Confessions of a Comedy-holic is a weekly blog series that features performers of the Dallas Comedy House (DCH). What does it take to be funny? What make someone a great comedian? What brought them to DCH, what kept them staying, and how has it changed their own lives. Celebrities of DCH speak about their journeys in comedy. Local comedians share their story. How Do You Feel?
Rob, today’s class was so much fun. How long have you been teaching?
This is my class No. 4, so almost a year now. I’ve been performing here for two years, and now one year of teaching. So I’ve been at DCH for almost three years.
Do you want to know what I took away from my entire experience at DCH so far? It’s when you said in our first class: “Don’t try to perform. You are here just friends, that came together to have some fun. So just have fun with it.” Ever since, that’s all I do here: just have fun.
I went to Chicago last fall for a 10-day workshop, and the first thing they said to us there was: “Whole point of this workshop is to have a good time. If you don’t have that, then you are doing it all wrong.” So, there’s no magic to this. All that we do, just have fun here. We all want to perform well. But the great thing about improv is that we can choose how we feel here, no matter what happens in real life.
We are in charge of our own feelings.
Yes, you are in control of it. You can make your own choice.
What about you, what is the major thing that you took away from improv during the entire time?
Bonding with people and making friends. People that I had a conversation with right after my very first class are still my close friends now. Even though we came from different backgrounds, we love the same thing.
I remember you once said: “We don’t do improv to make money.” That’s not what we are here for.
Yes. Some people think they will just come in, become a great performer, make a great income. That is not how it works.
Besides having fun, what is your end goal with this?
I love this place and the people here. This must be the first time in my life when I don’t really have an end goal. I just want to have as much fun as I can in this place. Hang out with my friends, put up a few shows, do festivals, meet new people. I am now taking sketch classes, to keep learning. I don’t like to stay still.
If you are not making a living at improv, then how do you make living?
I work in advertising.
It seems like you about achieved your goals with improv. How about your life goal?
I am struggling to commit to just one thing. I’d like to be the guy that makes a difference in something one day. I am still finding out what that thing is. I like change. And what is so cool about this place is that I can see people change, and I am happy to contribute to that.
You must know what your biggest wish is in this life. Your dream?
I want a waterfall of shoes. Hopefully some super rare sneakers.
Imagine that you can write a letter to future generations that will be opened and read 100 years from now. What message would you want to deliver to people of the future?
I would write a very poetic, heartfelt love letter to bacon double-cheese Whataburger and just express how I feel about it. And tell them, that if something in the world went wrong, it was from the moment of Whataburger going down and that they should not let anyone to tell them how their food should taste or how they should feel.
Are you from Dallas?
I was born in Louisiana, then I lived in Wisconsin, Arizona, Ohio, and Colorado, and now I can see myself living in Dallas for the rest of my life. I moved a lot while I was young. I played with the Globetrotters (basketball team/tricks show), and we went to visit and perform in 27 different countries back then. I am now going to travel to Singapore and Tokyo in a few weeks.
How did you end up at DCH?
Once I moved to Dallas, to be close to my family, two of my friends from N.Y. and L.A. told me to try improv here, so I did. And I loved it. I was 24 back then. I am now almost 27.
Your birthday is coming up in October. Do you have a birthday wish?
I want to see Star Wars at midnight in L.A. with my friends.
So I guess "Star Wars or Star Trek?" would be a rhetorical question then?
I do like Star Trek, but the answer is definitely Star Wars.
I’ve learned a lot about you so far. If you were me, what question would you like me to ask you?
I would like you to ask me, what advice would I give to someone who just signed up for improv classes or is wondering if they should do so. I would tell them to stop coming up with excuses. There’s no risk. The worst thing that might ever happen is that you won’t like it. But if you do like it, the reward is tremendous.
Well, I think that some are just afraid to be embarrassed. Even though, you come here to be laughed at...
Being embarrassed is not fun. Everyone likes to be funny, but no one wants to take a risk. But no one was super great at anything for the first time. Here at DCH, you should know that your teammates are always holding your back. Knowing that you are surrounded by people that support you and care about you, isn’t that great?
That is awesome. And thank you for such a great conversation.
Thank you, and keep being bold in class.
You got it.
Iryna Spitzer is a writer and improviser. She is currently in Level 2 at DCH. Besides comedy, she likes drama (to balance it out), also flowers, children, animals, and world peace!