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Magnet Theater Blog

Thursday February 23, 2017, 4:23pm - by Promo Team

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.


What’s your name?

Henry Russell Bergstein

Which team or show are you on?

Avalanche

Where are you from?

Long Island

 

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

I had gone to film school, but hadn’t been creating much poundsigncontent since I graduated.  I wanted to exercise some of those muscles that I hadn’t been using in a while, and I found improv and sketch!   And I never looked back.  And my wallet hurts…

How long have you been performing/writing?

A bunch of years now.

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

I dream that it is Barbra Streisand.

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for?

John Early.

What makes you laugh the hardest?

Gay comedians.  

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

Snippets of songs–a line here–a line there–strung together and sung intermittently throughout the day.  

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

Who are you?

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Anywhere that will have me.

If you were a superhero (are you?), what would your superhero name be?

I cannot reveal it to protect my loved ones.

Wednesday February 22, 2017, 10:22am - by Magnet Theater

 

Improviser and cartoonist, SUERYNN LEE, joins host Louis Kornfeld to discuss the mental complexities of artists, her artistic life, and how discovery is more fun than execution. Hear all about Suerynn’s academic life, both as a student and in her career as an academic advising specialist, and how she found herself doing improv. This is a great episode for artistic contemplation with both Suerynn and Louis offering poignant insights. We think you’ll just love it. Huzzah!

There is no time wasted in discussing light topics this episode as Suerynn and Louis immediately wrestle with the concept of intersubjective fictions and whether or now we are all delusional. They suggest that if you can smile at how delusional you are, there’s a lot of pleasure in exploring the funhouse mirror of your ego. On a more concrete note, Suerynn tells us about her job as an academic advising specialist for the art department at City College. She talks about helping students find the next steps in their education and how she found herself in such a role. Louis asks about Suerynn’s one year in spent in Dallas and she opens up about her first and only frat party before going on to describe her high school experience.

Diving further into their formative years, our pair wonders how much emotional weight we absorb from those around us and how does that affect our early emotional life? Suerynn discusses her parents’ artistic lives and how they have influenced her. She and Louis ask, does it benefit artists to be a bit unbalanced or overly-sensitive? This leads them to discuss isolation and loneliness as it relates to art. At this point, one might ponder, “Where does improv fit into all of this?” You will find out, we assure you. Suerynn talks cartooning, the value of following your own impulses and imagination, and why she was initially resistant to producing images. How do Suerynn’s sensibilities when working alone overlap with her sensibilities when working with a group of people? She and Louis also discuss how boring it is to come up with a concept and execute it perfectly versus discovering the end point on the way there. “Wow. Art is cool,” you’re probably thinking.

Lest you think the back end of the episode brings any less heat than the preceding portions, you will be happy to hear about Suerynn’s father running ultra-marathons, how Suerynn manages downtime, and even more talk on improv. Though Suerynn questions her career as a performer, Louis believes that she excels at being incredibly sincere on stage, something not easily done. Our two highly reflective subjects discuss the artificiality of deciding on goals for oneself, internalized authority, and the myth of an unadulterated self, but that’s only before they get into a conversation about routines, roles, and how time continues to rush forward, providing new things to break you open, goals or no. Plus, learn about Louis’ nightly habit and how to criticize art and measure the value of your choices! Don’t be a dummy: follow @suerynns on Instagram!

Friday February 17, 2017, 9:00am - by Magnet Theater

ANNOUNCING: Auditions for Magnet Theater’s 10-Minute Play Festival!

Calling all actors, improvisers, and people who love trying new things! The time has come to audition for Magnet Theater’s 10-Minute Play Festival!

Yes, submissions are still open for original 10-Minute plays (You have until February 19th at 10pm. More info here!), but we wanted to get the word out as soon as possible about auditions because once this festival gets started — there’s no stopping it!

WHEN ARE AUDITIONS?
Sunday, February 26th, 11am — 3pm
Tuesday, February 28th, 2pm — 10 pm

Unfortunately, if you are not available for any of these dates and times, you are not eligible to audition for this year’s festival.

HOW DO I AUDITION?
Fill out this Google Form, no later than Wednesday, February 22nd 11:59pm EST. In the form, you will note your availability and also send a link to your headshot and resume. More instructions inside.

Please note: If you have limited availability, it is possible we will be unable to accommodate you with an audition slot.

WHAT WILL AUDITIONS LOOK LIKE?
If you have been given an audition slot, you will be emailed by the end of the week with your audition time as well as two sides to prepare. You might not perform both in the audition. The sides do not have to be memorized, but you should be comfortable with them — remember, it’s an audition! You might also be asked to cold read additional sides.

THEN WHAT HAPPENS?
Casting notices will go out within a few days of auditions. Each cast will have two exciting weeks to rehearse and get their show performance-ready! You will be expected to find time for at least 3 or 4 rehearsals in that timeframe. All five plays will perform on both festival dates, March 19th and March 26th at 7:30pm.

If you are not available to perform on both dates, March 19th and March 26th, unfortunately, you are ineligible to participate in the festival.

***

Any further questions can be directed to magnet10minuteplayfestival@gmail.com

(And don’t forget to submit your original 10-minute plays by Feb. 19th!)

Wednesday February 15, 2017, 10:00am - by Magnet Theater

sketch teams logo

Say hello to our 2017 Spring/Summer Magnet Sketch Teams! Congratulations to all who made a team and thank you to *everyone* who applied and auditioned – we saw so much incredible talent – it was inspiring. Here’s to a brand new season of killer comedy and some big changes to the Magnet sketch community!!! Read on.

* – Returning to Magnet Sketch Teams
** – New to Magnet Sketch Teams
Bold – New addition to a returning team

NEW TEAM FRYLOCK
Director – Elena Skopetos
Devin O’Neill Performer
Kristina Grosspietsch** Performer
Lorena Russi Serna** Performer
Morgan Pelligrino** Performer
Keith Rubin Performer
Dennis Pacheco* Writer/Performer
David Fried** Writer
Bailey Swiley** Writer
Carly Silverman** Writer
Lauren Faylor** Writer
Elie Stav Writer

 

NEW TEAM MASTER SHAKE
Director – Chris Hastings
Amy Lynne Berger** Performer
Chelsea Frei** Performer
John Ross** Performer
Sam Rogal** Writer/Performer
Jesse Mudrick* Writer/Performer
Joe Lepore Writer/Performer
Alex Braslavsky** Writer
Justin Morgan** Writer
Lanee’ Sanders** Writer

 

NEW TEAM MEATWAD
Director – Michael Delisle
Adam Pasulka** Performer
Kate Shine** Performer
Tanyika Carey** Performer
Duaa Osman** Performer
Kourtni Beebe Performer
Molly Kiernan Writer/Performer
Francis Fuster** Writer
Will Jacobs** Writer
Gregory Cornejo** Writer
Trumane Alston Writer
Skyler Swezy Writer

 

STOCKTON
Director – Jesse Acini
Matt Abedi** Performer
Andrew Vuilleumier Writer/Performer
Diego Martinez Writer/ Performer
Brendan Goggins Performer
Sarah Cassell Writer/Performer
Katie Sicking** Writer/Performer
Emma Rogers Performer
Sara Kalkstein Writer
Matt Wassung Writer

 

KINFOLK
Director – Matt Alspaugh
Alyssa Lott Performer
Chloe Lewis Performer
Jackie Skinner** Performer
Matt Brooks** Performer
Patrick Grizzard Writer/Performer
Kyle Levenick Writer/Performer
Karina Sahlin Writer
Dmitry Shein Writer
Nick Wiener Writer
Virginia Dickens** Writer

 

TROUBLE TOWN
Director – Chrissie Gruebel
Rob Webber Writer/Performer
Michael McLarnon Writer/Performer
Gina Cucci Performer
Alexis Field Performer
Dana Moore Performer
Noel Salter Performer
Kristen Loe Writer
Daniel Sgrizzi** Writer
Joe DiBella Writer
Matt Morea** Writer

 

**WEEKEND TEAMS** – Congratulations to Dinosaur Jones and The Executives – two incredible veteran sketch teams who were promoted to a run of Friday night shows starting in April!

DINOSAUR JONES
Director – Joe Lepore
Anna Neu Performer
Jessica Taylor Performer
Becca Schall Writer/Performer
Rich Rosario Performer
Matt Alspaugh Writer/Performer
Ben Koch Writer/Performer
Hayley Karl Writer
Nat Silverman Writer

 

THE EXECUTIVES
Director – Kevin Cobbs
Ari Miller Writer/Performer
Evan Forde Barden Writer/Performer
Lane Kwederis Performer
Woody Fu Writer/Performer
Meredith Burns Performer
Charlie Nicholson Performer
Bryan Berlin Writer
Christina Cola Writer
Liz Haag Writer

 

Last, but certainly not least, we want to congratulate our *NEW* Magnet Sketch Teams Director ARI MILLER and give a gigantic THANK YOU to our outgoing director CHET SIEGEL, who has put three years of hard work into this program and built it into something that we are so proud of and incredibly excited about going forward! Cheers to Ari and Chet!!!

Thanks/Congrats/Love,

Megan Gray
Artistic Director

Wednesday February 15, 2017, 7:00am - by Magnet Theater

 

AVALANCHE performer and Magnet house manager, ALEX KORNFELD, joins his brother Louis to discuss his improv evolution, getting onto Megawatt, and going back to basics. They take no time getting to know each other on this episode and jump right into talking improv. This is likely your only chance to hear two brothers from Staten Island with the last name Kornfeld talk about improv on a podcast! Huzzah!

 

To start things off, Alex shares an analogy he’s be thinking about a lot, but not without digressing for a minute or two. He and Louis talk about his experience of not getting onto Megawatt right away and then backing up to how he got his start at Magnet in the first place. After years of dodging the press, Alex finally addresses what it was like to be Louis’ younger brother as he began taking improv classes. He describes going through the Magnet improv program and when he felt like Megawatt was a possibility. What’s Alex’s advice on making a great improv team? Have fun fucking with each other! Louis also asks Alex what it’s been like facing the expectations that come with Megawatt and what it feels like now that he’s been doing it for a while. Alex talks about taking the coaching class with Armando and he asks about his older brother about becoming a teacher. They discuss the benefits of going back to basics and the beauty of Level 1 exercises. Plus, they ask the important question: as people living in a big city, can we afford to not learn from our mistakes?

Meeting for the first time.

Monday February 13, 2017, 2:13pm - by Magnet Theater

Check in and review the Magnet Training Center for discounted room rentals!

Hey everyone! We’re excited to share some easy ways to save money on rentals at our Training Center involving the incredible power of social media. Read on!

– If you check in on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll receive $5 off your next rental. We will also accept when you check in on apps like Yelp! or Swarm and share the check-in with friends via Twitter or Facebook. Just show the office staff your social media post and you’ll get the discount.

– Write a review of our rental space on Google, Facebook, Yelp!, or Foursquare and receive a $10 discount on your next rental. (No repeat reviews on the same site/platform.)

– Pick either of the money-saving strategies above, but please note that there’s a limit of one discount per rental.

Happy Valentine’s Day!! <3<3<3

Friday February 10, 2017, 10:00am - by Magnet Theater

Welcome to Magnet’s “Getting To Know” series! We’re using our blog to highlight our fabulous performers and writers and we can’t wait for you to meet them. Want to see them all? Click here.

Chloe Lewis Headshot

What’s your name?

Chloe Lewis

Which team or show are you on?

Kinfolk

Where are you from?

Chicago, Illinois

How did you get into improv/sketch comedy?

I took my first improv class as a freshman in high school at the Latin School of Chicago. Nick Baer was my first (and one of my favorite) teacher, and here are his notes from my grade report first quarter, freshman year (yes, I have them): “Chloe has been doing solid work in Improv Company this quarter.  A confident and enthusiastic performer…she is not afraid to follow a bizarre move or premise with complete sincerity…Chloe could stand to slow down at times in her scene work…I encourage Chloe to continue sharing the joy that she seems to perform with at all times.” Safe to say, I’m still weird, and I could still stand to slow down.

How long have you been performing/writing?

Welllllllll my mom was a performer at the Second City in Chicago, and while she was performing on the main stage, she was also pregnant with me. So, is it safe to say, since the womb? Just kidding, but I have been writing and performing since I was a little kid. I didn’t get into comedy specifically until high school, but I have been on stage ever since I was little. In preschool I made my own stage out of blocks every day and I would bully all the other little kids into watching me perform during choice time. Suckers.

Who in all the world would be your ideal scene or writing partner?

Oh god. This is a horrible wonderful question. Where to start? Gilda Radner, Martin Short, Steven Martin? Or Tina or Amy or Mindy or Mya or Kristen? Or Jake Johnson or Lamorne Morris, or Tim Baltz because he’s super cute and talented and my friend Lizzie and I had a crush on him in college and would go to shows at the iO religiously to see his teams. I’d love to sit down with Rachel Dratch, or John Lithgow. Stephen Karam, or Sir David Hare? I’d give my left leg to write with or to have known E.E. Cummings or Lucille Ball….ok, I’ll stop there. You probably only wanted me to say like one or two people…

Who would you most like to impersonate or write for?

Oh god, I love to impersonate Jimmy Stewart. Is that weird? I’m oddly good at it. I would love to write for literally anyone who wants me to write for them. Are you hiring?

What makes you laugh the hardest?

Farting. I’m serious. I know that is blue and bathroom humor is frowned upon, but I LOVE farts. Farts, farting, jokes about farts, I just farted, you just farted, laughing until I fart, laughing because someone farted, laughing because that someone who farted was probably me. Hangover farting, farting and walking away. Yeah, farts. 100% of the time anything to do with farts will make me laugh.

Describe the soundtrack to your life!

Yikes, this is tough. A little bit of everything from the Eagles and the Grateful Dead to Tim McGraw and anything country, to Mary Chapin Carpenter and Carole King, to James Taylor and bluegrass and folk, love Grizzly Bear. Anything but screamo. I’m a runner, and frequently run with the November Project, but when I’m not with them, I stick to top 40s. BIG fan of Spotify release radar. They get me.

What’s something you’d ask when meeting someone for the first time?

Usually their name. (Haha is that a boring answer?) Then I repeat their name in my head at least six times right after because I am terrible with remembering names and someone once told me that if you are bad with names you are just lazy. So, I try not to be lazy.

Where can we find you on a Saturday night?

Ideally? In a cuddle pile with an entire litter of puppies. Realistically (but also ideally)? On my couch with Indian takeout, my boyfriend Jimmy, and whatever topically relevant show everyone is binging at the time.

Monday February 6, 2017, 4:20pm - by Megan Gray


We are excited to announce that the two Musical Mixers this month (Tuesday, February 7th and 21st) will take place at 6pm! Sign-ups begin at 5:30.

Musical Megawatt teams will perform afterward, with shows at 7, 8, 9, and 10. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday February 1, 2017, 7:00am - by Magnet Theater

Magnet Theater Community
New York, New York

Executive Order Issued By The Magnet Community

The Magnet community is here to make comedy, but there are also some things we take very seriously. When our core principles are under threat, we are required to speak up, remind each other why we are here, and make it clear what we stand for, and stand against.

There have always been forces in the world working to keep people apart. These will never fully go away, but in light of the recent actions by the President, it appears, right now, these forces are alarmingly strong.

We affirm that denigrating, diminishing, dismissing and excluding people based on race, gender, sexuality, disability, religion or country of origin is fundamentally in opposition to what makes our community strong.

Our diverse community is built upon something quite simple: listening to and supporting each other in order to create something we couldn’t do alone. For a long time, we thought this was just for fun – but it turns out improvising is important. Because when we listen to each other, we ultimately discover the great value of each other’s unique gifts. And when we do, improvising, making comedy, and storytelling become powerful ways to combat the forces attempting to divide us.

This White House is trading on deeply harmful stereotypes in the name of enhancing our security. As New Yorkers, we find this both offensive and counter-productive. As improvisers and theater artists, we find it not funny.

As individuals in this community, we declare our commitment to each other during this disorienting time. When institutions seem fragile, we realize that our true strength lies in each other, our craft, and our fundamental desire to listen to each other for what connects us, not what divides us.

We choose “Yes, and”, not “No.” Though, man, during these troubling times we really want to say “Go Fuck Yourself.” Instead, we’ll just add that we believe in science.

Signed,

The Magnet Theater Community

**(Want to sign the actual document? Stop by the Magnet Training Center’s lounge area and add your signature.)**

Labels:
Monday January 30, 2017, 11:25am - by Magnet Theater

Dear Members of the Magnet Community,

Within the Magnet Theater Community, there are many who feel inspired and want to take action against the new administration’s intents and policies. Some may feel overwhelmed or confused and are seeking guidance. The Magnet has always been a place that has provided support for its members in and out of the theater. It is important that we find a time and place for members of the community to come together to put frustration, sadness, anger (and all the other possible emotions being felt right now) into action.

We’re interested in creating a space offering guidance on taking action and how to resist/speak out during Trump’s first 100 days. This will be a place to seek and give support for various resistance efforts: writing postcards to senators, emailing + calling representatives, brainstorm other ideas, etc. On-site monitors will volunteer for 2-3 hours at a time. Materials (food, beverages, index cards, postcards, poster supplies, etc) would be provided by those attending.

As a monitor (a volunteer to be physically in the space for a period of time) or as a reference/resource (for some clear, actionable efforts), you will help guide people who come to the Training Center in the right direction. We are looking for people in the Magnet Community who would be helpful in either capacity! If you are interested in monitoring or otherwise serving as a reference/resource, please complete the survey here: https://goo.gl/forms/vZWzJS6zfc2NYJEG3

The first meeting of the Alliance will be this Wednesday 2/1 from 12-7pm at the Training Center – Room E. All members of the Magnet Community and their friends are welcome to drop by for any or all of this time.

If you’re interested in joining the resistance, please join us.

(Link to FB event.)

Sincerely,
The Magnet Rebel Alliance
(Q? resist@magnettheater.com)