Underground Comedy – Billy Merritt Interview

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How else to celebrate July 4th than without a true American hero?

This is Billy Merritt.

Billy has been at UCB since the beginning. In fact, he took UCB classes before UCB was even a theater. When it was simply workshops in New York taught only by Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts, Matt Besser and Amy Poehler. Billy still teaches regularly at UCBLA till this day. He’s very well-known for being a great teacher through UCB and Billy Merritt Improv Workshops, and is on an amazing team called The Smokes.

In our interview, he talks about how UCB essentially brought long-form improv to New York, indie shows, why Amy Poehler is amazing (a great story about her forgetting her lines on stage, and how she decided to deal with that), several great Amy Poehler stories, improv fanaticism, A LOT about the history of improv in New York, IO opening a theater in Times Square back in the day, where LA improv will be in 10 years, the territoriality of improv theaters, the difference between Whose Line? and improv in LA, where UCB was when in first started versus where it is now —- “but i think i remember on the teaching syllabus, it was “teaching improv guerrilla techniques,” “guerrilla techniques” was literally written on the pamphlet. Now we have a college accredited curriculum,” people who make a huge commute in order to take UCB classes, Besser, how UCB was never trying to grow—-it just did—they made it because there was a necessity to make it and all of the growth just comes from the same necessity, the tenacity of Bangarang!’s rehearsing ethic, how Billy joined a team simply because their name was “Iditarod Stuart,” and, I’ll leave it on this, “…and i have a guarantee that if you put together a group, a harold team, and you call yourselves ‘The Reach Arounds,’ i will coach you for free, for one year. But, you have to wear t-shirts that say ‘The Reach Arounds'” (with a serious as the living-day look on his face).

It’s a great interview.

I interviewed Billy for about an hour-and-a-half. I’ll probably use about 3-4 minutes of his interview in my film, if that much.

If you would like to see the immense amount of great material that won’t make the cut, out of my 25 sit-down, formal interviews, a donation of at least $25 will you get you that (the copy of the film does not only include the movie, but TONS of dvd ‘A’ footage extras as well—interviews and performance/other footage as well). For $50, you will get that, PLUS I will come film 30 minutes of whatever you need filmed within 5-7 miles of Miracle Mile.

At the least, hey, check out the trailer. If you think it’s cool, maybe share on your Facebook wall.

Thanks, everyone.

Underground Comedy – Dave Razowsky interview

I asked the most passionate person I know about improv, Brian James O'Connell, who he thinks the most passionate person is about improv. And he told me, David Razowsky. Dave is awesome.  Dave was the artistic director of Second City LA for nearly a decade. He has really devoted his life to performance, art and improv. His Chicago peers were Stephen Colbert and Steve Carrell. Alex Fernie said Dave is one of his favorite improv teachers. Dave and I talked about what Del Close's classes were like, about how there's some really great teachers in LA, improvising for prisoners, how improvisation shouldn't be just going for a laugh, what makes a good improv scene, Dave Pasquesi, and a lot of inspiring stuff.  I'll be using 5 minutes, if that much, of his interview for my documentary. If you would like to see all of the amazing footage that I just can't possibly fit in the movie, the $25 reward for my Kickstarter will get you just that. Not only do you get a copy of the film, but, the dvd extras, which there will be A LOT of, from over 25 different sit-down interviews and tons of tons of shows. For $50, you get that, plus, I'll come film 30 minutes of whatever you need filmed! Plus, there are other great rewards to check out. Dave teaches an amazing workshop in Hollywood. You can check it out at: http://www.davidrazowsky.com/ And here's the Kickstarter link! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1609287843/underground-comedy-a-documentary-feature-film

I asked the most passionate person I know about improv, Brian James O’Connell, who he thinks the most passionate person is about improv. And he told me, David Razowsky.

Dave is awesome.

Dave was the artistic director of Second City LA for nearly a decade. He has really devoted his life to performance, art and improv. His Chicago peers were Stephen Colbert and Steve Carrell. Alex Fernie said Dave is one of his favorite improv teachers. Dave and I talked about what Del Close’s classes were like, about how there’s some really great teachers in LA, improvising for prisoners, how improvisation shouldn’t be just going for a laugh, what makes a good improv scene, Dave Pasquesi, and a lot of inspiring stuff.

I’ll be using 5 minutes, if that much, of his interview for my documentary. If you would like to see all of the amazing footage that I just can’t possibly fit in the movie, the $25 reward for my Kickstarter will get you just that. Not only do you get a copy of the film, but, the dvd extras, which there will be A LOT of, from over 25 different sit-down interviews and tons of tons of shows. For $50, you get that, plus, I’ll come film 30 minutes of whatever you need filmed! Plus, there are other great rewards to check out.

Dave teaches an amazing workshop in Hollywood. You can check it out at: http://www.davidrazowsky.com/

And here’s the Kickstarter link! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1609287843/underground-comedy-a-documentary-feature-film

****Clicking on the ‘K’ at the top left of the video will take you to the Kickstarter page****

Underground Comedy — Matt Walsh interview

Matt Walsh

This is Matt Walsh.

He is my favorite actor on TV right now. That’s legit. He is brilliant on Veep.

Matt is one of the co-founders of The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. On the TV show, he was Trotter.

Matt is really smart. He’s really direct and to the point with his answers. In his interview, he talks a lot about the early days of UCBNY, the first DCM ever compared to where it is now, why UCB is successful, crazy things he’s seen on stage, why improv breeds such a high level of devotion, the UCB book, how the cast of Veep uses improv with their script (it’s written, then the cast improvises with the narrative, the writers are in the room writing stuff down while they improvise, and then the writers incorporate that into the second draft of the script), and a lot of other stuff! That’s just skimming the surface.

We talked for about an hour. I will probably use about 5 minutes, if that much, of his interview in my film.

If you would like to see the immense amount of great material that won’t make the cut, a donation of at least $25 will you get you that footage (the copy of the film does not only include the movie, but TONS of dvd ‘A’ footage extras as well). For $50, you will get that, PLUS I will come film 30 minutes of whatever you need filmed within 5-7 miles of Miracle Mile.

At the least, hey, check out the trailer. If you think it’s cool, maybe share on your Facebook wall.

Thanks, everyone.

****Clicking on the ‘K’ at the top left of the video will take you to the Kickstarter page****

The Worst Year of My Life gets accepted into The Dances With Films film festival

Gunbarrel Productions initially came on as a co-producer, and eventually got bumped up to a co-executive producer on this film. We are very proud to announce that The Worst Year of My Life got accepted into the 17th annual Dances With Films Film Festival, competing in the Narrative Features category. The film premieres Thursday June 5th at 7:15pm at the TCL Chinese Theater (formerly, the Mann Chinese Theater). This theater has hosted three Academy Award ceremonies and many a movie premiere, including such iconic films as the original Star Wars and many many more. Tickets can be found here. We look forward to seeing you there.

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