How are you involved with Improv Cincinnati?
I play piano with IC's improvised musical Hot Mic! and sometimes for the musical road-trip Love Square alongside the inimitable Delmar Davis. Together we are EZ/DZ. I also have been known to take the stage from time to time as an improviser, and I have taken a few classes at IC. My favorite improv moment thus far has been playing "Cynical Jesus" next to Jon Ulrich at our "Jon vs the World" show.
When did you start doing improv?
I got involved with IC last February when Delmar Davis recruited me to play piano for what would eventually become Hot Mic! I knew next to nothing about improv comedy, and quickly realized how learning more about it would help me understand the performers' perspective. My intellectual curiosity soon was overtaken by a real love for improv, and I haven't looked back since (except in this interview, and probably in response to similar questions from others).
What is your favorite thing about improv?
There's a real freedom that comes from both performers and audience members letting go of expectations about what's "supposed" to happen. Even the most mundane words and actions can become laugh-til-you-cry funny, or deeply real and emotional. It's all about discovering those moments together. You feel like you're "in" on something, perhaps only to realize that something is just "being a person."
Do you have any fun facts you'd like to share?
When I'm not doing improv stuff or playing music, I am an ESL (English as Second Language) teacher, and I'm about to finish up my M.Ed program at UC. This year I've helped start a new community ESL program for adults in Price Hill, for which I am also building the curriculum