Troupe Talk: Funny Scenez

Funny Scenez Troupe Talk is back this week, and since most audiences come out to improv to see Funny Scenes, I thought I would interview house team, Funny SceneZ. Yes. That’s right. It’s with a Z. Deal with it.

Thanks for coming to the interview wearing t-shirts with pictures on them like I asked, Funny Scenez! Can you tell our readers what is on each of your t-shirts? Tyler: A pitcher of tea. It's a TEA shirt. Lolol startin' off hot. Andrew: It's a poorly silk-screened image of a bag of Cheetos with "R.I.P." across the top and “Gone 2 Soon” along the bottom in Gothic script. Lauren: I'm wearing an Affliction shirt. Not like the shirts with wings on them, it's a picture of Nick Nolte's character Wade Whitehouse in the 1997 film Affliction. Ravi: Mine’s a picture of Lauren’s Nick Nolte shirt. Michael: Mine’s a picture of me on a beach mid-air jump pose with the words “#why knot” written in the sand so I’ll always remember it’s OK to eat breakfast for dinner when at sea! Jason: I'm sitting here wearing one of those airbrushed shirts where it looks like I have a lady's body and I'm wearing a bikini and I've got big gazongas, the kind that parents like to embarrass their children with by wearing them at a beach and/or theme park. I wear it because it's long and covers my entire disgusting body.

Sweet shirts. So, how long have you been together doing "Funny Scenes/z"? Where’d you meet? Tyler: I believe it was back in October. I was in Level 5 and itching to play. I saw the rest of these scrubs and thought they'd make me look good, so I assembled everybody and we signed up for King of the mountain. Won five in a row. Such an honor to play and be friends with these guys. Luv u bb's <3 Ravi: I was selling my wares at a bazaar in Istanbul, when these guys drugged me and threw me into a van and said, “you will do comedy!” Crazy story, right? Please help me get back to my wife and kids. Real answer: I’ve known Tyler and Lauren for a few years through stand-up, and we started doing improv around the same time. I went through Levels 3-5 of improv with Andrew, and I TA’d Jason’s Level 5 class. I didn’t know Michael, but I’d seen him perform a few times with Blacklyst and he was very funny. Andrew: I guess we're in like our second trimester. Tyler got us all together under the pretense that we would be able to do scenes that were funny. Lauren: Six months. At DCH. Michael: Met everyone at the DCH. Jason: We’ve been together for less than a year. We met because Tyler had seen all of us performing separately and thought we’d be a good fit together. He was, and still is, the Nick Fury to our Avengers. In terms of which of the Avengers we each are, which is not a question you asked but one I am prepared to answer anyway: · Andrew – Tony Stark/Iron Man

· Lauren – Thor

· Michael – Steve Rogers/Captain America

· Ravi - Bruce Banner/The Hulk

· Tyler – Hawkeye (and also the aforementioned Nick Fury, played by the incomparable Sam Jackson)

· And I am of course Black Widow, because I’m a bangin’ babe lol ;)

I’m impressed with your over-achiever attitude, Jason. Speaking of over-achieving descriptions of your team, what popular song describes your general vibe? Ravi: “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel Lauren: “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel Tyler: "Great Improv Troupe With Really Good Vibes" by Billy Joel Armstrong Andrew: “There Ain’t No Shame in Being a Witness” by Billy Joelhova Osteen Michael: “This Must be the Place” by Talking Heads Jason: “Rock and Roll McDonalds” by Wesley Willis Wait, you said popular song. Uh oh, I don’t know any popular recorded music. Shit, gotta think, gotta think. Ummmmmmmm. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Ummmm. Uhhhhhh. "Rock and Roll McDonalds" by Wesley Willis. I’m sorry, it’s the only song I know.

OK, let’s talk improv. What’s your favorite improv tool to apply in your real life? Tyler: Sweep edits. I run past things to make it stop all the time. Andrew: Callbacks. My voicemail has never been emptier. Lauren: Listening errors. Ravi: Hacksaw. Real answer: Not being afraid to put an idea out there. I write a lot at work, so instead of feeling like I need fully formed ideas before typing them out, I type out the first ideas I have, which gives me something to build on. Michael: Space work. Jason: I like to use an improv cell phone to pretend that I’m talking to someone on the phone, even when I’m not, because I hate talking to people in day-to-day life. …...Wait, I think I might be misinterpreting your question. Quick, Jason, think! What could this question mean? Uhhhhhhhhhhh. Ummmm. Uhhhhhh. “Rock and Roll McDonalds” by Wesley Willis. Am I doing this right? Please help me, I’m scared.

Before you leave, tell us a secret. Ravi: Disco didn’t die. It faked its death and is living comfortably in Saugus, Massachusetts. Andrew: I once open-horse kissed a mouth. Lauren: I voted for Dukakis. Olympia Dukakis. Tyler: *rips off flesh mask to reveal a reptilian face* *Speaks in alien tongue something that loosely translates to "I'm boy King of lizard world."* Michael: I’ve never driven a snowmobile! Weird! Jason: Here’s a secret: That t-shirt I said I was wearing way up at the top? I’m not wearing a t-shirt; that rockin’ bikini bod is actually my body. I don’t want to make people too jealous (if they’re a lady) or all horned up (if they’re a bro) so I claim it’s just a t-shirt, but the fact is that I have a beautiful body, and I think now is the time I claim it as my own. So, there you go, world. This smokin’ hot beach bod isn’t a t-shirt at all. It’s mine, all thanks to Trimspa. (RIP Anna Nicole Smith.)

Tori Oman is a level three student at DCH. She’s trained and performed with the Second City and iO in L.A. and Chicago. Favorite pastimes include being irrationally competitive at Monopoly, eating an apple in every country she’s traveled to, and being the sole person on this planet that thinks Necco Wafers are a delicious candy choice.