Improvise Till You Make It!

#2: Yes, And...with Brian Kapell

An episode of Improvise Till You Make It!

By Henri and Blake
About
Henri and Blake believe Improv has the power to change lives, maybe even the world, and as they'll find out on "Improvise Till You Make It!", there is no shortage of improvisors out there who agree with them!

Through compelling, personal, and often tragically funny interviews, Henri and Blake discover how The Improv Mindset has changed the lives of their talented guest improvisors, while using these conversations as fuel for some intermittent improv comedy as hilarious as it is poignant.

Curious about their workshops, team-buildings, classes, or shows? Follow them on insta: @henriandblake
More places to listen
Henri and Blake believe Improv has the power to change lives, maybe even the world, and as they'll find out on "Improvise Till You Make It!", there is no shortage of improvisors out there who agree with them!

Through compelling, personal, and often tragically funny interviews, Henri and Blake discover how The Improv Mindset has changed the lives of their talented guest improvisors, while using these conversations as fuel for some intermittent improv comedy as hilarious as it is poignant.

Curious about their workshops, team-buildings, classes, or shows? Follow them on insta: @henriandblake
www.henriandblake.com

More places to listen

#13.1: Find Your Fun with Jake Jabbour and Josh Simpson
This is a very special episode full of FIRSTS for "Improvise Till You Make It!" In our first ever transatlantic (or transpacific, depending on how you look at it) podcast recording, we talk for the first time with not one, but TWO amazing improvisors, and it's an episode so full of juicy insights and hilarious improv, we had to break it into our first ever TWO PART episode!   We were lucky enough to get to talk with Jake Jabbour and Josh Simpson, two L.A. Based improvisors with improv credentials as impressive as they get and a hilarious improv podcast to match. Jake and Josh perform and teach independently and at the UCB Theater in L.A., and on their weekly Improv Podcast, The Meat Improv, which has been running for almost three years, they talk and improvise with some of the worlds greatest names in improv.   After indulging us with the backstory of their improv-duo, we pick Jake and Josh's brains on what it means to "Find Your Fun" in an improv scene, and how we can take the agency we have as improvisors onstage into our lives in order to improve the relationships we have to boredom.   Our conversations lead us to a cabin in the woods where a disgruntled father can't get over the freeloading deer who are distracting him from Christmas dinner with his family, and to a research center where we find out not only that boredom sets in quickly, but when it does it makes people to some incredibly bizarre things.   Follow, like, and subscribe to Jake and Josh's hilarious improv podcast, The Meat Improv, available anywhere you get your podcasts. If you happen to be in L.A., check out Jake's harold team, "Bitchin," a harold team, and his late night talk show, "We're Gross with Gilly." Check out Josh's website for all things Josh Simpson Related.  You can also support Jake and Josh's Patreon, and for just $5, you get access to an extra podcast episode each week called "The Potatoes" where Jake and Josh talk Improv shop and share more of their improv thoughts, tips, tricks, and techniques. If you're interested in booking these two amazing performers for workshops, classes, or to come teach at a festival near you, they are ready and willing to jump on a plane! Just send them an email at themeatimprov[at]gmail[dot]com.   As always, thanks for listening, and be sure to follow us on instagram at @henriandblake for a sneak peek of the next episode of "Improvise Till You Make It!" and to keep posted on all the exciting ways we continue to spread the improv mindset.
50:41
December 3, 2019
#11: Seek Common Ground with Andrea Bjork
Andrea Björk (rhymes with jerk) is a designer, animator, comedian, improvisor, podcaster, and writer whose career path has been as unique as her nationality (she's one of only 330,00 Icelandic people on the planet!) Her humor and wit coupled with her eloquence and experience behind the mic make for one of the most informative and easy to edit episodes of our podcast yet!   Whether onstage as an improvisor or offstage navigating clients' needs as a freelancer, she understands the immense value of seeking common ground to make sure everyone is on the same page, and to mitigate conflicts by aligning everyone's basic desires and using that as a platform for moving forward. We talk about the ways in which we can seek common ground by dropping our egos and our own ideas when appropriate, how to give feedback in a way that won't make people hate you, and what it means to stop taking things personally.   Our conversation takes us into Ancient Rome where two battling gladiators, in an effort to avoid killing each other, invent modern sports, and to a French battlefield where the Magical Arrow of Effective Feedback helps end a century-long war.   Andrea is one of Berlin's most active comedians, and you can find her playing with ComedyShorts Berlin, on the CCB House Harold Team Funf Dollar, and in her Late-Night Day Time Talk Show, It's That Time of the Month. She also runs a monthly Character Open Mic called "The Queen's Court," and for the few people out there who speak Icelandic and haven't already heard of it, she has a weekly podcast, BioTvio, which is set to review every Icelandic film ever made. Follow her on Instagram and on Twitter to stay up to date with everything she's doing!  As always, thanks for listening, and be sure to follow us on instagram at @henriandblake for a sneak peek of the next episode of "Improvise Till You Make It!" and to keep posted on all the exciting ways we continue to spread the improv mindset.
1:01:07
November 26, 2019
#10: Listen and Support with Blake Worrell
Blake Worrell, also known as "Big Blake" in this neck of the woods, is a rapper, producer, director, and award winning filmmaker whose striking stature and radiating charisma only serve to further highlight his soft spoken nature and beguiling kind-heartedness. He holds a very dear part in our own improv history as the driving force behind the creation of our beloved Skeleton Brains, the improv team we've been rehearsing and performing with for over two years now.   Together we dive into what it means to listen and support our scene partners on stage, and how doing the same in real life can promote learning, laughter, and conflict resolution. We explore the blocks people have to listening to strongly differing opinions and tactics for circumventing those blocks, as well as what might be needed to bring the world together in a time of tension.   If that's not enthralling enough for you, brace yourself for what is without a doubt the strangest, most bizarre, and possibly funniest improv we've done on the show to date. We welcome you into my bedroom for a rousing episode of the game show, "Guess How Much My Shit Is Worth," where the stakes are has high as the prizes are valueless, before peeking into the future of an aging Tom Cruise via a documentary where the only person who doesn't understand he's on camera is Tom himself.   To check out Blake Worrell's films and discography, visit his website at www.blakeworrell.com, and follow him on instagram at @blakeworrell to stay up to date on all of his latest projects. As always, thanks for listening, and be sure to follow us on instagram at @henriandblake for a sneak peek of the next episode of "Improvise Till You Make It!" and to keep posted on all the exciting ways we continue to spread the improv mindset.
49:51
November 19, 2019
#9: Make Everyone Else Look Good with Justin Credible
Justin Credible, a man who lives life with the pedal well and truly to the metal, is perhaps the personification of the the concept of, "Yes, And..." He began his lifelong career in the film industry as a child actor, and has at some point or another performed just about every job required on a film set, from gripping to directing, from writing to casting.   Of late he has found himself working more and more as a producer not only because it makes it easier to hire himself directly in other roles, an admission delivered without a single hint of irony, but also because it is a position particularly well suited to a person whose passion in life "is providing opportunities to talented people." Whether on the improv stage or in life, we discuss the ways in which focusing on making others look good can only benefit us, especially if what Justin says is true: success resides in the proximity of success.   Throughout our conversations, we zig and zag in and out of improv worlds where restaurant customers are happy to be their own waiters, where cops make it their mission to prevent burglars from committing fashion crimes, and where the most sought after place at a hopping club is in the line outside of it.  Justin Credible is involved in more projects than we could possibly list here, so be sure to follow him on instagram at @bejustincredible, and check out his Tedx Talk all about the power of "Yes, Anding," life. As always, thanks for listening, and be sure to follow us on instagram at @henriandblake for a sneak peek of the next episode of "Improvise Till You Make It!" and to keep posted on all the exciting ways we continue to spread the improv mindset.
57:32
November 12, 2019
#8: Focus on Relationships with Jess Rohmann
Soon-to-be-Dr. Jess Rohman is an epidemiologist who believes as much in the value of improv as she does in the need for understanding and controlling the spread of disease, and even brings improv to the lecture hall as a tool for teaching her students through role play.   Her experience on-stage as an improvisor and off-stage as a scientist carefully navigating the incredibly complex world of scientific research have led her to the conclusion that relationships drive absolutely everything we do. Whether for making our characters' interactions relatable to an audience or for encouraging colleagues to cross-pollinate ideas and unlock "Eureka!" moments over pizza and cocktails, we explore the benefits of putting our relationships first, and strategies for creating environments where we focus on how we relate to one another in order to maximize what we achieve together.   Along the way, we encounter scientists engaged in a CSI style investigation into who is actually controlling the university's purse strings and what they're doing with the money, and learn about new-age methods for measuring success in a mathematics department whose Dean has unwittingly become part of an experiment himself. Jess Rohman runs an Epidemiological Methods Colloquium for anyone interested in learning more about what Berlin's epidemiological society is actively involved in. Be sure to follow her on twitter at @JLRohmann where she tweets about science and improv. When she's not busy finishing up her Ph.D, You'll find her on an improv stage near you playing with the hilarious ComedyShorts Berlin. As always, thanks for listening, and be sure to follow us on instagram at @henriandblake for a sneak peek of the next episode of "Improvise Till You Make It!" and to keep posted on all the exciting ways we continue to spread the improv mindset.
58:55
November 5, 2019
#7: Assume the Best with Carl Clancy
Carl Clancy's 5 years in Berlin have been starkly divided into two parts: pre-improv and post-improv. What started out as the typical hedonist's homecoming experienced by most new Berliner's, his lifestyle took a drastic turn when he discovered improv and simultaneously discovered he could go to sleep every night of the week and still enjoy his life. With no performance experience to speak of before he began doing Improv, nowadays little else occupies his thoughts.   Through anecdotes both personal and poignant, Carl explores with us the need both on-stage and off-stage for Assuming the Best, a topic on his mind more and more as, in his own words, "the world descends into fascism, essentially." Whether it's a fellow improvisor who makes a tasteless joke, or a family member who takes a stand on the opposite side of an explosive moral issue, we discuss the powerful effect presuming people are fundamentally good and capable of change can have on opening the door to productive dialogue, and thus on our ability to live, learn, and laugh together.   In the midst of our conversation, we spy on a motley crew of would-be bank robbers whose diverse yet equally thick accents prevent them from carrying out their meticulously laid plan before we're whisked into the studio audience of the defunct game show, The Dating Game, where a giddy bachelorette must choose between 3 heroic contenders, all vying for her affection.   As one of Berlin's most active improvisors, there are not shortage of opportunities to catch Carl on a stage near you. Check out his award winning improv duo, Carl Me Maybe, every month at their fantastic Improv Show/Jam at 800a in Wedding. He can also be seen performing on the CCB House Harold Team, People System, as well as with ComedyShorts Berlin, and countless other sketch and comedy shows throughout the city. Follow his Facebook Page, Carl Clancy Comedy, to keep up to date on all of his comedy escapades. As always, thanks for listening, and be sure to follow us on instagram at @henriandblake for a sneak peek of the next episode of "Improvise Till You Make It!" and to keep posted on all the exciting ways we continue to spread the improv mindset.
50:58
October 29, 2019
#6: Create a Safe Space with Inbal Lori
Inbal Lori, whose self-proclaimed very small head precludes her from wearing literal hats, nevertheless wears many metaphorical ones as an actress, writer, and improvisor. Like so many immigrants who settle here, her love affair with Berlin started as nothing more than a quick visit. She reveals some of the things that she loves most about this charged city before turning this podcast completely on its head in what is without a doubt our most dangerous episode yet.   In a very unexpected twist, Inbal blows our notion of safe spaces away, and instead speaks of the role, potentially the necessity, of outright danger in theatre, and it's power to move people to tears of joy, as well as sadness. In a dialogue as hilarious as it is explosive, we explore what it means to create a safe space, how to make sure people feel empowered to give it their all, and how to safely push the envelope to touch people while having them wriggling in their seats.    We crank the danger up several notches when we venture backstage on opening night to find a director who, after encouraging his lead actors to speak their minds, gets caught up in a form of self-expression which more closely resembles a hostage situation, and leave the notion of safe spaces far behind in the board meeting of a no-frills company down on its luck whose board members are being coaxed away from the ledges with the help of adorable bobbleheads.  And in case our listeners aren't on the edge of their seats by the end of our conversation, we wrap the show up with an electric and X-rated round of "Mind Meld," racing against the clock to finish the game before our recorder runs out of recording time.  Inbal's improv workshops for corporate teams and individuals, as well as theatre groups and actors of all levels, are designed to maximize creative development. When she's not busy creating safe spaces in which for her clients to learn, grow, and connect, she's on stages all across Berlin, as well as the whole of Europe. Check out her website, inballori.com, to find out more about her workshops, and where you can see her play next! As always, thanks for listening, and be sure to follow us on instagram at @henriandblake for a sneak peek of the next episode of "Improvise Till You Make It!" and to keep posted on all the exciting ways we continue to spread the improv mindset.
57:38
October 22, 2019
#5: Relate to the World through Empathy with Jakob Wagner
Jakob Wagner, man of many hats, many deals, and many talents, brings this episode to life with his skills as an improvisor, actor, rapper, comedian, and storyteller as he shares and overshares about his uranium-like emotional antennae (you read that correctly), and his one-and-only conspiracy theory.    We get into the nitty gritty of what empathy means, when and how to wield it, and whether, as Swiss-German psychoanalyst Dr. Arno Gruen suggests, empathy has the power to save the world. Empathy's potential as a global force for good notwithstanding, the lives of empaths are both helped and hindered by their ability to tap into the emotional experience of others, as we find out on an episode which might otherwise be entitled, "Neurotic White Men."  To cap the show off, we'll put our rapping, rhyming, and beat-boxing skills to the test in an epic game of "Beastie Rap." Our neurosis bring us deep into the rage-fueled downward spiral of a pair of casting directors at odds with the actors who dare to take liberties with the script, and soaring into the stratosphere on the high of a Krav Maga expert who, after chancing upon a mega-celebrity and personal hero, is given the chance to show off his fighting skills to the whole world.   You'll find Jakob playing on improv teams across Berlin, including the CCB Harold Team, People System, which plays every other Friday at the Comedy Cafe Berlin.  Check out his rap group, PuppetMastaz, and their latest record, Sweet Sugar Rush, on Spotify and anywhere else you get your music, and if you happen to be in France, be sure to see the PuppetMastaz live for some hip hop mayhem incited by a group of rapping puppets, bursting at their literal seams with rhymes, wit, and polyurethane. As always, thanks for listening, and be sure to follow us on instagram at @henriandblake for a sneak peek of the next episode of "Improvise Till You Make It!" and to keep posted on all the exciting ways we continue to spread the improv mindset.
57:18
October 15, 2019
#4: Trust Yourself and Others with Matilde Keizer
Matilde Keizer, a cornerstone of the English improv scene in Berlin, wears as many hats as she has nationalities. Writer, actor, impovisor, teacher, coach, chef, as well as Comedy Cafe Berlin's greatest cheerleader and ally, she's the epitome of, as she puts it, "The Super Cool Fun Millennial Hyphenate Life."    After surprising us with the shockingly negligible impact of her multi-cultural background on her family's holiday traditions, we dive into what it means to trust oneself and others on an improv stage, and explore the effects of living life with the same kind of unbiased openness. Is such blind trust naive? Maybe. Does it have powerful implications for how we can live with ourselves and others? Definitely.    The conduits of our conversation draw us deep into a world where the astoundingly accurate analyses of a "diner-stool psychologist" leave a few late-night patrons with their jaws on the floor, and into the belly of a start-up office where the feedback culture is as open and honest as it is steeped in poetic license before we bring the episode to a close with a rousing game of "Word Express." Keep up with all of Matilde's goings-on via her facebook page (and go ahead and like it while you're there!), and come on down to Comedy Cafe Berlin, where you can enjoy a Matilde-inspired grilled cheese sandwich while watching her perform with one of her many improv teams, including It's That Time of the Month, People System, Grill Talk, and Cuter Than Hedgehogs. As always, thanks for listening, and be sure to follow us on instagram at @henriandblake for a sneak peek of the next episode of "Improvise Till You Make It!" and to keep posted on all the exciting ways we continue to spread the improv mindset.
55:19
October 8, 2019
#3: The Base Reality with Gaston Stabiszewski
Gaston Stabiszewski (pronounced stah-bih-shev'-ski) is a writer, actor, director, filmmaker, improvisor, and musician, or, as the art world refers to such Jacks-and-Jills-of-all-trades, a total Gaston.  Fresh off the back of an award-winning trip to Paleochora Lost World Short Film Festival where his short film Luftholen - Take a Breath picked up the award for best casting, a tanned Gaston sits to muse with us on the relevance of The Base Reality. After a riling debate about what precious items he'd scurry to save should his apartment suddenly catch fire, Gaston muses with us on the relevance of The Base Reality (the Who? What? Where? of an improv scene) in the real world. The conversation takes a turn to the political as we take The Base Reality off stage and see how it applies to parties, relationships, and issues of immigration and climate change.  Our most serious episode yet is nonetheless lightened by the absurdity of improv scenes where a campaigning politician wants to keep everyone, including his pizza delivery guy, in the dark about everything, and where a Berliner desperate to find an apartment must navigate the ins-and-outs of living with roomies who are literally from beyond this world. And if that doesn't sound silly enough, wait till you hear us all bust a flow in one of our favorite improv games, "Bad Rap." Check out gastonstabiszewski.com for all things Gaston Stabiszewski related, including his films and shorts, and be sure to find him playing on an improv stage near you with his improv troupes Skeleton Brains, Fünfdollar, and ComedyShorts Berlin. As always, thanks for listening, and be sure to follow us on instagram at @henriandblake for a sneak peek of the next episode of "Improvise Till You Make It!" and to keep posted on all the exciting ways we continue to spread the improv mindset.
50:53
October 1, 2019
#2: Yes, And...with Brian Kapell
This week we explore the concept of "Yes, And..." with actor, director, instructor, improvisor, and general ray of sunshine Brian Kapell. To say Brian is an experienced improvisor is as much an understatement as saying he's a really friendly guy. He's a former executive director of ComedySportz, a global network of companies that transform the world using improvisation, and with over 35 years of improv under his belt, he lives the improv mindset with every breath, punctuating his conversation with arguably the world's most infectious laugh. As he regales us with tales of his journey into improv, a sojourn with tragic origins and thought-provoking if galvanizing milestones, we learn how Brian uses "Yes, And..." to propel himself from one life event to the next, and how we can all use it to overcome, maybe even enjoy, the challenges and struggles life throws at us. Along the way, we'll travel to Improv universes where tennis grand-slams are gladiatorial events, and where masters discipline their servants by making them kings and queens for a day. Brian Kapell is the director of ComedyShorts Berlin which features improvisors from twelve countries who put on a fun, fast-paced, comedy show where two teams compete for comedy glory in a fully improvised performance, and the audience decides who wins! ComedyShorts Berlin performs on an improv stage every week at either 800A or Comedy Cafe Berlin. As always, thanks for listening, and be sure to follow us on instagram at @henriandblake for a sneak peek of the next episode of "Improvise Till You Make It!" and to keep posted on all the exciting ways we continue to spread the improv mindset.
51:24
September 24, 2019
#1: Trust with Julia Joubert
Julia Joubert is a journalist, broadcaster, improvisor, and podcaster who's podcast, What's the Mate?, has become a magnet for gathering the best and brightest of Berlin's thriving English improv scene. After a riveting discussion about our wardrobe choices for the kinky Berlin party we attended the night before this episode's recording, Julia explores with us what trust means both on-and-off the improv stage, both intra-and-inter-personally, and the importance of creating and fostering environments where trust is at the foundation of everything.  Our conversations lead us to some uncharted improv territories and beyond where perfect strangers reveal their deepest, darkest secrets to a benevolent bus-stop-dweller, and where the indecision of a couple of top-dogs at Nasa cause chaos for the Astronauts relying on their commands, all capped of with a game of "Problem Solving" sure to put a smile on even the sourest face. Catch Julia Joubert every other week on stage in Berlin alongside Henri & Blake with their improv troupe Skeleton Brains, winners of the Comedy Cafe Berlin 2018 August Offensive, and be sure to listen to Julia's phenomenal improv podcast, What's the Mate?, which features world-class improvisors performing scenes inspired by weird and wonderful tales from the streets of Berlin. As always, thanks for listening, and be sure to follow us on instagram at @henriandblake for a sneak peek of the next episode of "Improvise Till You Make It!" and to keep posted on all the exciting ways we continue to spread the improv mindset.
54:31
September 17, 2019
Pilot: What is The Improv Mindset? with Kevin Napier
We're joined on our first episode by Kevin Napier, writer, improvisor, and performer extraordinaire!  Kevin shares with us what 18 years of improvising has taught him about The Improv Mindset, and how that relates to his super-normal super power.  His tales of how doing improv has influenced the way he lives his life lead us down an improv rabbit hole where we find a Master lecturing his apprentices on the importance of destroying your masterworks upon their completion, a few unlucky road-trippers practicing mindfulness to ensure they get the most out of their prison sentences, and some new-age astronauts in a space station surviving on nothing but good (and bad) vibes. You can find Kevin Napier improvising with pretty much every improvisor in Berlin, onstage at the wonderful Comedy Cafe Berlin, as well as every other week with his (and Henri & Blake's! ) Improv Group Skeleton Brains! As always, thanks for listening, and be sure to follow us on instagram at @henriandblake for a sneak peek of the next episode of "Improvise Till You Make It!" and to keep posted on all the exciting ways we continue to spread the improv mindset.
48:56
June 7, 2019
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