Performer of the Month: Mike Maiella

Each month, Dallas Comedy House highlights an individual nominated by their peers as Performer Of The Month. To nominate someone for next month’s Performer of the Month, simply fill out this form.

The March 2019 Performer of the Month is the incomparable, Mike Maiella!

POTM Mike.jpg

Here are a few words from the individual that nominated Mike for Performer Of The Month:

“Mike is an all-star improv performer and instructor. It’s inspiring to see him start over from the bottom to take sketch classes. He’s just so fun to watch!”

Mike Maiella acted in college and did some improv and one embarrassing student film.  After moving back to Dallas, he started taking improv classes at DCH in 2011. Mike feels extremely fortunate to continue to have the opportunity to teach and perform with so many talented people at DCH. You can catch him in the improv troupes: Roadside Couch, Age Appropriate, Sauce Age, and Scuba Pudding, Jr. You can also catch him in his Level 3 Sketch Showcase on March 19th and March 24th.

Let’s get to know him a little better:

What was your first exposure to DCH?

Like the first show I saw at DCH?  The first one I remember seeing was Kyle Austin and Andrew Hamer’s two-person show.  I remember being blown away by how fast and funny they were. I really admire that kind of energy on stage.

What performers influenced you the most? Both locally and on a broader scale.

Everyone I saw in shows my first year at DCH influenced me in some way, but especially Kyle Austin, Landon Kirksey, and Clifton Hall.  Outside of DCH, I would say all the big people in SNL when I was in high school and college, especially Will Ferrell, Will Forte, Tina Fey, and Molly Shannon.  Lots of big, fun characters. When I was a kid, I loved the old Marx Brothers movie; just really ridiculous, physical comedy with lots of great one-liners. 

You are a seasoned performer and instructor of improv? You're currently taking Level 3 Sketch - why did you decide to jump into sketch?

After doing improv for 7 years, I wanted a new challenge.  I've done scripted acting, but I’ve never written my own scenes.  A lot of performers I respect write sketches, so I wanted to see if I could develop that skill.

What's one of your favorite moments/memories of being on stage at DCH?  

Oh, lots of fun memories.  One of my all-time favorites is getting to perform with Jaime Moyer and Kate Duffy in Roadside Couch at the Commerce Street location.  They were so fun and supportive. I think this may have been the same show where I had lost my voice and had to perform without saying a word the entire time.  That was a fun challenge and a good lesson in just shutting up.

What's the best piece of comedy advice you've gotten?

It's hard to pick one piece of advice.  I remember a coach telling me to start in the middle of the scene.  That definitely changed the way I was thinking about improv scenes. Don’t worry about explanation and exposition.  Just start in the middle of something that's already happening. This was the same coach who advised our group to be careful not to alienate the audience by going to inappropriate or offensive topics.  It made me think about the audience's experience, and how people go to improv or any comedy show to have fun and not feel offended. That's always stuck with me. Also, every practice with Kyle when he was coaching Ben and me with Age Appropriate.  I learned a lot from those practices that I still use, especially focusing on how the characters feel about each other at the top of the scene.

What's your favorite drink? This is a question to inspire people to buy you drinks.

Revolver Blood & Honey

Remember to nominate someone for next month’s Performer of the Month by simply filling out this form.