One Month At A Time

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.

Going Vegan: Hostess Fruit Pies

Share This Article

People who know me know I have a long love affair with Hostess Fruit Pies. I’m particularly a fan of the cherry and apple varieties. When the Hostess company went through hard times and essentially dropped off the market, I bemoaned the fact to anybody who’d listen.

After they came back, under new management, I bought ten pies and handed them out at the office.

I also ate two.

With being a vegan, I’ve slowly been going through my list of junk food favorites, looking for things I can still eat.

Hostess Fruit Pies is an early casualty.

I found the ingredients online:

Wheat Flour Enriched(Flour, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin Vitamin B3, Thiamine Mononitrate Vitamin B1, Riboflavin Vitamin B2, Folic Acid Vitamin B9), Apples Diced, Vegetables Oil Shortening(Soybeans, Palm, Cottonseed Oil Partially Hydrogenated), Corn Syrup High Fructose, Corn Syrup, Sugar Water, Sugar Brown, Corn Starch Modified, Contains 2% or less of the Following: (, Soy Flour, Salt, Whey Sweet, Whey, Soy Protein Isolate, Calcium Caseinate, Sodium Caseinate, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Sulphate, Agar, Locust Bean Gum, Dextrose, Sodium Phosphate, Vegetables Oil Partially Hydrogenated, and/or, Animal Shortening, Contains One Or More Of The Following(Soybeans Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Canola Oil, Beef Fat), Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Citric Acid, Corn Starch, Lemons Oil, Red 40, Sodium Propionate, Sorbic Acid, Sorbitol, Yellow 5, Flavors Natural & Artificial, Lemons Juice Solids, Tricalcium Phosphate
The beef fat sort of clenches it, but the animal shortening doesn’t help. Still, when I found this list, I thought, “Wait. They’ve changed hands. This list is a couple of years old and a lot of companies are actually removing animal products from their mixes.”
Guinness Stout, another favorite, is replacing the dried fish bladder that they use in their beer, and will be vegan friendly at some point over the next few months.
I look forward to having a pint by summer.
But Hostess Fruit Pies… Well, I had to know. So, I reached out to the company, explained that I was a vegan who used to love their pies and wanted to keep eating them.

Here’s what they wrote back:

Dear Bill Lynch ,

Thank you for your inquiry.

We are always happy to help our consumers with their research. We are not considered Vegan.  If you would like to speak to someone further  please contact us at 800-483-7253. Our office hours are 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday Thru Friday, Central Time.

Again, thank you for contacting Hostess Brands, LLC..

 

It’s kind of depressing… I may call to ask why they have to use the beef fat or the animal shortening. I mean… why? I can make an apple pie at home without using either. It would be good just to know why they’d need to do that. Is it cheaper, maybe?

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.

Going Vegan: Updates

Share This Article

Here’s the weekly update on my vegan progress and whatnot.

First thing:

People have been giving me chocolates lately. If you grouse about how chocolate is made with butter, bacon, and baby chicks, somebody will take the time to find you something you can eat.

I got three chocolate bars over the last week or so.

candy2

 

candy1

Two of the bars came from Healthy Life Market (where Bill buys his Big Timber Porter beer). They’re made with rice milk instead of the usual milk taken from a cow.

I don’t know how rice milk is made. I don’t know if Snap, Crackle and Pop are somehow involved in a side business, but it was pretty good stuff. The flavor was similar to some of the Cadbury chocolates I’ve had (very sweet), but the bar had a crisp, almost hard candy snap to it.

The third bar was something called Pascha.

candy3

This one came from the clearance table at a TJ Maxx and with the bold announcement that it contained no peanuts, nuts, eggs, soy, or illegally harvested human organs, it didn’t seem like a lot of fun. This thing was USDA Organic, Non-GMO verified and Certified Vegan. It’s also free of eight major allergens, has full ingredient traceability, and sort of makes you shudder to think why that might be important to anyone.

The box even goes to the trouble of explaining what Maca is. According to the packaging, “Maca is a nutrient dense root vegetable from the Andes. It adds a slightly creamy texture and is blended with 60% dark chocolate.”

Good to know.

A picture on Wikipedia makes it look like a kind of turnip.

They also helpfully point out that alpaca manure is used to fertilize the maca. Why they needed to mention this is something of a mystery.

Anyway, this one was pretty great and tasted like a luxury chocolate bar. It had a great flavor, and I didn’t really detect any alpaca. I shared this bar with the rest of the newsroom, and no one else complained that it had even a mild alpaca flavor. People seemed to like it.

Second thing:

I’m still losing weight. I appear to be down around 25 pounds, according to my scale. The scale at Spring Hill Primary Care would probably only say 18 pounds, but it’s a hard-hearted and stingy scale.

I still feel great. My mood seems a lot more even, and one of the librarians at KCPL said I “seem more smiley.”

As a way to keep track of what I’m eating, but not to really rein in my meals, I downloaded an app for my phone called Spark People, which figures that if I keep up at my current pace I could be 200 pounds by July 11. Who knows? A little farther down the road and I could have abs. If I get abs, I promise to post pictures of them on the blog, as well as Facebook, and probably Twitter.

A more immediate issue will be getting a new belt. I think I’ll need a new one before Easter.

Last thing:

Ben & Jerry’s new vegan-friendly “ice cream” is supposed to be in stores next week. I’m looking forward to giving that a shot, though I imagine it will cost as much as a car payment.

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 -Brian Hatcher

Share This Article

We continue our series of (very lazy) profiles about different faces in local comedy. Here’s another member of Charleston’s own, No Pants Players.

Name: Brian Hatcher
Age: 49
Hometown: Beckley WV
Occupation: Professional Raconteur

brian
From left to right -Dude with glasses, girl with glasses, Brian and T-Rex.

What’s your life like outside of comedy?

When I’m not putting fire in my mouth or talking to the dead for fun and profit, I am creating charming little nightmares for adoring readers.

How did you get started in Improv/Comedy?

A good friend, who believed in me more than I did myself, talked me into going to a No Pants Players audition. I left a Saturday book signing and headed straight to St. Albans with no idea what I would be in for.

What was your first workshop or show like?

Nerve-racking. Both cases.

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

Jonathan Winters. He is the gold standard for improv comedy.

What’s the best part about what you do?

Being surrounded by and performing with great friends.

What’s the hardest part?

Learning to get out of my own way and let the comedy happen.

What’s (almost) always funny?

Jokes which stem from tragic events.

Advice for someone who might want to do Improv?

Learn to listen. Funny comes later.

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

If you’re being charged at the door to get in, total rip off.

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

I believe in global warming. It’s caused by Santa Claus fighting unicorns.

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

“How did you lose all that weight?”

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

It’s worse. Much worse.

How good is your spelling?

I’z speel rel gud, cuz I’z a righter.

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

Taco Bell is cheap, but here’s a way to make it even cheaper: https://youtu.be/okKIBTcU2Ug

Have you ever been to Ohio?

Many times. But don’t tell anyone.

Going Vegan: Vegan Potluck

Share This Article

Probably, not everybody got the memo, but the Kanawha Valley Vegan Potluck is Sunday night… Sure, sure, I know, this is also Superbowl Sunday and many people will be swilling beer, watching football, and trying to avoid another argument with your Uncle Leroy, who keeps going on about how fantastic the Chicago Bears were in the 80s and like the Superbowl Shuffle is a legitimate dance, which IT. IS. NOT.

Anyway, best of luck with that.

But if you’re not into football, if you can hold off on having a beer until slightly later in the evening, check out the potluck. It gets started around 6:30 p.m at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 520 Kanawha Boulevard W. Everybody, so far, has been nice. No fights broke out last time, even though there were a couple of carnivores on the premises, hogging the lentils (which were pretty awesome, actually).

vegan2
Tasty stuff to try.

 

The food is pretty good, and if you’re a little interested in trying a plant-based diet, this is a good place to start.  You can also talk to other people who are vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, and other folk, who are just trying to eat in more healthy ways, reduce their impact on the environment and/or just don’t want any animals to die to become food.

Those are pretty much the reasons, in no particular order.

I’m going, in case you were looking for an excuse to come have an awkward conversation with me at some point.

cap
This is me. I promise to be 50 percent less squinty.

And the potluck is free, though bring a couple of bucks to help out with the plates and napkins, if you happen to have it to spare.

vegan1
Have dinner, make a friend. It’s a pretty good deal.

Improv Comedy: Getting to know you…

Share This Article

As a way to get to know some of the comic players in our state and get a better idea about why people decide to take on improv, I sent a questionnaire out to The No Pants Players and to The Fearless Fools with hopes they might give me some insight into why they do what they do.

Also, it was easy.

Name:  Adam King

adamking
Adam is the blurry one toward the back.

Age:  37

Hometown:  St. Albans, WV – The Twin City

Occupation:  President of the No Pants Players, Regional Vice President: Agent Pipeline, Millionaire Stuntman/Half-Narwhal

What’s your life like outside of comedy?

Outside of the troupe I like to design, work on photo/video editing and write scripts which many people that haven’t read find funny.  I am an avid rock climber.  My 8-5 grind is sales oriented and I work with some great folks – I also find multiple times a day for bathroom breaks to catch up on my cell phone games.

How did you get started in Improv/Comedy?

I have always thought I had the ability to entertain but couldn’t find the right outlet.  I’m not a trained actor and that’s apparent.  One day many moons ago I was having lunch at the Town Center and I happened across Kevin Pauley (whom I’ve known since I was in 2nd grade) and he mentioned there were auditions for the troupe and they just happened to be looking for someone who had zero experience on stage, zero performance experience and zero knowledge of improv comedy.  And bam, I worked my way in.  I really thank Sarku of Japan for putting me in the right place at the right time.

What was your first workshop or show like?

Well, I decided to learn/practice for six months prior to putting my talents on stage so I could gain some confidence, also the elder troupe members forced me to.  The NPP has so much amazing talent and they welcomed me with open arms and decades of experience.  It culminated in a series of games where I stood on stage, virtually immobile, whispering to the old lady in the last row.  And it felt amazing.  I knew this was what I wanted to do.

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

My favorite comedians growing up were Chris Elliott, Martin Short and David Letterman.  I, maybe unfortunately, also looked up to Weird Al Yankovic but I struggle fitting a food theme into everything I say.

What’s the best part about what you do?

My strongest skillset comes with physical comedy.  I’m somewhat gangly and can make some real hideous faces which crowds seem to enjoy.  When I get a little older this handsomeness will probably resemble a cross between Larry David and Lyle Lovett.

What’s the hardest part?

The hardest part for me is character development.  I have characters that work, when I stick to them.  But my lack of stage acting experience can hinder me because I may go from the straight sarcastic guy, to the train-hopping hobo, to a Cockney bartender – all during a scene involving a Latin American astronaut.

What’s (almost) always funny?

Jeff Bukovinsky.  I’m not sure if he’s a what, or a who.  But he’s the kinda funny, that if you could bottle it, would sell like crazy at TJ Maxx.

Advice for someone who might want to do Improv?

Just try it.  Don’t be scared.  Well, do be scared becuase it’s terrifying.  But let yourself go.  Forget about everything that makes you feel insecure because that’s going to be some of your best material.  Find some like minded folks who also think they’re funny and you’ll be surprised what you come up with.  That or you’ll be awful which also rules in the world of YouTube.

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

Two drink minimums are only worth it prior to the noon hour.

Do you believe in Santa Claus, unicorns or global warming (choose one)?  Since these are all Finnish myths I believe in every one since both of my parents are Laplanders.

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

I’d ask him what it feels like to be funnier than Carrot Top but slightly less so than Gallagher.

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

All of my prison knowledge comes from watching Locked Up, Shawshank Redemption, and having gone to St. Albans High School prior to the renovations.  So I’d say it’s pretty bad.

How good is your spelling?

My spelling is akin to the Infinite Monkey Theorem, if the end result is never Hamlet.

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

All my money is tied up in Vertical Farming and finding a cure for nail biting so ask me again in 30 years.

Have you ever been to Ohio?

I saw an Ohio quarter when the government launched that series back in 2002.  And I read a book about Tecumseh in college.  So, basically.