John Duffy 2013: Loud, brash, crazy, clownish, quasi-insane student.
John Duffy 2017: Pillar of Sick Puppies Comedy, One of my very best friends, incredibly talented actor, invaluable instructor and relentless improviser who is also loud, brash, crazy, clownish and a full insane person.
He became an official cast member in January of 2015, but was part of our DNA well before as a student and consultant. John had gotten his masters degree and asked if he could build a business plan for Sick Puppies Comedy in 2014. Of course, I said yes, but didn’t think much of it until he presented it to me.
That summer, John was part of a sales team I had assembled in hopes of attracting new business, new audience, new students and new venues. Overall, the project failed because I couldn’t coach it or manage it, but it inspired John. He started to ask “what if?” What if this succeeded? What if we grew bigger? What if we could get more? He was this voice in my head that said “We can do more.”
Within a few months I quit my job because I believed him. He was right. We added him to the cast and he quickly became one of my favorite people to be on stage with. Some nights, he had an endless amount of energy and your job as a scene partner was to let him shine. Other nights, he provoked your inner demons to visit a show. He saw you for exactly who you were and who you are and never held back when he needed to say something.
There was a scene I was in with Julie Cotton and John that I will never forget. It was what I believe improv perfection to be. Completely lost in character, lost in scene and lost in joy. I wanted to live in that 15 minutes forever. None of us were able to hold ourselves together and I can remember each moment of that night line by line.
John created our house team “Daddy’s Little Nest Egg” that has been to a number of major festivals and is a regular monthly show at Sick Puppies. He was a visionary for it.
He was easily one of the student favorites when it came to teaching. He even started his own series of classes in Fort Lauderdale and many of them are fans that only come to see shows when he is in them. John knows how to inspire you and make you feel special.
John and I have worked on so many side projects and ideas together over the years. SPC news, auditions, podcasts, marketing ideas… John built an entire commercial for Sick Puppies Comedy just three months ago. He is selfless. He’s too generous.
Then John found a new love. Film. And it took him away. I knew before he did that his time as an improviser was limited. When he called me two weeks ago, I already knew and I was so happy to hear him declare exactly what he wants and how he wants to get it.
Improv is an art form that very few of us are fortunate enough to “live” in. It seems as though it is a transitional time in most people’s lives that helps them find their voice, their point of view, their value and their strengths so that they can grab onto the next thing confidently.
I am so grateful for John and what he has done to build up this company and community and will miss seeing him every week at practice and shows. We will continue to work together on other projects and hopefully share the big screen together some day.
Please join us tonight at 9PM and purchase your tickets in advance to see John’s last show with us.
We love you John John Duffy – www.johnjohnduffy.com