It sounds like Anthony was just a guest on Erik’s podcast, but I think I would love it if ever episode was just these two guys talking for ten minutes. That would be favorite ten minutes on the internet.
Anthony Atamanuik was kind enough to join me for the inaugural episode of my podcast. We talk about death, crazy videos, Qaddafi, the Knights Templar, and my attempt to learn to play the mandolin. (I don’t own a mandolin.)
All in less than 10 minutes!
I am like two years late to the podcast game, right?
Such quick response! I still can’t import into my Final Cut program, but I was able to import into iMovie and after a quick test it looks like I can move that footage into Final Cut. Or maybe I should just edit in iMovie because it likes me more?
I can worry about that after all this damn importing, right?
(I normally don’t say things like this while coaching improv, but I loosely said the following to a group I coached today (Dos Mimosas, a young and extremely talented group—they have a show at Triple Crown this Sunday at 8PM—go to it!) and it strikes me as true and I needed to jot it down before…
You ever watch Josh Patten improvise? It’s clear how much fun he is having at all times.
You ever watch people improvise WITH John Patten. It’s clear how infectious that fun is.
His post speaks to what makes him a great improviser.
For the third year in a row I wrote 30 sketches in September. And I’m proud because I kept pace pretty well all month. Last year I had to keep writing 3 or 4 in a day to make up for days when I fell behind. And last year I had to finish one day into October. But not this year. Other then the first weekend (when I was out of town) I was never more then 1 sketch behind, and most of the time I was right on pace.
Quality-wise I felt this year I wrote more sketches that I didn’t like (But I thought that last year, and when I reread them a while back I enjoyed more then I remembered, so maybe these sketches just need to age).
Here are a few of my personal favorites:
I wrote this one about Silvija’s Ozols who brings an old foam finger with her everytime we go to a Mets game. - Foam Finger
Icicle Melodrama isn’t that funny, but I love it anyway. My favorite sketches involve odd concepts, like talking icicles. Or setting the location as nowhere, like I did in Location Nowhere.
I’ve always thought the best way to write sketches involving President Obama is just to place him as the straight man in unusual situations. Area 51 Water Park is where I attempted that. (I wrote 2 other sketches starring Obama, and he cameo’s in Foam Finger)
Things to look for in those other sketches: The Dinner Trilogy. The Return of Dr. Dast and Jake Dagger (from my video Who Poisoned Whose Tea?) - although they return in separate sketches. Jake’s sketch is pretty lame. Sketches staring a demon, a king, and some goblins. Multiple dinosaur appearances. Four sketches inspired using the random article feature on wikipedia. And a sketch with Batman.
A few days ago I posted a quote from Red Sox Manager (now former manager) Terry Francona where he said "Ultimately, you don’t need to have a team that wants to go out to dinner together, but you need to have a team that wants to protect each other on the field, and be fiercely loyal to each other on the field. That’s what ultimately is really important”
The more I think about this quote the more I love it. The Red Sox didn’t make the playoffs despite being heavy favorites this year and having loads of talent. Now some of the reason they didn’t make the playoffs was injury related. But some of it seems to be, based on post-collapse discussion, that they didn’t work as a team. Few went to any practice that wasn’t mandatory. They were lax on conditioning. They relied on their sheer talent. And they had a lot of talent. Almost enough to make the playoffs. But no matter how talented you are, you need to work hard. If not for you, then for the guys around you.
Shut up about Baseball. Talk about Improv!
In Improv terms I think that means attending rehearsals. But that’s obvious. It also means commiting in those rehearsals. Lazy rehearsals where you aren’t playing at your best don’t prepare you for when you are on stage and trying harder. Treat rehearsals as seriously as you would the most important show!
It also means make your scene partner look good. We’ve heard that a lot, right? But let’s discuss a specific angle of that statement. Let’s say your team mate makes a bad move. A move that sells out the scene. Or he makes a joke. Or he plays in a way you don’t like. Maybe he is physical and you want to play talky. Or vice versa. A good teammate supports his move regardless. If he sells out a scene, you double your commitment to whatever reality you are now in so his move looks good. If it’s jokey, he makes it work in the scene, so it’s less of a joke. If he’s physical, so are you. If he’s talky, you find a way to play in that style.
So I have to match bad moves?
No. It’s a mistake to focus on those moves as BAD. I think a good team mate focuses on what he likes in a move. What he likes in a team mate. Even when that team mate is doing something he doesn’t like. In that situation he focuses on the good part EVEN MORE. Right?
So I guess what I am saying in this super long winded 4am rant is…. During a show be the teammate that loves everything your team does.
Afterwards you can discuss styles and techniques you like or don’t like. But not during a show. During a show you go with them.
If you can’t do that on a regular basis, and I believe there are situations where maybe it’s not possible, you shouldn’t be on that team. Because you are the problem.
As long as I don’t have to get dinner with my improv team
Also, Erik Tanouye said to me “I agree with that quote, AND I think younger teams should get dinner together” - He’s right. The quote says you don’t need to WANT to get dinner. But that’s a different thing right. I don’t need to be best friend with a teammate but getting to know him will help me as a performer. So I don’t need to want to get dinner with him, but if I don’t know him that well, then I should spend time with him. Maybe over dinner.
Ok? Did I ruin a simple smart quote by talking about it for 633 words?