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Posts Tagged ‘nyc’

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!

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.

Wednesday January 25, 2017, 7:00am - by Magnet Theater

 

Actor, director, and Queen of Illinois, KRISTINA GROSSPIETSCH, joins us to talk about her time spent in France, why Freeze Tag sucks, and authenticity on stage. Growing up as a theater-obsessed child and ultimately landing in good old NYC, Kristina shares the story of how she got here and muses on improv, comedy, and interpersonal communication. See Kristina perform each week at Megawatt with Bodywork and listen to her talk with Louis right now!

Louis launches into this episode asking Kristina about her time spent teaching English in rural France. She tells of making up her teaching methods on the fly to see what stuck with her elementary school students. Kristina fondly recalls the ample idle time she enjoyed while living there and wonders if we really need everything New York has to offer, or if we’re better off with simply a good bar, a good friend, and a job to satisfy us?

Although raised outside of Chicago, Kristina did not take her first improv class until 2012 after landing back in NYC following her French sojourn. Growing up, it was all theater, baby! Kristina talks about her heavy involvement in the local musical theater scene around Chicago and then hits us with a HUGE takedown of the classic improv game Freeze Tag. (It’s warranted, folks!) She also admits to being an overachiever and how that has hampered her ability recognize exactly what she’ll be best at in art and life. Plus, Louis and Kristina attempt to answer the hard-hitting question: Can you avoid messing up your kids?

In the back half of the episode, we find out what convinced Kristina to ultimately give improv a try and she tells us about the experience of diving into a new artform. Louis taps into Kristina’s love of authenticity on stage and asks, given her Megawatt teams’ penchant for the theatrical, what has it been like to attempt authenticity within those heightened atmospheres? They also explore the observation that people with anxiety seem drawn to improv and Kristina and Louis have a major communication breakthrough of their own! To close out the episode, Louis spins a beautiful metaphor and Kristina talks about the Magnet Theater’s Very Own 10-Minute Play Festival, which she is producing, coming to you this March! (Submissions are open now!)

Wednesday January 18, 2017, 7:00am - by Magnet Theater

 

Warm-blooded baby of sex, WILL JACOBS, drops by to talk about his foray into playwrighting, being malleable on stage, and how to provide balance on a team.  A comedy quadruple-threat, Will can be seen performing on Magnet shows like Musical Megawatt, Megawatt, and The Friday Night Sh*ow; in schools all over the city with the Story Pirates; on the internet with Cake I.D.; and oh yeah, he’s also a playwright. There’s a lot packed into this one, so let’s just dive in!

Will begins the episode talking with Louis about Telegraph, a play he wrote while attending the Washington University in St. Louis. He discusses the undertaking of staging something so daunting as a first-time playwright. Louis and Will talk about college and Will describes what it’s been like to find permission to indulge in his interests. Find out where Will’s ideas come from and if their origin is different when improvising versus writing! He and Louis discuss the hurdle of playing with people who really impress you and the challenge of being malleable not only while acting but in life.

Will relays some great advice for how to behave when you’re being judgemental of a scene! They discuss “wherewithal” as it relates to improv and wonder if it is the opposite of being in your head? Louis points out one of Will’s greatest abilities and diving into the technique, Will offers tips on how to point out an unusual thing in a way that matters and can sustain scenes. They both agree on an improv rule: Don’t be Ironic Comment Guy! Finally, these two gentlemen talk about providing balance to a team and why Spock was so great on Star Trek. Finally, we hear about how Will went from, “I could never do that” when watching improv to performing it almost every night of the week!

Wednesday January 11, 2017, 7:00am - by Magnet Theater

dede-2-podcast Subscribe with iTunes

Ariana Grande’s resident Floridian, DEDE TABAK, joins host Louis Kornfeld to talk about being from Miami, her college improv experience, and how to surprise yourself on stage. That’s just a sample of what this episode has to offer, though. You’ll also get to hear about celebrities, how to handle disgusting scenes on stage, how Dede got her start in the arts, and why strange scene partners are awesome. More too, but you get the idea! Huzzah!

This episode begins with a rare and lengthy cold open and continues in earnest on the subject of celebrity encounters. “How tall is Jemaine Clement?” you may wonder. Well, Dede Tabak has the answer! Louis asks Dede about her comedy roots and what she was into as a child. Dede grew up in Miami, Florida watching In Living Color, presumably because she didn’t live in the part of Miami where people were partying or going to the beach, or maybe it was because she was a child! Louis and Dede exchange methods on running away from home, something they would both occasionally attempt in their youth and Dede shares the story of her parents meeting at NYU and moving from New York to Miami and, how now, Dede works at NYU where it all began. They talk about the burden of asking friends and family to come see your improv shows and how to perform “gross” things on stage, or when to just avoid them.

Backing up, Louis asks Dede what brought her to improv in the first place, and we discover that she began life as a theatrical kid and attended a University of Miami theater camp growing up. She then talks about her college improv days at Fairfield University, where she had a very positive experience under the guidance of Heather Parady, complete with lessons like cut the bullshit, be truthful, and to occasionally burn some sage. Dede and Louis explore what it means to “be truthful” in a scene and how to step out with nothing in mind. Find out how Dede most loves to play and hear her talk about how she (successfully) surprises herself on a regular basis. They also discuss regret in improv, what Dede likes to get from her scene partners, watching improv after-the-fact, and cherishing the strange classmates and scene partners you’ll have along the way. Dede says “vagina” in this episode more than anyone ever has on the show! Plus, A Serious Scene Opposite A Jar Of Pickles!

Monday January 9, 2017, 8:00am - by Magnet Theater

LadySketchShow_475x273

The Lady Sketch Lab is back! All WOMEN* are encouraged to attend.

*women, trans, cis and gender non-conforming/queer.

Here’s how it’ll work:

We’ll be meeting on Saturdays 12-3pm at the Magnet Training Center (22 West 32nd Street, 10th floor) for six weeks starting January 28th. We will be breaking up into 3 different groups. You’ll bring in a mix of new and rewritten sketches each week (1 or 2). We’ll give each other feedback for rewrites. A selection of the generated sketches will be put into 3 different sketch shows each 30 minutes each. Each show will go up twice. The shows will be on March 13th, 20th, & 27th at 9 pm.

For the first meeting all we ask is that you bring in:

1. An example of a sketch that you saw on TV or stage and why you love it.
2. An example of something that happened in your day/week/month/life that you thought was really funny. Anything.
3. That supportive spirit.

THAT’S IT! You don’t even have to write anything just yet. Give it a try.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED:

But I’ve never written a sketch or taken a sketch class.

That’s totally fine. We still want you.

But I really can’t write. Can I just perform?
You can get involved as a performer only. Come to the meeting anyway. You might find yourself accidentally writing something amazing.

But I can’t perform/memorize lines.
You can just write then.

I write better with a partner. I can’t do this on my own.
You and your writing partner can present co-written material at meetings. Alternatively, if you realize you really like working with someone at the meetings, you can go off and write together.

I can’t make all the meetings.
If you want to be in the final show or have your sketch considered, you must attend at least 4 of the 6 sessions.

How much does it cost?
It’s FREE.

Do I have to pre-register?
Nope. Just show up!

But I’m still uncertain.
Follow your fear. Remember how hard improv used to seem before you actually tried it?

More questions?
Email: ladysketchlab@gmail.com

See you there,
Amanda Xeller & Megan Gray