Hey Barry! How did you find out about Sick Puppies Comedy?
I found out about Sick Puppies while I was living in New York City and attending the Del Close Marathon (An improv marathon hosted by the UCB in NYC that consist of 3 days of non-stop improv). I knew I was going to be moving back to South Florida soon and seeing that they were part of this gigantic marathon inspired me to call them and get involved.
What got you involved and interested in improv?
As a little kid I wanted to try comedy after becoming obsessed with Comedy Central Presents and of course Saturday Night Live. At the time I was too young to be admitted into any stand up comedy class, but my mother found improv for kids at a local theater and I was immediately hooked.
Tell us about your first improv show ever. What was it like?
My first show was an awesome blur of adrenaline and excitement. I can’t remember much, but do remember one of my favorite first scenes was about these 2 astronauts traveling in a rocket and being extremely excited about going to outer space. Eventually the level of excitement got so high in the characters that we were nearly insane, and because of our crazy insane level of excitement the scene eventually made a turn where we were ended up actually being two people in a basement trying to get to space in a cardboard rocket ship.
What’s your favorite game/form of improv? Why?
My favorite game right now is more of a warmup called Fuzzy Duck, where improvisers stand in a circle and say either Fuzzy Duck or Ducky Fuzz as quickly as possible going around in a circle. The game more or less has it built in that eventually someone will curse and get people to laugh, so I like it because it is just plain silly and gets people out of their heads.
What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had based on your life in comedy?
Getting to design and teach comedy classes to students who have never taken any sort of comedy class, and then have them come back after because they want more is undeniably the most rewarding part of doing comedy in my life.
Newer improvisers might be surprised by how much you continue to learn from improv, no matter how long you’ve been doing it. What’s something you recently learned, or that you’re currently working on?
I’m constantly reading and researching to learn new exercises, warmups, and forms to be able to approach what I’m doing in a more clear and concise way. Currently I’m trying to explore and focus on a more efficient way to teach “game of the scene” and my team is currently working on a format called the Pretty Flower which focuses very heavily on character exploration.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to new improvisers?
See shows! One of the best ways to get better at improv is it watch it live. It’s easier to do good improv if you know what good improv looks like. And while in scenes listen more and stop planning, if we simply listen, have an emotion, and respond to what we hear based on that emotion the scenes become easier.
See Barry, along with Miniature Giant this Saturday at 9:30p at Sick Puppies Comedy! Get tickets now: http://bit.ly/BarryR2018!