From time to time we’ll be posting more in-depth information about our performers, guests, and people important to our troupe, in a segment we call Get To Know Us. Next up: Steve
How old are you?
What is your “real” job?
Product Development Technician for a concrete block retaining wall company
How long have you been doing improv?
I started my first improv class in November 2011, so a little over 2 years. It was an 8 week session (I think) and we did a show for friends and family at the end. When I came off the stage after that show I knew I was addicted.
What got you interested in improv?
I was looking for something to push me outside my comfort zone. I always wanted to try doing stand-up but I struggle with memorizing lines.
How has improv affected your life off-stage?
Improv has taught me to take a “yes, and…” outlook on life, to find the game in even the most mundane activities, and to embrace adventures when they come my way.
What were some of your early comedic influences?
I remember owning a Bill Cosby record album (yes, vinyl) when I was really little. I would sit and listen to that for a long time. I probably didn’t get most of the jokes he was making, but there was something mesmerizing and therapeutic about the way he talked. I’ve spent most of my life watching stand-up comedy. Even when I was too young to I’d find ways to watch routines by George Carlin, Steve Martin, Robin Williams, Richard Pryor, and many others. In the early 90’s (when I was finally old enough to stay up late) I found SNL, and really loved watching the likes of Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, and Phil Hartman create characters.
Is there anywhere else people can see you perform?
I currently only regularly perform with Fantastic Voyage, but I’m available as a fill-in for other troupes here and there.
What is your favorite game (short-form) or structure (long-form)?
My favorite short-form game to play is Three Things. I love the freedom of expression that comes with mime-and-gibberish games.
As for long form, I really enjoy doing a montage (a random series of scenes) but then finding a way to tie those scenes into a narrative story in the end.
Finish the sentence; “This one time on stage….”
This one time on stage I had intercourse with a golden squirrel.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I’m actually an introvert. I have no problems getting up in front of a group of strangers and making a fool of myself, but when it comes time to talk to that group afterward I struggle. Because I know this about myself I try to make a point to talk to as many people after a show as I can. If you see me before or after a show I welcome you to come talk to me!
What advice would you give someone just starting out in improv?
It’s ok to be nervous, but don’t be scared. Being nervous means that you’re doing something outside of your comfort zone, and that’s a great thing! If you’re not at least a little nervous it means that you don’t care. But remember that you don’t have anything to be afraid of because there are no wrong answers. What’s the worst that’ll happen, someone will laugh at you? That’s why you’re doing this!
Is there anything else you’d like to plug or add?
I really want to thank everyone who has ever been in the audience for one of our shows. I wouldn’t be able to get up on stage and continue to improve upon myself if it weren’t for you. I encourage you to go see live improv as often as you can. Whether it’s our show or one of the many other wonderful improv performances around the Twin Cities. Remember, in improv you’ll never see the same show twice!
Thanks Steve! If you want to tell Steve anything, have a question for him, or think you know someone who would be an awesome feature for this segment leave us a comment!