Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Interview with ADT Performer of the Month, WILL KOEHL of Upstate

1. Where are you originally from and what was the improv scene like there?

I’m originally from New Jersey, which didn’t have many Improv choices in my town of Blairstown, so I ended up commuting in and out of the city (NYC) for a few years taking improv classes. When I started, UCB had just started there, and The Second City had just started doing weekend intensives, so it had just started popping.

2. What made you want to start doing improv?

I always loved making people laugh, and a couple people said I should go to Second City. I called Beth Kligerman of The Second City asking her to audition, not having any idea what the place was about just amazing comedic actors started there, along with Chris Farley, who I pretty much idolized. She was very kind and said they don’t work like that, so she sent me info about up coming classes with Martin de Maat. I took that one class and never stopped.

3. What stumbling blocks did you have to overcome when you first started studying improv?

Wondering if what I am doing in a scene is right.

4. How long have you been doing improv?

About 10 years.

5. What’s your favorite part about improvising?

Being able to go anywhere, be anything, have anything. It is very liberating to be an actor with an absolutely infinite budget.

6. What is one of your best memories on stage at iOWest?

Every time I get on stage with Upstate and Cherry, I really just love playing with all of those guys and gals.

7. What’s some advice you would give to someone that’s starting out?

Improvise as much as possible. iO is a place you can actually practice your craft, and all the resources are right there, between finding a great coach, to signing up to play in the Cage Match, or Cherry Crush (a show I am in), or a show in the Loft, and the biggest resource, a crap load of people that want to do the same thing as you.

8. Who is someone you really look up to in the improv world and why?

There are so many great teachers…Craig Cackowski, James Grace, Dave Razowski, Dave Hill just to name a few. I really love a ton of people around IO who geek out about improv. All of Dasariski, and why…just watch their show.
9. Other than your own, what is your favorite show at iOWest?

Dasariski. I think DHT is great. They are such a fun group to watch on stage, a great chemistry and sense of play that makes it look easy. But when you watch them, you really see they are working trying to create something original. They discover in each Harold what The Opening is, The Scenes are and what The Show is, and to me discovery is absolute key.

10. How do you use improv in your professional life?

I am an actor, so in auditions it’s about making a decision and commit! And when the director says “Try this.” It is always “Sure!”, “Of coarse!”, “Absolutely!”, always Yes AND…

11. If you could sum up iO in one sentence, what would that be?

iO is a great improv home.

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