Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ask Me!: Type-casting Asian actors?


Ask Me!: Type-casting Asian actors?

This is a question on type-casting that was sent to me privately that I thought I’d answer publicly…

Anonymous asked: I have been a struggling Asian actor for 12 years. I am represented in my state but joined a showcase in hope of gaining representation in Los Angeles. The showcase was 6 lessons, $75 each and $350 for the showcase. The woman running the showcase was responsible for finding an…

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Some pretty good advice here. In our most recent auditions for my company here in Chicago, we had an actor show up and do a really great audition. One thing she did, which I noticed and appreciated, was the variety of characters she played (it was an improv audition). Some choices played into type and some radically departed from type. And all the characters were smart and funny.

Now mostly we were looking for a diverse group of people who were smart and funny, regardless of type. But the versatility she showed in her choices was definitely something I noticed and helped get her cast.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


There’s more to those pesky ads than meets the eye… 

This actually gave me chills.


Words of wisdom from Amy Poehler

A daily dose of Poehler wisdom coming atchya!

(Source: lyceck)

Monday, August 25, 2014


Gabe Caruso, Under The Gun Theater ensemble member, has some important things to say about a new comedy theater in Chicago.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Dear friend,

When we started Under The Gun Theater, we knew that eventually we would open a space of our own: a theater that we hoped to fill with improv and sketch comedy, with standup and storytelling, with solo performances and full cast plays. We wanted to create a theater that is a crossroads of different styles of live performance and that hosts and showcases performers from all stripes of the Chicago comedy scene.

This fall, we are going to make that happen. We are opening a theater space in Wrigleyville. It’s a wonderful location with a lot going for it, but it does need some love. We will be adding soundproofing, building a new stage and lighting grid, and adding a bar. We hope the space will be our home for many years and that it will host many funny shows. But we can use some help from you.

Please consider supporting this new comedy theater in the heart of Wrigleyville by purchasing one or more of the promotional packages listed on our website. You can also support us by sharing these promotions with your family and friends.

One other way to support us is by signing up for a class. We are offereing classes in improv, sketch comedy, and storytelling.

Thank you,
Angie McMahon & Kevin Mullaney
Under The Gun Theater

P.S. If you’d like to support us, but you don’t see a package that fits your needs, email us at and we can add a promotional package just for you.

Go to our website and see all the great promotional packages we have to offer.

Thursday, August 14, 2014
Lonely Venice dog waiting patiently for her favorite trattoria to open. (at Ponte dei Greci, Venice)

Lonely Venice dog waiting patiently for her favorite trattoria to open. (at Ponte dei Greci, Venice)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Venice induced nightmares.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Guess what this is advertising. And yes this is an actual bill board in England. And yes the target market is women.

Guess what this is advertising. And yes this is an actual bill board in England. And yes the target market is women.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Anonymous said: I've always felt bullied by certain UCB instructors/coaches. I have a sense of humor about myself and I'm an acceptable target, but this isn't jokes or constructive criticism. It's cheap shots and jabs. If it's repeated unwanted verbal attacks, that's harassment (albeit a LOW level form but still). I know if I reply that I don't say hurtful things to THEM, it'd be funny. I'll look pathetic. I (sometimes) have a thick skin, but this sucks! I realize I ask for it and could quit, but I like improv.


I assume you’re asking advice on this? Either that, or you’re referring to me as one of those instructors and don’t feel comfortable actually talking to me about it. I could believe that, I love a good aggressively negative bit (just ask various members of Winslow.) I would have preferred to answer this directly to you as well, but Tumblr wont let me since it’s anonymous.

But, if you’re asking advice… I sincerely am sorry you feel this way! My advice would be to talk to the person or persons that you feel are being unfair/unnecessarily shitting on you. Really… just talk to them. I can almost guarantee that whoever it is is not trying to make you feel crappy, or trying to ruin improv for you. I would bet good money that they have no idea they’re having this effect on you. I can’t think of a single UCB teacher that wouldn’t want you to just pull them aside and go “Hey, this makes me feel shitty. It’s not cool. Lay off.” It might be intimidating, but I would be shocked if it didn’t affect the behavior.

I’m not entirely sure from your message, though, what form this is taking. You say cheap shots and jabs and verbal attacks… in notes on scenes? Outside of the context of a class? In general conversation? Is it someone doing an aggressive and unwelcome bit, or is it someone actively seemingly trying to insult you? Also you say you’ve always felt that way… does that mean you feel it in every class? Or just with some people? All of those things might have a different reaction. If it’s a class problem, you can talk to Johnny Meeks, the head of the training center. If it’s outside of that, then yeah, I think talk to the person. You won’t look pathetic. The WORST case scenario is that you learn for a fact that this person is a true blue asshole. And then you can write them off. But, realistically, I think it will help you be more comfortable in the long run.

I enthusiastically agree. Take them aside. Talk to them in private and tell them that it hurts. The most likely outcome will be that they will apologize and stop.

Years ago, my team at UCB had a series of Harolds where we teased one member of the team on stage. We thought it was a game we were all playing together and that the target of our teasing knew that we were “just joking around”. We assumed that his irritation on stage was just him playing into the bit. After all, the things we were teasing him about weren’t true. He’s one of the smartest, funniest, most awesome guys I know and I assumed he knew that.

But years later, after the team had long been disbanded, I found out that the teasing hurt him much more than he was showing on stage. Yes, he was playing along to some degree, because he knew that the audience was enjoying the bit. But it felt like bullying to him and it reminded him of how he was treated earlier in life. He didn’t like it, and I wish I would have been sensitive enough to stop it when it happened.