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The Improv Obsession Podcast is the ideal place to hear fun and thoughtful improv discussion. Your host Stephen Perlstein brings you new guests from the improvisation community to have an enlightening talk about improv comedy.

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Podcast Episode's:
76. Dave Theune & Doing Comedy On Your Own Terms
<p>We’re back! 2017! Will this be the only podcast I record all year? Who knows! Today on the show, it’s <a href="https://twitter.com/davetheune?lang=en" target="_blank">Dave Theune</a>. Los Angeles improvisers may know <a href="https://twitter.com/davetheune?lang=en" target="_blank">Dave</a> from the legendary <a href="https://losangeles.ucbtheatre.com/show/3435" target="_blank">Bangarang</a>, or <a href="https://sunset.ucbtheatre.com/show/4106" target="_blank">Sassy Bluff</a>, or <a href="http://www.funnyordie.com/midbest" target="_blank">Midbest</a>, or his run with Bonafide on Maude Night. And, all the TV watchers may have seen dave on Brooklyn 99, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Michael Bolton’s Big Sexy Valentine’s Day Special, or in 1000 commercials. Dave flips the script on me today, and starts asking me questions. And in turn, I divulge too much information about my life and this podcast. But, not before taking a second to have Dave talk to me about straight manning, and doing comedy on your own terms. Plus, we talk a bit about Dave’s personal journey in improv, and the merits of short form improv, which Dave wants you to know, he loves.</p>
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75. Mike McLendon & Finding Your Place in Improv
Mike McLendon is on the show! You may know Mike from his incredible teams, Outside Dog, Orpheus Roy, Tatertown, Second City, Mission Improvable, and more! Mike talked to me in this one about how he found his way in improv, and maybe some of the trials and tribulations that go along with it. And, as always, we talk about HOW to do good improv. Is it easy? You bet it is. HA. This is another in the series of, whoops why didn’t I release this. So, if you have the chance, reach out to Mike, and tell him how much you liked this one, I’m sure he’d appreciate it.
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74. James Bachman & The Indie Improv Scene Is Completely Broken and Needs to Be Destroyed and Rebuilt from Scratch
James Bachman is on the show today to talk about the indie improv scene, and how it’s completely broken, and needs to be destroyed and rebuilt from scratch. LA improvisers may know James from his Mess Hall Team Green Light Go, or if you’re a fan of comedy, you might know him from The IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh, Saxondale, and more! James and I have a lively debate on the state of indie improv, with which, the real goal is to make the whole improv community better. Did we achieve it? Who knows?! Let us know what you think. For further show notes and past episodes, go http://boardwalkaudio.com/improvobsession/
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73. Carl Tart (MADtv, White Women, Comedy Bang Bang) & Performing to the Max
Carl Tart is on the show! You may know Carl from UCB Harold Teams Queen George & Six Killer, as well as his Maude Team, The Bus, OR maybe his improv and sketch group White Women. Carl’s also an alumni of Second City and Boom Chicago, so yeah, Carl’s got quite the performance history. I pick Carl’s brain for as long as I possibly can to learn how he performs. And I figured it all out, so if you wanna be good listen to this.
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72. Jake Jabbour (Shapeshift, The Meat, We’re Gross with Gilli Nissim) & How To Be a Good Coach
Jake Jabbour (Shapeshift, We're Gross with Gilli Nissim) is on the show! Improv fans will know Jake from hosting 4,3,2,1 and Shapeshift. Podcast fans will know his podcast, The MEAT Improv with Josh Simpson and Jake Jabbour, in my opinion the best improv podcast ever. He’s also on the teams Puddy, Church, and Squeeze, who are all funny and incredible. In this episode Jake and I talk about how to coach teams, how to improv, and some of our favorite things to see in improv. Also, Listen! Rate! Review! Share! Enjoy!
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71. Rebecca Drysdale & Doing It Your Own Way
Becky Drysdale is on the show! Improv fans will know Becky from the Hebecky Drysbell, Elephants Gerald, Baby Wants Candy, and Brand New Ball. You may also know Becky as the benevolent landlord of The Clubhouse. Plus, she’s written for Baskets, and Key And Peele. Becky talks about finding her place in improv, writing and keeping her career growing, her goals and wants for The Clubhouse, and even a good bit on how to actually DO improv. Guys, this was a great episode, if you liked this episode, tell a friend about it! Listen! Rate! Review! Share! Enjoy!
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70. Kyle Parulski & Keeping it Simple
Kyle Parulski is on the show! Improv fans will know Kyle from the Delta Flow, Argo Navis, and plenty of other lovely indie improv teams. Kyle is one of the hosts of Happy Hour every Tuesday in the UCB Sunset Inner Sanctum. Kyle and I have a great talk about improv today, where we focus on the value of strong emotional reactions, keeping scenes simple, and working on our deficits while still playing to our strengths. We also talk a bit about Kyle’s unique approach to improv, and he shares some practical tips on how to make your script much easier to say yes to for readers. As always, if you like the show, please subscribe, give it a nice review on iTunes, tell a friend about it, all that good stuff. Subscribe to the Podcast Improv Obsession on iTunes or Listen Online at BoardwalkAudio.com Follow Me On Twitter @Perlstein Reach Out To Me For Improv Coaching
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69. Farley Elliott & Walking Away From Improv
Farley Elliott (Scandal! Squeeze, Comrades, Los Angeles Street Food, Eater LA) is on the show talking about improv in a continuing conversation I’m having about my tense relationship with improv. Farley is a super interesting multi-talented man. Boldy, Farley came to the conclusion that he wanted to stop doing comedy and he could have the things improv provided for him without doing improv. We also talk a good bit about Farley’s approach to improv, how he coached, and since he’s a food writer, he indulges me in some food conversation. Subscribe to the Podcast Improv Obsession on iTunes or Listen Online Follow Me On Twitter Reach Out To Me For Improv Coaching
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68. Billy Merritt & Should I Quit Improv
Billy Merritt comes on the show to talk about the the darker side of improv. Jealousy. Loneliness. Failure. Fading passion. Billy helps me with the existential question of, should I just quit improv. We talk about the struggles being part of the community, and facing one’s changing place in that community.Plus, we talk about coaching best practices, Billy gives a perl of wisdom, and he notes that my head is now the right size. All of that and more. Subscribe to the Podcast Improv Obsession on iTunes or Listen Online Follow Me On Twitter Reach Out To Me For Improv Coaching
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67. Ronnie Adrian & The Plan to Get On Harold Night
Ronnie Adrian is on the show! Improv fans will know Ronnie from the UCBLA Harold Team The Dragons. You may also know Ronnie from hosting Tuesday Night Thunder or hosting the Cagematch, or even his sketch and improv team White Women. Ronnie talks about his approach to getting on Harold Night. Spoiler alert, it worked. Also, we talk about coaching, the stresses of Harold Night, how he scouted talent for the team White Women. Plus, we compliment a bunch of great improvisers. Listen! Rate! Review! Share! Enjoy! Subscribe to the Podcast Improv Obsession on iTunes or Listen Online Follow Me On Twitter Reach Out To Me For Improv Coaching
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66. James Mastraieni & Approaching the Harold
James Mastraieni comes on the show to talk about improv! You may know James from UCB house team Outside Dog, or his former harold team The Ruckus. He’s also on the iO West House Team, Orpheus Roy. James talks about his specific approach to improv including how he likes to start scenes, his great “Fancy Dinner” analogy for harolds, and we wrap it up by talking a bit about coaching.
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65. Will Hines & How To Be The Greatest Improviser On Earth
Will Hines is on the show today to talk about this new book, How To Be The Greatest Improviser on Earth. You know Will from UCBLA Team The Smokes, Fuckable, and many more improv and comedy and sketch credits. In this episode, we spend the majority of it talking about his new book on improv, How To Be The Greatest Improviser on Earth, including what his process was like writing, who the book is for, and what some of the things mean in it. It’s a great book on improv, that I recommend you go pick up, which you can do by going to ImprovNonsense.com.
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64: Jen Krueger on the LAIIF Improv Talks
Today on the show, Jen Krueger is on to talk about the LAIIF Improv Talks! Saturday, October 18th 3-6 PM at the Downtown Independent improv talks (like TED Talks, but with improv) from great improv minds like Nick Armstrong, Heather Anne Campbell, Dominic Dierkes, Neil Flynn, Will Hines, Lucas Neff, Ian Roberts, Rich Talarico, Phil Jackson, and one more!
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63: Chris Kula
Chris Kula is on the show! You know him from The Smokes and Police Chief Rumble. Also he's been a writer on Onion News Network, MadTV, and @Midnight. Chris and I talk a lot about sketch, improv, and everything in-between. Check it out and enjoy!
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Sketch Obsession 1: Charlie Sanders
Charlie Sanders opens the very first Sketch Obsession edition of improv obsession podcast! I recored this forever ago, thought I was gonna do more, and wanted to release them as a series, but didn't. Ok, moving on. You know Charlie from Shitty Jobs, Police Chief Rumble, Reuben Starship/ Williams, and as a writer for Key and Peele. Charlie talks about how to make great sketch, and it totally works! Subscribe, Rate, Comment, Enjoy!
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62: Jacob Reed
Jacob Reed is on! You know Jacob from improv powerhouse Bangarang, sketch duo Tremendosaur, movie teams Rought Cut and Whilem. You COULD say Jacob Reed is a UCB Based Triple Threat. Wink Samanth Pitchel. Jacob and I talk about parameters for success in a harold, being noticed in improv shows, finding your voice, and of course, pornography he was in. That's a little hyperbolic but that's what moves improv podcasts, baby! Golden age of improv, be excellent to each other, and most of all, happy improvising.
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61: Chad Damiani
Chad Damiani is on the show! You know him front he wonderful show he runs, Catbath, his crazy improv team, Jetzo, and he's an accomplished screenwriter. Chad and I talk about everything from the challenges of running an indie show, to getting more physical in your improv, to being a classic heel in wrestling. You gotta listen. Golden age of improv, be excellent to each other, happy improvising.
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60: Drew DiFonzo Marks
Drew DiFonzo Marks in on the show, but call him DDFM he likes it! You know Drew as that Last Day go School Harold-ing, Boom Chicago Alum-ing, Bonafide sketching act-ing, former UCBTLA artistic direct-ing, all around awesome person-ing person. Drew and I talk about A LOT in this episode so I dare not sum it up, let’s just say it’s a good one.
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59: Will Hines
Will Hines is on the show! You know him from The Smokes, Your F’ed up Family, The Stepfathers, Play by Play, and the bitter rival podcast to my own, Long Form Conversations. Today will and I talk about… a lot. I was having trouble focusing on one thing. Will is a wealth of information, and I know we didn’t even come close to covering all of his wisdom. But, maybe I’ll convince him to come back in a year, and we’ll do better the second time. Rate. Subscribe. Comment. Share. Enjoy. Oh! I didn’t record an outro. Well, Happy Improvising, Be excellent to each other, Golden Age of Improv.
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58: Jacob Womack
Jacob Womack is on the show! He’s the long time host of the soon to be finished Crashbar Improv! He’s also on the wonderful Harold team John Velvet. Jacob and I talk about the one thing I always talk about, BICYCLING. We also talk about improv, where we’re at in the whole process, how to make more out of it. It’s all pretty great. Also, sorry about the hiatus guys. I got laid off of my job and my schedule’s been bananas as a result. I’m gonna try and lock back in and get more done. Happy improvising!
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57: Scott Neiman
Scott Neiman is on the show! You know Scott from his Harold teams, The Ruckus, Scandal!, and The Great War. Scott and I talk about the moment when it ‘clicked’ for him. How we can interpret notes and hear the important overarching notes behind the notes. Obviously we talk about Harold stuff, duh. Also, I find out about a few more of the SLO… they’re everywhere. Rate. Subscribe. Comment. Enjoy.
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56: Joel Jensen
Joel Jensen is on the show! You know Joel as one of the cohosts of Room 101 with his team Shakedown. Joel and I talk about EVERYTHING, and it’s a pretty great episode. We discus coming up in the comedy system and trying to hone our chops. We talk about our personal comedic philosophies and where we’re ‘at’. Also, we discuss in depth a weird scene where Nick Mandernach was a pirate. Rate. Subscribe. Comment. Enjoy. Happy improvising.
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55: Scott Davis
Scott Davis is on the show! You know Scott from Styx Martin, or as the DJ for Soundtrack, or from Oh Brother or as one of the hosts of the 11th Hour Show, or from One Photo Reviews. PHEW. Davis and I talk about him tour the WORLD putting on plays with kids. We also cover what it's like to be removed from a harold team, and we talk about how much fun sketch is. Also, we very awkwardly start listing off nice people.
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54: Drew Coolidge
Drew Coolidge is on the show! You know him from his two man team Ranger Danger and The Danger Ranger, and his iO West Harold team The Cartel. Drew and I talk a bit about what makes a show a whole piece. We also talk quite a bit about two prov. And, Drew finally calls me out on all my bullshit of when I say "I love it." Also, check out Luis Cortes' U.S. Hers and History
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53: Matt Newell
Matt Newell is on the show! You know Matt from his super star Harold team Kid Grift, as previously heard on this podcast. AND, you know Matt from his super star two person team, Fiddler's Green with Mary Holland, also previously heard on this podcast. Matt and I talk a bit about how one can remain a straight man in a scene and still have fun. We also talk about the slightly different approaches Matt has to doing Harolds or doing two man shows. Rate! Subscribe! Comment! Enjoy!
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52: Matt Walsh
Matt Walsh is on the show! You know him as one of the founders of Upright Citizens Brigade, as well as from Assscat, and he's in like 100 movies. Matt and I talk extensively about heightening. Andl we discuss how to move beyond the basics in improv into the more advanced levels. It's pretty fantastic! Rate. Subscribe. Comment. Enjoy. Be excellent to each other, golden age of improv, happy improvising!
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51: Miles Stroth
Miles Stroth is on the show! You know him from the Cagematch juggernaut team, Heather and Miles Miles and I chat about his Miles Stroth workshops and how they can teach you how to be an excellent improviser. We also talk quite a bit about position play. Rate. Review. Subscribe. Comment. Enjoy.
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50: Ian Roberts
Ian Roberts is on the show. You know him as one of the founders of Upright Citizens Brigade, as well as from Assscat, from the legendary The Family, Reno 911, the executive producer of Key and Peele, and a whole bunch of other stuff that makes him a comedy legend. Ian and I talk about how he uses his ‘flash’ exercise to help get people to game quickly. Ian also explains the philosophy of a strong straight man. And we talk about a WHOLE BUNCH OF OTHER STUFF AND IT’S AMAZING. Enjoy.
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49: Jessica Allen Eason
Jessica Allen Eason is on the show! You know her from Neutrino and Ms. Jackson. Jessica and I talk about her roots in musical theatre and her desire to be a lusted after leading lady. She also tells me about learning improv from the great Paul Sills. Jessica also tells me about how she asserted herself as a formidable improviser when she first showed up for classes at UCB. Also, I pretend to know what she’s talking when Jessica brings up a bunch of actors and plays. Rate. Subscribe. Comment. Enjoy. YOLO.
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48: Mary Holland
Mary Holland is on the show! You know her from John Velvet, Fiddler’s Green, Lord Willin’, and New Money. Mary talks to me about the first thing she thinks of when starting a scene and how it helps her build a world. We also talk about the Johnny Meeks mantra Por Las Buanas. And, Mary simulates breaking up with me. It hurts. All that and more!
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47: Paul Welsh
Paul Welsh is on the show! You know him from Cooper, Styx Martin, Grandma’s Ashes, Monstro and more. Paul and I talk about following dreams, getting stage time, and hanging back in scenes. Also, we decide that no one wants to hear you fucking shoe horn in your stupid fucking initiation that that you thought of on the subway. And, we discuss the confidence that comes with getting validated in improvisation. Rate. Review. Subscribe. Comment. Enjoy.
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46: Lauren Lapkus
Lauren Lapkus is on the show! You may know here from Bangarang! or a whole bunch of TV. Don’t forget to support Lauren by watching Orange is the New Black. Lauren and I talk about her long journey as an improviser. We also talk about the process of getting into character. We also chat about the struggle of learning game over just being funny. And, Lauren gives us insight into how to get her cool career. How cool! Rate. Subscribe. Comment. Donate. Enjoy.
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45: Harrison Brown
Harrison Brown stopped by the show! You know Harrison as the host of The Cagematch at Upright Citizens Brigade Los Angeles, maybe you’ve seen one of his famed air guitar, drum, and high-fiving solos. Also, Harrison is the host of Tuesday Night Thunder, and he was on early UCBLA Harold Teams, MacGuffin, Perfect Crime and Panama. Harrison and I chat about what is the element required for your best shows. We also talk about the origins of Tuesday Night Thunder the value of indie shows and the boom of the indie scene. Finally we discuss whats the deal with Cagematch. Rate. Subscribe. Comment. Review. Donate. Enjoy!
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44: Adam McCabe
Adam McCabe is here! You probably know Adam from Bangarang!, Oh, Brother, and as one of the hosts of Sketchbar. We talk about the merits of Short Form, how simple games can be great, and the way to straight man awesome. Also, Adam confesses his fear of robot sentience and I confess my fear of people being nonchalant with knives. So, yeah, we’re pretty much best friends with very specific fears.
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43: Los Angeles Indie Improv Festival (Casey Feigh, Nick Mandernach, Jonny Svarzbein)
Today, we’re talking Los Angeles Indie Improv Festival, THE SECOND YEAR! And back each for their second time, Casey Feigh, Nick Mandernach, and Jonny Svarzbein. First we cover all the important information about the LAIIF, like it’s Saturday May 25th from 11AM to Midnight. Also we talk a bit about the organizing of the show with help from Crashbar, Tuesday Night Thunder, Room 101, 11th Hour Show, and the Manifesto Show And we talk about some of the wonderful people who helped get the show on it’s feet this year including Improv Artvice master David Kantrowitz and the man behind Danny Cohen’s greatest hits, Danny Cohen! Also, someone throw an after party.
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42: Christopher George
Christopher George is on the show! Christopher is the Assistant Artistic Director a at Finest City Improv in San Diego. He also writes an awesome improv blog, Riding on the Wall. Chris talks about his mission for creating a new improv scene in San Diego. Breaking from an oppressive theatre. And of course we talk about our approach and philosophy to improv. And he invites the entire world to come out to Finest City to see a show, all 7 Billion of you. Rate. Subscribe. Comment. Enjoy.
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41: Dickie Copeland
Dickie Copeland is on the show today! You know Dickie from Styx Martin, Bitty Schrim, D’artagnan, Heavy Goose, Bikini Tiger, her wonderful writing, more. Dickie and I talk a bit about improv, but even MORE about developing yourself as a professional comedy person. We talk about why I should have changed my name, how to focus on a path for writers, determining and going after your type for actors, and also, why is game so hard. Also, we spend the whole episode drinking whisky so you know it’s a good episode! Subscribe, rate, comment, enjoy, donate.
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40: Lilan Bowden
Lilan Bowden is on the show! You may know Lilan from Bonafide, Styx Martin, or TAB, the host team of Crashbar! Lilan and I chat about being in love with what other people are bringing into improv scenes. Lilan also coaches me through having a healthy view of auditioning for harold teams. We talk a bit about Maude night. And we talk about a bunch of other important improv stuff! Lilan gets to weigh in on the conversation that Rene Gube and I had on whether or not it’s funny to hit Lilan. Also, I keep asking if Lilan’s ok. I’m very worried about Lilan’s well being cause I love her so! Rate. Subscribe. Donate. Comment. Enjoy.
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39: Jimmy Carrane
Jimmy Carrane, aka The Improv Nerd is on the show today! If you’re a Chicago person, you’ll know Jimmy from his many Art of Slow comedy classes. Or if you’re outside of that area you may know him as part of the legendary team Jazz Freddy and his book, Improvising Better: A Guide for the Working Improviser. OR, if you’re a podcast lover or ever check the related podcasts in iTunes next to Improv Obsession, you may know Improv Nerd. Anyway, Jimmy and I talk a bit about slow play. Jimmy also tries to convince me to get dedicated to a team, and I stubbornly say it probably won’t happen. Rate. Subscribe. Comment. Enjoy. Discuss. Love. Live.
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38: Thomas Middleditch
Thomas Middleditch is on the show today! You know Thomas from his friday night exploits with Diamond Lion. You also may know Thomas from Snow Pants, Middleberger, Baby Wants Candy, The Improvise Shakespeare Company, and a bunch of other stuff Thomas and I talk about the most important thing about, improv, the 90s. We also get into kinda improvising from your gut. Thomas tells me about a heroic and dangerous moment in his improv. AND we chat about recklessness, CONTROLLED recklessness. Rate. Subscribe. Comment. Enjoy. Donate?
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37: Erin Whitehead
Erin Whitehead is on the show! She's a hilarious improviser who you may know from her UCBLA harold team Kid Grift, and you may remember THEM as all coming the podcast together for episode 26. Erin and I chat about gaining confidence after being in a rut. Erin talks about being honest in her improv. And, the best part, Erin and I hug. You get to hear that. LOL. Also, donations welcomed at ImprovObsession.com. Listen. Rate. Subscribe. Enjoy.
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36: Sarah Claspell
Sarah Claspell is on the show!! You know her from The Get Go, Styx Martin, Monstro, Dybbuk, and her website Well That's Adorable. Sarah teaches me a bit about moving and making friends in improv. We also chat about coaching for realism. And we talk a lot about what it means to be a utility player. And, seriously we do way too many silly bits. And I love it. So ENJOY. Rate Subscribe. Comment. Enjoy.
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35: Brian Jack
Brian Jack is on the show! You know him from The Reckoning, Deep Schwa, and The Armando Show. Brian comes on to talk about being in the moment, we debate a bit about cage match, and pre-show stress. Also, shout out to his daughter, Ramona! Subscribe. Rate. Comment. Enjoy!
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34: Johnny Meeks
Johnny Meeks is on the show! You know him from Sentimental Lady and as the new Education Guy at UCBLA. He and I talk Por Las Buenas, bringing strong acting to your improv, and improvising effortlessly. We also eat some sweet treats cause, Por Las Buenas!
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33: Heather Anne Campbell
Heather Anne Campbell is on the show! You know her from Heater and Miles, Last Day of School, The Midnight Show, and Drew Carry's Improv-A-Ganza. Heather and I talk about what it is to make the show a strong experience for the audience, committing all the way, and we end with an extremely uplifting message that will hopefully convince you all to get to work on your comedy today! Rate. Subscribe. Comment. Enjoy.
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32: Joe Hartzler
Joe Hartzler is on the show! You know Joe from Flap Jackson, The Great War, Up! Up! Up! The Twitter Show, a whole dickload of commercials and funny videos. We talk about our pie eyed improv dreams, his trips around the country in a van trying to make people laugh, and dropping pearls all over your chest. It's gross. Also the last part of the show takes a weird turn, so that's real fun. Rate, subscribe, comment, enjoy.
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31: Mark David Christenson
Mark David Christenson is on the show. You know him as a member of one of the newest UCBLA harold teams, Mister Town City. He's also a member of The Mutiny sketch team, Pals, my team, Styx Martin, and he hosts his own podcast, One Photo Reviews with Scott Davis. Today we had an improv heart to heart, it was a loose but thoughtful conversation and now you get to hear it! Also, someone stole my identity… sorta. Subscribe. Rate. Comment. Enjoy.
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30: Charlie Sanders
Charlie Sanders kicks of 2013 on improv obsession podcast. That sentence made it sound like he was here and recording this over new years eve, that's not true. Ok, moving on. You know Charlie from Shitty Jobs, Police Chief Rumble, Reuben Starship/ Williams, and as a writer for Key and Peele. In this episode Charlie emphasizes the idea of fun, and we talk for a while about getting hot coffee thrown in our face. Subscribe, Rate, Comment, Enjoy!
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29: Lennon Parham
Lennon Parham is on the show! You know her from Skinny Business Will Not Apologize, her amazing show on NBC, Best Friends Forever, and her one woman show She Tried to Be Normal. Lennon and I spend a good amount of time discussing character, the writing process her and her partner Jessica St. Clair used on Best Friends Forever, and just keeping our shit together. Subscribe. Rate. Comment. Enjoy!!!
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28: Alex Berg (The Return)
Alex Berg IS BACK! You know him from his UCB Los Angeles teams Convoy, Sentimental Lady and maybe you know him for when he was the second guest on my show. Today we spend a lot of time talking about Harold Auditions. Hopefully we get you all tuned in, amped, ready to go. And if we don't well… at least you'll have listened to an hour of thoughtful improv conversation with the wonderful Alex Berg! Subscribe. Rate. Comment. Enjoy. Click here to download/subscribe in iTunes Click here to find the Improv Obsession Podcast on Facebook Click here for my Twitter @Perlstein
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27: Neil Campbell

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26: Kid Grift
Kid Grift is on the show. THE WHOLE KID GRIFT. Mike Carlson, Anthony Gioe, Matt Newell, Zach Reino, Richie Root, Jason Sheridan, Marissa Strickland and Erin Whitehead. This episode is packed with people. These guys are so sweet and you instantly get why they're such an awesome team because they really love each other… And I love them. Subscribe. Rate. Comment. Enjoy!
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25: Rene Gube
RENE GUBE is on the show! You know him from the stunning UCBLA Harold Team, John Velvet. You also know him as one of the charismatic hosts of Room 101. Rene sits down and talks with me a bit about playing things real in scenes, and working to the best of your ability. We also talk a bit about how it would definitely be funny to slap Lilan Bowden. After all that we go on to the heavier stuff, people being dismissive of improv and the fact that it can and does lead you to wonderful things in life. This episodes less technical, less heady, but more heartful. And isn't that what it's all about? Rate, subscribe, comment, ENJOY!
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24: Craig Cackowski
Craig Cackowski is on the show! You know him as the improv guru from iO West. We talk about character, and the idea that I never understood, playing yourself as a character! He talks about how doing improv right will deliver comedy. I admit (once again) that I'm judgmental and Craig gives me some advice how to work through that. What a know it all. We also eat pastries during the show! Subscribe! Rate! Comment! ENJOY!!!
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23: Zach Reino
Zach Reino who you know from Kid Grift, and his rapping improv team Murdercliff is on the show. We talk about the importance of loving your team. The challenges and fun of joining harold night. Most of all though, Zach lets me know how much he hates Bangarang, so they better watch their back. Also, be excellent to each other. Subscribe. Rate. Comment. Enjoy.
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22: Steve Szlaga
Steve Szlaga is here! You know him from UCBLA Harold team Scandal! He and I talk about the one thing you listen to this podcast for, Running! Seriously we talk about running for a little bit. But then we talk about the one school in Los Angeles I know nothing about, Groundlings. And we talk about the importance of specifics and commitment, and listening and all the things that you’re supposed to do in improv. Also, find out if I ask Steve the tough, controversial questions I’m known for. Subscribe, Rate, Comment, Enjoy.
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21.5: Dan Oster
Here's a brief Perl of Wisdom from our last guest Dan Oster. He highly recommends the Mick Napier book, Improvise: Scene from the Inside Out. Subscribe. Rate. Comment. Enjoy. Thanks for listening guys.
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Episode 20.5: Jonny Svarzbein

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21: Dan Oster
DAN OSTER is on the show. He’s the first guest I’ve ever had who’s not mostly a UCB performer. He’s a coach and a player over at The Improv Space in Westwood. He was a player at Boom Chicago and had a stint on MadTV. We talk a lot about organic improv, finding ways to connect at the top of scenes, and the light and dark of game. Also, his group Lost Moon Radio won Top of the Fringe for the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Oh man, I hope this episode gets a bunch of crazy feedback too. Subscribe. Rate. Comment. Enjoy.
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20: Jonny Svarzbein
We’re back! This episode is with Jonny Svarzbein, you know him from UCBLA’s Rough Cut, and he co-hosts The 11th Hour show and Tuesday Night Thunder. We talk about the indie LA improv scene. Jonny also talks a bit about what a good cagematch is. And between us we sit and argue about premise improv for damn near forever. Rate. Subscribe. Comment. Enjoy.
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19: Tara Copeland
Tara Copeland stops by my room and we make LOVE...ly conversation about improv. We talk about loving improv, loving our teammates, loving our scene, loving in scenes, making love in scenes. Tara encourages everyone to just do musical improv and she also tries to help get me a sponsor for the show. Rate. Subscribe. Comment. Enjoy. Love.
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18: Alex Fernie
Alex Fernie is the guest this week. He’s one third of the Cagematch juggernaut Convoy. He’s also a member of one of the early UCBLA harold teams Sentimental Lady. Fernie talks about the specifics of specificity, like that one can never be too specific in a scene, and using specifics as gifts. We also talk about using the top of your intelligence as effectively as possible. You guys are gonna love this episode. Rate, Subscribe, comment, enjoy. Happy improvising.
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17: Billy Merritt
Billy Merritt is on the show! You know him from The Smokes, The Soundtrack, and The Swarm. He’s also one of the hosts of the UCBLA Podcast, HOLLYWEIRD! I spend a lot of this episode talking about the Merritts (get it?) of form. Billy also tells me not to sell out my scenes and frankly just gives some great improv advice. Subscribe, rate, comment, enjoy.
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16: Casey Feigh
Casey Feigh is on the show! Casey’s the one of the hosts of Crashbar Improv, he’s a Harold Team performer on John Velvet, he’s a hip hop Improviser on Hip Hop Penguin, and he’s the co-host of the UCBLA Podcast. We talk a little bit about participating in improv jams, about the awesomeness that is the harold. Casey also talks to me a little bit about his new team that is performing the Documentary and he breaks down why you’re gonna want to be at the LA Indie Improv Festival. Also, someone called in with a question about smoking weed, so everyone wins. Subscribe, rate, comment, enjoy.
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15: Matt Besser
Matt Besser, Member of the Upright Citizens Brigade, Assscat, Improv4Humans, Freak Dance is on the show. Matt and I break down a few improv terms, talk a little bit about Del Close, have a long weird pause. He also tells me why I shouldn’t listen to Improv 4 Humans like I do... Shit. Go see Freak Dance. Subscribe, rate, comment, enjoy.
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14: Suzi Barrett
SUZI BARRETT is on the show! You know her from Sentimental Lady, Boom Chicago, and Rough Cut. She fucks me up with super great improv advice. She talks about the Pretty Flower form. She talks about the topic of lady improv. She makes me come up with actual questions. She can’t help with my insurance rates. She also gives what may be the single best Perl of Wisdom yet. Subscribe, rate, comment, enjoy.
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13: Josh Simpson
Guest Josh Simpson and his guest Brooke Ashley Anderson are on the podcast. You know josh from his UCB LA Harold teams Flap Jackson and The Great War, The Twitter Show, and a bunch of other indie awesomeness. We talk at length about Flap Jackson, even though Josh didn’t really wanna talk about it. Also how practicing and doing shows gets the FEELING of doing scenes in your bones, bad or good. Josh talks a bit about how game is simply an agreement. Also, it gets pretty contentious over Netflix. Subscribe, rate, comment, enjoy.
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12: Betsy Sodaro
Betsy Sodaro from Bangarang, and a bunch of other improv awesomeness talks to me! We cover the all important topic, “Woman in Improv.” The importance of just believing in YOUR funny. We talk about how improv is a great way to get to know people and socialize. I also confess that I’m afraid of her daily double teammate, Toni Charline. Seriously guys. I’m afraid of her. Subscribe. Rate. Comment. Enjoy.
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11: Nick Mandernach
Nick Mandernach from John Velvet and Room 101’s host team Shakedown is on the show! After me stumbling over how to pronounce his name, we have an amazing conversation about how our college experiences weren’t as fun as our comedy and UCB experiences. We talk a bit about trusting the technique of improv even when it doesn’t go well. Nick also tells me some of his pet peeves as a host of an independent show. Also improvising in character. Wow, we covered a lot of improv stuff, this show is amazing... Oh, also, Butt Thursdays. Subscribe. Rate. Comment. Enjoy.
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10: DC Pierson
THE DC Pierson is here on my podcast. He’s currently on Shitty Jobs, the infamous improv show at UCB LA. DC tells me he’s proud to be on a “weird” team and how he feels they’ve earned the right to be weird. Also, he tells me WHY you listen to your partner, and it weirdly shifts my perspective on listening. Thanks, DC. Also I make DC talk about Barenaked Ladies. It’s not as sexy as you think. Subscribe. Rate. Comment. Enjoy.
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9: Joe Wengert
Joe Wengert improvisor on The Smokes, Rueben Williams, Rueben Starship, and a ton of other improv amazingness is on the show. Joe’s also the Academic Supervisor of UCB LA. He talks to me about the importance of bonding as an improv team. He shares a bit about making time to have a non-comedy life. Also Joe dances the Mummers Dance for me and you didn’t get to see it. Subscribe. Rate. Comment. Enjoy.
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8: Gregory Tuculescu
Improviser Greg Tuculescu comes on the podcast and throws down the gauntlet, claiming to be the person who’s taken the most classes. You know him from a number of UCB New York teams including The Law Firm, Fwand, Only in LA, and of course the movie Bridesmaids. Greg also tells me why one should never be a professor, oh and he gives some improv tips. Subscribe, rate, comment, enjoy.
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7: Colton Dunn
This week I pack up the podcast and go to Camp Hollywood to talk to Colton Dunn of Rough Cut and Boom Chicago. He tells me a little bit about the early days of UCB New York, his motivation to move to Amsterdam and the benefits of performing at Boom Chicago. Colton also shares that MADtv was wrong in not hiring him the first time around. Best of all, Colton makes a special offer to Improv Obsession Podcast listeners (Covered in the first 2 minutes). Subscribe, rate, comment, enjoy.
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6: Eugene Cordero
Eugene Cordero from The Smokes, Diamond Lion, and Reuben Starship comes on the podcast and tells me about the duality of his improv style. He hooks me up with advice on how to let yourself off the hook. Then he indulges my far too many questions and tells me about how Muay Thai relates to improv and how he was critiqued on the Improv Resource Center Message Boards for being a terrible improvisor. Subscribe, Rate, Comment. Thanks for listening.
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5: Monika Smith
This weeks guest, Monika Smith (Coming Clean, Rough Cut, McSmith, 58008) confuses me with a bunch of Canadian stuff, Bear vs Bayer, University vs College. AND since she’s the first woman on the podcast I talk to her about what it’s like to be a woman improvisor, and I’m pretty sure I come off like a terrible male. She’s the best cause she indulges my multiple failures as a host. Hope you enjoy.
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4: Mano Agapion
Mano Agapion is one of the newest Upright Citizens Brigade Los Angeles performers on the brand new Harold team, Winslow. He talks with me about the path he took on his way to becoming a performer. Next we chat about the surreal feeling that comes with doing a first show as a member of a UCB house team. Finally we rap on what the future looks like from his perspective as a brand new UCB performer. Go see how Winslow grows during their run at UCB, also, check out Mano’s website, he seriously needs more IMDB credits.
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3: Allan McLeod
In this episode I go 20 minutes without introducing my guest Allan McLeod (Arts and Athletics, A Kiss From Daddy, The Twitter Show). Allan talks about the legacy he wants to leave behind, an appreciation for the different bathrooms in Los Angeles theaters and then we reminisce about a girl who almost flashed us over Chatroulette. I promise that we talk about improv stuff too. ENJOY.
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2: Alex Berg
Hiarious improvisor Alex Berg comes on and talks all kinds of cool stuff. Did you know his three man improv team Convoy has never had a coach? You know him from his UCB Los Angeles teams Convoy and Sentimental Lady. You may have also read his Tumblr where he improvises with Cleverbot, Berg and Bot. ALSO, New intro music by Crystal Friedman. Hope you enjoy. Ok love you, bye.
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1: Dominic Diekres
Here’s the PREMIERE episode of the Improv Obsession Podcast. I talk with Dominic Dierkes who you know from Derrick Comedy, and their awesome feature film Mystery Team. You can see him do improv every Sunday at 11:00 PM at UCBLA with his team Shitty Jobs. And, you can also go to a recording of his podcast, The Anytime Show, to get updates on that and other general hilarity, check out his twitter at @DominicDierkes. Don’t forget to watch Allen Gregory, which Dierkes is now a staff writer for. I got to see a screening of the pilot of Allen Gregory before it aired and it was awesome.
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