The very fabulous, Jesse Sheriff joins us for this week’s cast member Q&A! So, tell us, Jesse – how did you find out about Sick Puppies Comedy?
I had just moved back home from college and was doing my best to adjust to adulting. I wanted to find a rewarding hobby and my dad suggested that I take improv classes with Sick Puppies Comedy! I actually convinced my mom to join me and we took all 5 levels together. It was an amazing experience and we made so many great memories together.
What got you involved and interested in improv?
I’ve always been interested in theater but with zero experience and a terrible singing voice (seriously) I never thought I would have the chance to get involved in any shows or plays. I saw a few improv shows and I realized this was something I might be able to do (with a lot of lessons of course). Not to mention, it looked like a blast! I was so impressed by everyone and wanted to learn the art of improvising.
Tell us about your first improv show ever. What was it like?
I was nervous all day. I kept imagining the worst possible scenarios (the crowd booing me, forgetting to wear pants) and of course the outcome was so much better than I could have hoped for. It was such a great feeling to put on an entertaining show that people genuinely enjoyed. I knew I wanted improv to be a permanent part of my life after that.
What’s your favorite game/form of improv? Why?
I love a good nightmare! It’s so much fun to interview an audience member and act out their life right before their eyes. Everyone is discovering the input at the same time and it’s super rewarding to see how it all plays out on stage. Our cast brings so much energy and excitement to this piece – it’s a crazy roller-coaster ride that you don’t want to end.
What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had based on your life in comedy?
I had the opportunity to reenact a Gilda Radner skit at a fundraising event for Gilda’s Club – an incredible organization that helps families that have been impacted by cancer. I prepared my monologue for months with the help of an awesome coach (shout out to Aniela Tuchband) and the event was a great success. The audience appreciated the tribute and we were able to raise money for an amazing cause. It was so rewarding to see how comedy can positively impact the lives of others. Watch it here.
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 am always trying to explore new characters and perspectives. I tend to play the same stereotypical female roles (OMG!) so I am constantly pushing myself to step outside my comfort zone. It’s scary to try something you are unfamiliar with/not good at but it’s important for your growth.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to new improvisers?
Try not to be too hard on yourself! It’s very easy to be critical and wish you had made a different choice in a scene but that’s the beauty of improv. Everything is unfolding in real-time as it was meant to. Whatever happens, try to make the best of it and stay present within that scene.
See Jesse, along with #NoFilter this Saturday at 9:00p! Get tickets now: http://bit.ly/JesseS2018!