Troupe Talk: Manick

Manick The Dallas Comedy House is having a Hallmark moment, y'all—and we aren’t just talking about the extra bathroom space at the new theater. There’s a delightful duo celebrating a pretty big milestone and Troupe Talk wants to celebrate. Happy five-year anniversary Manick—we’re glad you are you.

Five years of Manick existence! That’s a long time! Name five other things that you’ve each done for at least five years. Nick: Hmm. Been alive? Done improv? Waited for the next Game of Thrones book? I was in school for like 17 years of my life. Does that count? Honestly, there isn’t much else I’ve done consistently for five years. This is the longest committed relationship of any kind I’ve ever had. Amanda: I’ve been married twice. I have four kids now. And I’m still scared of standard poodles. I’m kidding about the poodles. Like Nick, this is by far the longest committed relationship of any kind I’ve ever had.

How does five years of doing a two-man show with someone feel? Nick: Doing a two-man show with someone is weirdly intimate yet somehow also not intimate at all. Doing it for five years doesn’t change that. I think it was Joe Bill that told us one time that there are multiple stages in the evolution and growth of a two-man show, one of which is where the two improvisers have played together so long and know each other’s tendencies so well that they just start trying to surprise one another. It’s nice to be at that point with someone and know that you can do that and still put on a good show. Amanda: It’s fun. And challenging. We are really different people off stage, but we really get along on stage. At least we do now. Someone asked a couple of years ago after a show (I think it was Terry Catlett) if we were friends. That sounded so ridiculous to me. Of COURSE we were friends. But he said it didn’t seem like we were on stage. I think that changed our show quite a bit when we made a conscious effort to remember we are friends off stage, so we can be friends on stage, too.

manickWhat do you appreciate about each other as improvisers? Nick: As an improviser, I feel I’m much better at playing with other people’s ideas than I am at coming up with my own. Amanda is constantly feeding me fun stuff to play with. She also puts up with me trying to be more dramatic on stage or trying non-comedic ideas and is willing to go along with them. And, she’s always willing to have fun. Also, she’s really good at staying on her side of the stage. Amanda: I think Nick and I often play the straight man in our other troupes. I think that’s why our shows were shaky the first year. Neither of us were used to being the “move makers” in a show, because we were always there to ground others and set them up for the laughs. But I know Nick very well now, and I trust him 110 percent with whatever move he makes on stage. I love seeing him play absurd and getting to support those characters he plays that you wouldn’t normally see him play in another troupe. And I’m always so thankful when he supports me playing absurd roles. I think I get to play the most absurd, f’d up characters when I’m with Nick. If you’re reading this from space, Nick...THANK YOU!

What famous duo do you most relate to? Why? Amanda: Option A: The Cat in the Hat. Cats and hats don’t really make sense together, but people still tolerate them and celebrate their weirdness. Also, once we’re about halfway through those bottles of champagne during our shows this weekend, we might wreak havoc on stage like Thing One and Thing Two. Option 2: The Good Guys with Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks. Great show, it just never really got the credit it deserved. Nick: This is a tough one. Maybe the raccoon and the alligator from that picture of a raccoon riding an alligator that was going around the Internet like a week ago? Because whatever fame they had was fleeting, and ultimately they will only be remembered in the backs of the minds of a very few. But people enjoyed seeing them in that moment.

Thank each other for five years of awesomeness in only song lyrics. Nick: I think 2 Chainz said it best:

Mustard on the beat, ho! I'm different, yeah I'm different I'm different, yeah I'm different I'm different, yeah I'm different Pull up to the scene with my ceiling missing Pull up to the scene with my ceiling missing Pull up to the scene with my ceiling missing Pull up to the scene with my ceiling missing Middle finger up to my competition I'm different, yeah I'm different I'm different, yeah I'm different I'm different, yeah I'm different Pull up to the scene with my ceiling missing

Amanda: To the tune of “Salute Your Shorts”

We sit. We talk. We laugh and play. We go on make believe trips. We play the same five characters without any real scripts. I'm so thankful that on stage you never did really fart, But if you did you hid it well and that really warms my heart.

Now all of a sudden we have five years of fun show memories, And we've made them in three or four different cities. (IDK, you do the math) Nick it's okay if you have gas and you think you have to fart, I'll just make it part of the show somehow and now a rhyming word let's try TART!


Come celebrate Manick's fifth anniversary on Saturday, June 27. Also see them perform July 3, July 10, and August 22. All shows at the Dallas Comedy House.

Tori Oman is a Level Four 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.