I’ve worked on many podcasts and been given the opportunity to produce a couple of shows that you should definitely check out. First up is The Muppets, which is a short-form improv show using puppets and puppetry. If you just happen to be in the New York area, you can audition for the show during a Friday night performance right before The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In September, the show will be touring in Australia, Mexico, Denmark, Italy, and Japan.
One of the things that makes The Muppets work is that it’s kind of a hybrid between performance and sketch comedy. That’s why it’s so accessible to a lot of people. You can watch a performance where an actual puppet character talks with you the whole time. In the show, each character is also part of a broader ensemble and has a voice.
For an improviser to be able to write to a different cast member, they need to think about all the actors in the group. So you need to have all of the actors in your mind, including the puppeteers.
To answer: a really great part-time job in performance is to do research of improv and the voice, the way voice actors work, the ways that they perform. The main thing is to understand how all the pieces relate to each other. For me, it’s about all the voices, how they go together, who says what, which means how do you create all of this in a way that makes sense and also creates a whole story with different characters.
I do a lot of improv, and one of the things I like is that it really forces me to think about everything at once. Because the more I think about it, the more I get immersed and involved in the performance.
Then, once I finish up, I will have a lot of sketches which is a really good way to practice your craft and the other parts of a podcast.
How much do you read other people’s scripts?
I read scripts and I try not to be too rigid. For example, I read a script for “Citizen Koch,” which is a sketch comedy show. My co-producer, David Lee (who just produced “Laughing in the Dark”) and the writer, Sam Gold, did a sketch and they just wrote the whole thing, so I just listened to it to start doing the rest.
After I finished it, I had a great time listening to the