Goodbye Stephon

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One of Sick Puppies Comedy’s original cast members says goodbye to our team tonight.  Stephon Duncan is one of the most talented people to ever grace our stage and we are sad to see her go.  We took a moment to interview her before she left.

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Stephon, you are one of 3 remaining original Sick Puppies Comedy cast members.  This makes you one of the most experienced and seasoned improvisers in Sick Puppies as well as South Florida.  Tell us how that compares to your start with Sick Puppies. 

When I first started Sick Puppies I was the one with the least amount of experience. You had people like Gerry, Fawad and Aniela who have been doing improv for almost 10+ years combined and I didn’t have any.

What type of legacy are you leaving behind at Sick Puppies?

Legacy?! Oh, I don’t know. I’m not sure what people remember about me now, while I’m still in the troupe. I would hope that I was able to show people that it’s okay to be yourself, no matter how odd you might be.

Is there a particular show or moment that you remember as a sick puppy that stands out?

Although there were many, I’d have to say it was the show when Julie and I did our duo. It was the moment that I let myself go and trusted both my partner and myself.

What’s next for you?  What are you working on?

I’ll still be doing improv around South Florida, but I’m focusing more on my acting career. I haven’t been pursuing it as aggressively as I would like, now seems like the perfect time.

Why do you think improvisation is so important to you?

Man. Improv has changed my life in so many ways. I learned to trust that everything that comes out of my mouth matters. Improv has given me my voice. I was always afraid to speak my mind, with improv, that’s all I do.  I feel empowered and confident. Improv has made me a better person and I am grateful to Sick Puppies for giving me this opportunity.

What is your philosophy when it comes to improv? 

My philosophy when it comes to improv is: Be a team. Love and take care of one another on that stage and you will be amazed at the outcome.

What advice can you give our newest cast members as well as prospective students hoping to join? 

This piece of advice came from my first workshop with Razowsky: “You are enough.” It is simple, yet so powerful. We all bring something special to the stage, tap into that and you will be just fine.

Stephon joined the our cast as one of the 13 original cast members in October of 2012.  Over the years, those cast members either physically moved out of town to pursue bigger and better projects, while others stayed local to work on their other endeavours.  If you know much about the art of improvisation or the industry, you know that there aren’t many people on the planet that can make a stable career of it.  Improv is an artform that is used to either springboard you into the entertainment industry or it’s something you do on a regular basis to keep your skills at the top of their game for whatever career you are in.

Duncan was the only person out of the 13 original cast members that I didn’t have an existing relationship with prior to auditions.  She had the best audition of everyone that showed up and blew us all away.  She had great presence, characters, awareness and finesse.  She took the stage by storm and grabbed a piece of our hearts immediately.

Always humble, always kind and always improving.  Stephon doesn’t have an enemy in the world.  She doesn’t brag or boast, but you should know that she has one of the very best voices I’ve ever heard.  She’s respectful and caring, but she’s never been shy about sharing her opinion with me.

Minutes before we hit the stage at the Sarasota improv festival in 2015, Duncan pulled me aside and shared her regarding the format we were about to perform.  I could tell that by her tone she wasn’t the only concerned member, but she carried the burden as if it was her own.  It was the only time I gave in to a request like this because when Stephon speaks up, you know it’s important.

I’m proud to say Stephon is a friend and a Sick Puppy.  It’s been a pleasure to have her teach me how to be a better person over the years.  We will miss you.

If you’d like to see Stephon in her final show tonight at 9PM, go to www.sickpuppiescomedy.com.

 

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