Day: August 28, 2017
The doctor is in and she’s ready to tickle your funny bone. Ok, so not quite Ken Jeong but she’s something. Mary Squire started improv while having the life force drained by an OB/GYN residency. While at first it was just an attempt to stay human, she found a love for those special ephemeral moments created between the improvisors and the audience during each performance. Fun fact: at age 15, she pierced her own belly button with a sewing needle and ice. It got infected. The end.
We are so excited to have another doctor on board. Mary brings incredible sarcasm, natural intelligence and sharp sense of humor to our team. We can’t wait to have you come out and see her soon!
In our five years, Sick Puppies Comedy has seen a lot of cast members come and go. Some take a chance on themselves and head to New York, Chicago Or Los Angeles to see what’s next. It is a joy to witness the growth of our actors and follow their path beyond us.
2016 saw quite a few of our cast members leave for the big markets and 2017 is shaping up to be the same. Tonight is Sick Puppy Brandon Gross’ last show with us. He made his announcement to the cast with a heavy heart on Tuesday night. The response from us was pure joy with the sadness that he won’t be in our shows or side by side with us in practice.
Gross has only been with us for a short period of time. Beginning in our classes and quickly working his way into our shows, Brandon also became a favorite instructor in our school. In fact, we received more unsolicited compliments from his students than anyone else. It’s no surprise. When you get someone with passion, knowledge and experience paying close attention to each and every pupil, you’re going to have a life changing experience under his tutelage.
Brandon really got his experience at FSU. It’s clear their improv program is something special, since every FSU improviser introduced to us by Gross has been a solid player. What was evident early on is that Brandon had a wealth of knowledge, but the humility to share it only when appropriate.
Everyone wants to be on stage with him because they know the scene is going to be excellent. You get to ride the coattails of those scenes and say “Yeah… I was in that super successful scene.” Can he lead a scene? Sure. Can he follow? Absolutely. Can he unlock the niche of moment? Yes and… that is his real talent. Brandon has this character vocabulary and empathy unlike any actor I’ve worked with. He’s just the same off the stage. Always a helping hand, always willing to stay late or arrive early. The perfect team player and a friend to all of us.
Come see the show tonight. It will be your last time to say “I knew him when” because it won’t be long before the world knows his name in bright lights on the silver screen.
Thanks for making all us better at our craft and leaving your signature on so many things that make Sick Puppies who we are today Brandon.
Sick Puppies Comedy had another great show with guest star and improv legend, David Razowsky, last night. This was the 4th time Razowsky has been to South Florida in as many years and the 3rd time he’s performed with Sick Puppies Comedy. In the past, we held workshops for cast, students and the public, but I asked this year that he coach just a small group of us to drill in some concepts that might not be possible in a larger group setting.
It’s not my place to try to put into words the concepts that Razowsky taught us, but there were moments where I wanted to disagree with everything. I felt uncomfortable and sometimes frustrated. It’s a tough pill to swallow when you realize your fundamental theory of Improv is wrong. “Say NO all the fucking time. Talk about people not there. Ask Questions! Is there anything more fun than talking about people not in the room?” He’s been saying these things for years, but I clearly let them fly over so I could pay attention to other skills and techniques. This year it landed.
I had moments yesterday that made me want to rewrite our curriculum from scratch and other times I said to myself “This is it. This is the last year we have David here. He’s lying to me.” It’s the first time in 2 years I felt uncomfortable improvising. I was lost and unsure. It was an incredible feeling. I had some moments during the coaching session that provided more clarity to my work and the mission of our company. It was the best improv experience I’ve had to date.
Watching Razowsky serve everyone is the real treat. It’s what makes him such a fascinating character and good friend. I witnessed him interact with those around him with care and precision. He wanted to know as much as he could about all of us individually as though it was his job. Each time he visits, he makes deeper and deeper connections with us and sets the standard for improvisers in general. Be present. “We get to be the Santas of Nowtown. Be the problem not the solution.” Be generous, serve others. David Razowsky’s secret to success is his service to others and the unlimited amount of passion he has for the art of improvisation.
We can’t wait to see him here again next year.
We are not restaurants, retail or airlines. We aren’t commodities. We can’t price ourselves based on the market value of others. The services and products we deliver are unique, rare and personal. We are a community, not competitors.
This weekend, Sick Puppies Comedy held two shows between Friday and Saturday. Friday night was a packed house full of people supporting our Stand Up Comedy Students putting up their first set up stand up comedy ever. It was rewarding to see the students get huge laughs from 115 audience members as payment for their hard work over the last 7 weeks. The Stand up community just received 11 new comedians hungry to perform and 115 audience members just experienced the love and support of our community.
Saturday night we put on our first monthly “short form” show in an effort appeal to a new audience base. The cast rallied on few rehearsals and put on a damn fine show. In fact, our “mating game” contestant just so happened to be a student of Improv U, just up the street from us. How did she hear about us? From Anthony Francis, director of Improv U. His philosophy, see it all, share it all. A philosophy held by every improv company in South Florida. She was such a joy to bring on stage and because of Anthony’s suggestion to visit us (any active improv student in South Florida gets to see our shows for free by the way) she was able to experience a whole different flavor of improv.
In Miami, Villain hosted the famous Mick Napier and 11 cast members of The Annoyance Theater. 5 of our Sick Puppies headed down there and took workshops and witnessed a sold out show. Jeff Quintana earlier that week was hunting down a place to play on Tuesday night in the improv community to strengthen relationships and have more chances to interact with Northern folks… (Palm Beach might as well be Alaska for some Miamians).
The point is that even as all of the companies have to sell tickets and registrations, they aren’t taking business from any other company as they do so. In fact, as we continue to work together, support each other and send our students and audience to other venues, it strengthens their love for Improv and Comedy, which only makes them come back for more.
Sick Puppy and JTF director Tom Neile said it best back in 2012: “If we market Milk, everyone that makes Milk benefits.” So, Got Improv?
Need to know where all the improv is at? CLICK HERE