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Magnet Theater Blog: News and Ideas about Comedy, Improv Shows & Classes in NYC

Posts Tagged ‘truth’

Wednesday February 3, 2016, 7:00am - by Magnet Theater

Michael Delaney Podcast Subscribe with iTunes

Founding member of legendary UCB ensembles The Swarm and The Stepfathers, MICHAEL DELANEY, sits down with host Louis Kornfeld to talk truth in improv, how time has affected his approach to comedy, and his reverence for the Harold.  Not only has Delaney been doing improv in NYC since before the arrival of the UCB, but he’s long been considered one of the greatest minds in both improv and sketch that this great city has to offer. Listen in to hear Louis interview his former teacher and to find out what gets under Delaney’s skin.

Louis took Delaney’s Level 3 class thirteen years ago and he still has his notes from it. more

Wednesday December 16, 2015, 7:00am - by Magnet Theater

Christina Dabney podcast Subscribe with iTunes

Everyone’s favorite vegan, CHRISTINA DABNEY, stops by the podcast to talk about telling the truth, homeschool education, her sketch team Stockton, and of course, yoga. Plus, Louis spends some time criticizing modern learning and, wouldn’t you know it, Christina gives a shout out to her mom and dad. It’s a thought-provoking episode that you’re just going to love.

Christina and Louis begin this episode talking about people opening up to one another in both the context of improv and in everyday life. Both have found, in different ways, that it’s easier for them to be truthful when they feel it will help others – Louis perhaps to illustrate a point to a class; Christina to make people feel more comfortable in social settings. Outside of those helpful moments though, they acknowledge being oddly closed off at times, which gets them talking about anxiety as a human condition.

They get more into improv as Christina posits that the particular things a character cares about will allow it to relate to other characters. Louis asks Christina if she thinks relationships change over time and then probes into her homeschool education (which somehow includes traveling clowns) and the virtues of such a learning experience. Louis guesses that today’s education system, at best, prepares one to tolerate boredom at one’s future boring job.

Though she feared she’d be terrible at improv,  because it was all about being funny, Christina shares that her supportive teachers convinced her to continue and she eventually fell in love with it. Hear the story of how her first taste of improv coincided with her first yoga experience and what she loves about them both. Louis asks her, “Why are so many people turned on by doing something that has no future whatsoever?” Christina claims we enjoy pushing ourselves just to know we can do it. Louis also asks, “Is yoga just stretching?”

Finally, they touch on the practice of taking a step back from something you love so that you can return to it refreshed and we hear about Christina’s sketch team, Stockton.

All of that, and! We find out the answer to the age old question, “Who does Louis hate in his yoga class?”

Sunday February 24, 2013, 5:59pm - by WillyAppelman


“Round Trip” is the newest installment of The Director Series, a 4-week series of performances wherein a Director selects a cast and presents a different form. This month Armando Diaz is directing “Round Trip.”  We conducted an interview with Armando via email to talk about the show.

What is Round Trip?
The Round Trip is an original form that tells the story of a cast of characters through a series of mono-scenes. The show begins with the suggestion of a location for which the first mono-scene will take place. In that location we meet the characters in the story and discover what the story is about. After the first mono-scene ends the cast improvises a second mono-scene in a different location featuring all the same characters. And finally we see the characters back in the first location for a final mono-scene and this is where all the storylines resolve. In short, the Round Trip is like an improvised one-act play.

Why did you choose to direct it?
Megan told me I had to direct something for the Director Series show. I had no choice in the matter.

What makes a great scene?
The truth! As much as it is good to know the mechanics of improv at the end of the day what makes us laugh is when improvisers find truth in their work. You can be technically perfect in a scene but if it doesn’t find the truth it just won’t be that funny.

Have you seen an evolution in improv over the years?

Where do you see it going?
I hope it becomes more courageous and less, “edgy”.

The last performance of Round Trip takes place on Thursday, February 28th at 10pm.  For more information, CLICK HERE!