on premises.

Maybe check it out.

Name: Stuart Frazier aka, Colonel Such ‘n’ Such aka, The Favorite aka, Jeff Bukovinsky
Age: 33 and looks amazing
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Occupation: Marketing Coordinator for Kanawha County Public Library/Taxi Driver/Lazy Batman

stuart
Stuart’s the one on the right. Probably.

What’s your life like outside of comedy?

Pretty good. I do enjoy the time to just chill and I also like exploring the city and the world around me. Eating at new restaurants, seeing movies, going to concerts. I have a lovely wife and beautiful two-year old daughter, who by the way, is a lot more entertaining than most people I know. So Hollywood agents reading this, call me!

How did you get started in Improv/Comedy?

I pulled a sabre from a boulder and was thoroughly disappointed. No. I’ve always enjoyed the stage since I was a kid, performing in all sorts of school and church plays. Got some real performance training in a couple theater classes in high school and discovered improv in college. I really enjoyed the camaraderie and freedom that improv provided. The ability to make up your entire world has a certain appeal. With some encouragement, I joined the No Pants Players and have been reveling in the journey ever since.

What was your first workshop or show like?

My first performance with the No Pants Players was special because it was a gig we did for Read Out Loud and the emcee of the event was Chris Sarandon (yes, that Chris Sarandon). So I really wanted to impress him so he would adopt me. Only one of those things happened. But it was a lot of fun!

In comedy or the improv comedy world, who do you look up to?

My comedic heroes would probably be Richard Pryor, of course. No comedian/actor would ever say otherwise. Dave Chappelle is hilarious and speaks the truth. I really like Hannibal Burress, too. I love his style and delivery. There’s really too many to choose from, Paul Mooney, Katt Williams, Maria Bamford, Jim Gaffigan, Chris Rock, Wayne Brady, Kevin Hart, Issa Rae, Debra Wilson, Mitch Hedberg, Chelsea Peretti, Wanda Sykes, Key and Peele….like I said, there’s so much talent out there, so many funny people, I couldn’t possibly choose one.

What’s the best part about what you do?

I really like making people laugh, making them happy. I’ve always felt that comedy, laughter, are powerful tools. You can change a person’s entire attitude by making them laugh and I hope that’s what I bring to audiences when I perform.

What’s the hardest part?

The hardest part for me is being harsh judge of my own performance. I can almost always point out something I did or didn’t do that could have been better, could have been funnier, clearer in delivery, etc. But I think that pushes me to try to improve my skill for next time. It forces me to make adjustments, study more of the art, and try different things and experiment. Remember kids, comedy is serious business.

What’s (almost) always funny?

The No Pants Players. Eddie Murphy’s “Delirious.” A small child saying a curse word. Yo mama.

Advice for someone who might want to do improv?

Try not to over-think it. Be as adaptable as possible, and if all else fails, be Beyoncé.
Are two drink minimums necessary or are they just a rip off?

Not necessary, but certainly do help. Alcohol makes us funnier….not you, us.

Do you believe in Santa Claus, unicorns or global warming (choose one)?

I believe Santa Claus needs to stop denying the existence of global warming which is caused by unicorn flatulence.

If you could ask Drew Carey one question, what would it be?

What have you done with the bodies?

Is prison really as bad at they say or is that just the media?

I’ve only been to prison one time….as a performer…..doing improv for prisoners. Let me tell you, no one appreciates a show like a room full of non-violent drug offenders.

How good is your spelling?

Absolootlie perfektt

Do you have any time/money saving tips for our readers?

Come watch the No Pants Players, the funniest people on stage with the cheapest ticket prices in the city! (And they’re performing Feb. 11 at Mardi Gras Casino in Cross Lanes)

Have you ever been to Ohio?

It was literally the first place I’d ever been in my life.

Improv Comedy: Getting to Know You -Jenna Skeen

Share This Article

Another one from the No Pants Players, who have a show on Thursday at the Mardi Gras Casino in Cross Lanes. They’d be OK with it if you wanted to come to the show, if you wanted to…

 

Name: Jenna Skeen

Age: 28

Hometown: St. Albans, WV and now reside in Charleston, WV

Occupation: COO at Loved Ones In Home Care and owner of Midnight Justice Films

Jenna
One of these people is Jenna Skeen. The rest are part of a ragtag group of survivors who are living through the worst frozen yogurt recall in history.

What’s your life like outside of comedy?

I perform in local theatre and enjoy traveling, filmmaking and all things geek

How did you get started in Improv/Comedy?

Attended the No Pants Players audition (It was only my second time publicly performing improv)

What was your first workshop or show like?

First workshop was terrifyingly funny and first show was MCing a West Virginia Power Game with the troupe so as a plus size female I was completely in my element.

In comedy or the improv comedy world, who do you look up to?

Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Martin Short, Eddie Murphy, Sid Caesar, John Candy, Robin Williams, Andy Kaufmann, Adam King and Jeff Bukovinsky

What’s the best part about what you do?

Hearing the laughs

What’s the hardest part?

Being funny

What’s (almost) always funny?

Bodily functions and/or politics – Completely interchangeable

Advice for someone who might want to do Improv?

Just do it! –Shia LaBeouf

Are two drink minimums necessary or are they just a rip off?

I think a healthy mixture of both.

Do you believe in Santa Claus, unicorns or global warming (choose one)?

Global warming due to Santa Claus’ reckless use of unicorns.

If you could ask Drew Carey one question, what would it be?

Do I know you?

Is prison really as bad at they say or is that just the media?

Depends are we talking Martha Stewart prison or 1920s chain gang prison?

How good is your spelling?

Perfeck

Do you have any time/money saving tips for our readers?

Quit cruising the As Seen On TV aisle.

Have you ever been to Ohio?

Once