Magnet Theater Blog
Ever thought about taking the show on the road? So have these guys! Monday, September 8th at 8:30pm, three Toronto performers, James Hartnett, Tim Gilbert, and Marty Topps, are taking the Magnet stage to bring you their best work as a part of their New York and Philadelphia tour. I (Amanda Ariel Peggy Xeller!) got the awesome opportunity to not only see Marty Topps (Isaac Winter!) perform in Montreal, but got to conduct an e-mail interview with him for the Magnet’s blog.
Marty Topps is an award winning musical comedian from Toronto who burst onto the scene with his debut album, “A Loving Tribute to TapouT.” The album was ranked the #2 Comedy Music album of 2013 by BiteTV. Marty followed this up with a musical short film, “Beep Beep” which won First Place in the Laugh Sabbath Film Fest at NXNE 2014. Marty’s live performances have led to accolades like Best Newcomer at the 2014 Montreal Sketchfest and Audience Award (Best Musical Sketch) at the 2013 Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival.
Where are you from originally?…and what’s that place like?!
I’m originally from Stratford, Ontario. Stratford is a nice town. It was pretty wild growing up in the shadow of the undisputed King of Pop, Justin Beaver but I also found it really inspiring because it made me #believe I could grow up to be a song-and-dance-man just like him.
What’s your training background?
I have no formal training. I went to University for Film but I dropped out cuz that was the cool thing to do at the time. And then I taught myself to play keytar cuz that was also the cool thing to do at the time… And it still is, right? Right?!
It’s our pleasure to share this intense and hilarious archive conversation with Dave Razowsky and Ed Herbstman recorded live at Magnet Theater. Alex Marino asks the right questions and doesn’t get any of the answers he wanted. Neither does the audience when it’s opened up to questions at the end. A fun listen to be sure. Ed particularly seems to be enjoying himself, perhaps because Razowsky was his first improv teacher back in 1990 when he was in high school.
Catch master teacher Dave Razowsky next time he’s in NYC teaching at Magnet, and be sure to see Razowsky, Herbstman and Hamilton, which is really really good. Rachel Hamilton is the woman in the photo. She’s really really good.
Enjoy Episode #14 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
In celebration of Magnet’s upcoming 10th anniversary in 2015, we’re compiling an oral history of the theater, told through the voices of the people who have contributed to its growth and success.
If you would like to participate please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Magnet Theater is pleased to announce the new teams and additions for the fall 2014 season of Megawatt, debuting this Wednesday, September 3rd at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm and 10pm. In addition, the premiere of the 6pm Wednesday Mixer. We hope to see you there.
Lauren Ashley Smith
John O’Donnell, longtime friend of Magnet Theater and kind onstage powerhouse talks about how he first fell in love with performing, improv, and stumbling upon the early evolution of musical improv.
John has appeared in pilots for Comedy Central, the HBO Aspen Comedy Festival, on Late Night With Conan O’Brien, as well as numerous commercials.
He has also written and performed a trilogy of one-man shows, O’Donnellogues, Son of O’Donnellogues, and Beneath The Planet of The O’Donnellogues. At the Magnet Theater he has made appearances in Thursday Night Out, The Armando Diaz Experience, The Tiny Spectacular, and currently improvises weekly in Magnet’s ‘The Made Up Musical‘.
John has a Masters Degree in Education and has been teaching in New York City for over a decade.
Enjoy Episode #13 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
The Magnet Theater’s Video Lab is pleased to announce a new 10-week program open to beginning filmmakers, as well as those with some (or lots of) experience in the field. Fill in your knowledge gaps or start from the beginning.
Learn the skills necessary to produce comedy shorts with hands-on guidance from current Video Lab members:
- Expand skills by shadowing experienced filmmakers
- Try your hand at various production roles including camera, lighting, audio, pre production, editing and more
- Gain production experience & video credits
- See your work on the Magnet Theater big screen as well as online!
This 10-week session is a prerequisite for applying to the Magnet Video Lab program. Program begins Saturdays in mid-October. Email email@example.com for more information.
Congratulations to the newest Magnet Sketch Teams and the newest additions to Party. and Baby Shoes:
18-time Moth StorySlam Champion (2-time GrandSlam Champion) and Magnet instructor, Adam Wade, as interviewed by Alex Marino. Adam Wade is an actor and storyteller based in NYC. He was recently seen on Comedy Central’s ‘Inside Amy Schumer’. Adam has been featured on The Moth Podcast numerous times and has performed at renowned NYC shows such as The Moths Main Stage, The Nights of Our Lives, The Rejection Show, The Liar Show, Mortified, Stripped Stories, Speakeasy Stories, and True Tales From College (which he is the co-producer and co-host of). He has appeared on the NFL NETWORKs Top 10 Football Follies, ESPNs Mayne Street and ESPN CLASSICs Classic Now where he interviewed such legends as Mike Ditka and Reverend Run from RUN DMC. He was a featured performer on Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and NBCs Late Night with Conan OBrien. He has written for NY Times, NY Press, Glamour Magazine, ESPN The Magazine and Hoboken Reporter.
Enjoy Episode #12 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.
Magnet Theater is now accepting applications for the 2014 fall season of Megawatt. Please fill out THIS FORM no later than AUGUST 16th to apply for an audition slot.
Anyone who has completed Magnet Level 6 is eligible to apply, though please note that a completed form does not guarantee an audition slot. Due to the high volume of eligible improvisers and a limited number of slots, priority will be given to students and performers who have finished the class or performed on a Megawatt team within the last year.
Confirmations will be sent out by SUNDAY, AUGUST 17th.
CLICK HERE to apply.
I’m very happy to share this recording from the archive of Craig Cackowski interviewed live onstage at Magnet Theater by the well-prepared Louis Kornfeld. Craig and I were in class together with Del Close, on our first IO teams together, and when I was promoted from understudy, Second City placed me in his touring company. We did a lot of scenes from the Razowsky/Colbert/Carell and McKay/Adsit eras. He was great to tour with because he’s both reliable onstage in scenes and touring the country for long stretches in a van. Usually people are one or the other, but he was both. Onstage he’s casual but precise, and he’s got great timing both as an audience-pleasing comedian (in the good way) and as an improv partner. He rescues things, and if it can’t be rescued, he’ll go down with the ship. And it seems like he’s really enjoying himself either way. And since I’m on a roll here, I should mention he’s become one of the best, most sought after improv instructors in Los Angeles. Possibly because he’s committed to the things we learned in those classes with Del. But also because he’s sensitive to the advancements that have been made as long-form has evolved from an obscure experiment in the basement of an anonymous Chicago apartment building 24 years ago to the dominant comedy language spoken across America and beyond. And that’s thanks in no small part to Craig. So listen to this episode and see if you can hear what I hear – a genuinely good guy who cares about what he does, does it well, and has no need for false bluster. Enjoy. — Ed Herbstman PS: Craig is okay. But his little sister is like, 12 times funnier than him and at least twice as funny as me. Hi, Craig. Subscribe to the Magnet Theater Podcast via iTunes here. Enjoy Episode #11 on iTunes or below via SoundCloud.