Shame on us for not introducing you to our musical accompanist, Carol Waring. We’ve been asking her to play during our musical improv shows and rehearsals for almost 2 years, but it’s time to make sure she solidifies her place in Sick Puppies History.
She’s played at Nordstrom for about four years when they still had live piano, Breakers West country club for weddings, cocktail parties and special members luncheons and dinners. She enjoys the fun and challenge of playing with Shallow Howl, affecting the course of the musical while also following the lead of the actors.
Buy tickets for tonight’s show and see (hear) Carol in action! She’s fantastic. Stay tuned as we introduce you to our second accompanist in the near future!
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.
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Get ready folks! This is a really funny one. Meg has been making us laugh for over a year now and we found it to be selfish to hold her back any longer.
Meg McKenna has been stalking the sick puppies for years. She graduated in 2005 from Umass Amherst with a BA in Theater Set Design. She is originally from New England, which provides her with some good imitations of her parents and past “teachahs”, but living in Florida only enhances her comedic material and life experience to work from. She is over the top excited to get to spend more time with Sick Puppies as a part of the cast. They make life go up 5000 points.
Welcome her in and come see the show tonight to support her! Buy Tickets by CLICKING HERE
Barry is a New York City and Florida based writer, improviser and comedian. He began his improv career at Atlantic Arts Academy as a teenager and after studying film and media arts at the University Of Tampa began his adult improv career at the Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC studying improv, sketch and character work. Barry’s major improv experience has been studying the Harold at UCB, but has also studied 4Tack at Reckless Theater and has experience performing the La Ronde, Montage, Monoscene, and Armando.
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.
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.