Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Instructor Eric Hunicutt in brief

According to a 2007 interview Eric Hunicutt gave Josh Fult, the world has Hunicutt's father and grandfather to thank for Hunicutt's performance acumen. 

However, paraphrasing Hunicutt's website: his thoughts and opinions change with the tides, which is fitting for an improviser. 

This week, I was fortunate to gather some of Hunicutt's more recent ruminations on his participation in the long-form art form, albeit in brief.

SKK:  What was the moment when you first discovered you loved performing improv?

EH:  I started my first improv class in high school when I was 15.  Within a year, I was performing a couple times a week with ComedySportz in Raleigh, NC, and was totally hooked.  It's incredible, now, to realize that I've been doing this for over half my life. I still love it and am intrigued by it.

SKK:  What has been your favorite on-stage experience so far?

EH:  I'm not sure I can pinpoint a single experience that stands out above all others.  There are a lot of great memories. Some of my favorite shows have been at festivals, performing in an unfamiliar space – a new town.
The energy in that kind of environment has produced some really cool shows, ones I'd love to do again.

SKK:  What led you to begin teaching improv?

EH:  I want to use my experience to help others feel the same joy and sense of power that I feel in improv, and, after coaching for awhile, I found I was able to articulate a lot of things that were helpful to others. I want to help this art form continue to evolve, to grow. And I have pretty strong opinions about playing with integrity and honesty. So, like any opinionated person, I want to share my thoughts with younger and newer artists.

SKK:  What is the most rewarding aspect of teaching for you?

EH:  Witnessing students finding themselves in the work – the rare moment when they forget about getting it "right" and trying to be "good" and just flow.  Seeing the kind of confidence and power that shows up in those moments is the best. Plus, I've learned more about improv, acting, and performing by teaching than I ever did before. There's definitely a self-serving aspect of teaching for me.  I've grown exponentially since I started and continue to do so.

SKK:  What has been your favorite in-class experience so far? This experience could also be as a result of class.

EH:  I really like getting a chance to perform with former students.  The whole generational aspect of improv is great in that way.

SKK:  Lastly, for everyone reading this blog who is trying to figure out what shows to see first, which are a few Harold teams you think are particularly successful, and why do they work so well? You can include your own.

EH:  I'm a fan of Waterloo (and also their coach, full disclosure).  They are doing really fun and unconventional work.  They're a great ensemble, and their shows are a blast for them and the audience alike.

Eric Hunicutt's bio:

Eric Hunicutt is an actor, director, writer and teacher based in Los Angeles.  His work can be seen in commercials, television and films as well as onstage weekly with the groups Sweeterhouse, The Armando Show, and The Reckoning at the iO West Theater where Hunicutt is a member of the teaching faculty and former director of the iO West Training Center.

Hunicutt currently teaches all over the country as well as at iO West.  Keep checking the iO West schedule to find his classes.

 - Shawn Kathryn Kane




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