I just realized that after originally writing these memories back in February 13, 2018 - when it was announced that iO West was closing - that I never took a class in improv or sketch writing there...
I knew of Improv Olympic's existence since its Complex Theater years and while I was with Monkey Butler Comedy (the latter closed in 2014). After studying improv at Upright Citizens Brigade in 2012, I was indecisive on which sketch classes I'd take... iO West or the Pack Theater?
During that time, I joined the sketch comedy team, Oi! Oi! Oi! (Elizabeth Ebeling, Javier Ortiz, Kate Rodman and Corey Slater) and we performed live at iO's Mainstage in the last three consecutive Saturday nights of 2013 -- performed a Christmas sketch called Twas The Night Before Drunk at the Sketch Holiday Theme Party Show hosted by Animal Style...
...performed a musical sketch at the Comedy Music Circus! show hosted by Keith Saltojanes...
...and performed a sketch I originally wrote for Go Sketch Yourself hosted by CLIVE RICE! -- in front of Saturday night audiences (except for the one drunk guy in the back who was booted out of the club).
Recorded the 13th 'Super Awkward Funcast' episode with Elle Latham and Linnea Snyder at iO during the SNL 40th anniversary year...
...help in making the documentary short for the host about improvisor, actor and teacher Craig Cackowski about improv at iO...
Our team "The Olympian Beers" from the last two games became "Brainiac 3" and won the Pub Quiz hosted by Suzi Barrett. Also, I joined the three-persons team at the "Win, Lose, Draw, or Drink...The Booty Call" drawing competition at iO WEST Main Stage (April 27, 2012). We were tied from the get-go against the other team but, sadly we lost. But, I did learn how to draw simpler illustrations to get my team to guess the right answers quicker.
Received words of wisdom and practical applications from casting director Dorian Frankel, Jessica Makinson, actress Janet Varney, comedian Jason Horton and Joshua Mattingly at iO's 10th LA Improv Comedy Festival. And, supported my friends' (Nick Rasmussen, Moses Storm, etc.) shows by seeing their shows at iO. Lastly, assembled and edited a video tribute about my late friend, Billy Spindler. It was screened at his memorial hosted by Joanna Ke and Ai Yoshihara held at iO West in 2014
Participated in afternoon trivia games with other improvisors and comedians while I wondered if that one comedienne/actress who hosts a popular podcast stared at me or stared out the window from the bar, attended live WWE Viewing Parties hosted by Joshua Lassman and Steve Kaufmann along with other improvisors and comedians who happen to be wrestling fans (thank you!).
...and took a date to see a show at iO only to be abandoned when she went to Second City to get her friends yet never returned. Still wondering if that was a bit? In any case, iO West will surely be missed especially all my favorite improv teams. Most importantly, the trio of Dasariski. Because with them, it is okay to perform improv slowly...and not always quick and fast all the time. The trio consists of Bob Dassie, Rich Talarico, and Craig Cackowski. And, Dasariski is known for their “slow play” style of longform improvisation, creating an hour-long piece of theater with a focus on believable characters and relationships inspired from a single audience suggestion. Love them! iO, thanks for the crazy and humble memories -- like this February 23, 2013 (4 years ago today) Harlem Shake video we did at iO.
A film I acted in - WHAT YOU DON'T SAY - is now on YouTube in its entirety. It made its premiere at the 33rd Annual Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in 2017.
The film was written (with Bernard Badion) and directed by Rommel Andaya. Carlin James, Mari Lauren, Dante Basco, Erica Juliet, Michael Kuya, Joy Regullano, Sheila Tejada, Junot Lee, Jaclyn Aimee, Dante Swain, Melanie Padernal, Lianne Lin and I round out the cast. With songs from AJ Rafael.
And, check out the outtakes and bloopers afterwards. Enjoy!