How did you get into improv?
I started improv in college when I auditioned for a student-led improv group at The College of William and Mary. That group became the most important thing in my college career.
What brought you to ComedySportz?
I auditioned for Comedy Sportz in 2001, just searching for an improv outlet in the city. I got called back but didn't make it. The audition and callback were really fun which is unusual for that type of thing. I auditioned again the next year because the experience had been good, and I thought I'd gotten better.
What sets ComedySportz aside from the other improv you have done?
Comedy Sportz's format is absolutely unique. I think there are always two shows happening at once. There's the story of the show with the rivalries and the different team members' personalities, and there are the scenes within the show. I think that allows the audience to get to know the different performers and also get to know the different characters they play in the games. The fact that we end the show high-fiving the audience is a natural fit, then, because they've gotten to know us. I think a Comedy Sportz show feels like an EVENT as well as a show. Plus, a Comedy Sportz audience really is part of the show--more that at any other improv venue.
You are currently in Second City's Rod Blagojevich Superstar. What have you done to prepare yourself to be playing such a controversial person?
I watched a lot of Blagojevich footage and realized that a politician is a politician. Bush impressions, Clinton impressions, Reagan impressions, etc., all involve a certain delusional 1000-yard stare, a lot of deliberate (if not fitting) hand gestures, and a lot of strange pauses and halts in speech. Blago is an exaggeration of ay other political figure. They're all the centers of their own world. He is too. He is the star of his own show at all times, no matter how his audience feels about him.
You actually met Rod Blagojevich. How did that go?
It was surreal. He was very nice and very charismatic. Also, his hair is not as weird looking up close. Still, though, he was always the star of his show. He was a good sport about the fact that our show takes a lot of shots at him, and he was equally able to turn our jokes into talking points about his administration and scandal. He is always on message. It was so weird for me to meet him, and I wondered if it was weird for him.
What is something you miss about performing about ComedySportz?
I miss all my friends, for one. Comedy Sportz is so good at creating a family. I also miss the games. I just don't play them elsewhere very often. Every chance I get to perform a Day in the Life Musical somewhere, I take it.
What do you like to do when not performing?
I read a lot. I read anything too. I'll read a big boring book about the Civil War and then read some cool graphic novel and then I'll read whatever is on the best-seller list. I like to read eclectically. Same thing with movies. I read and watch movies. Also, I have a son now, so that eats up a lot of time--just staring at my 5-week-old.