Upcoming Shows

  • October 1, 2014 8:00 pmComedy Masters
  • October 2, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 2, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • October 3, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • October 3, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • October 3, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • October 3, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 3, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 4, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • October 4, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • October 4, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
  • October 4, 2014 10:00 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • October 4, 2014 10:30 pmImprov Comedy: PHIT House Teams
  • October 8, 2014 8:00 pmComedy Masters
  • October 9, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 9, 2014 9:00 pmThe Comedy Attic
  • October 10, 2014 7:00 pmThe Comedy Works
  • October 10, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • October 10, 2014 8:00 pmThe N Crowd
  • October 10, 2014 8:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 10, 2014 9:00 pmFall Comedy Train Rek
  • October 10, 2014 9:30 pmFigment Theater: Sessions @ Studio C
  • October 11, 2014 7:30 pmComedy Sportz Philadelphia
  • October 11, 2014 8:00 pmCrazy Cow Comedy
  • October 11, 2014 9:30 pmThe Comedy Works
AEC v1.0.4

Ten Questions With…AJ Ortiz

AJ Ortiz is a member of new Philly Improv Theater House Team codenamed Shadowfax. They make their debut this Friday at the Shubin Theater.

How and why did you get into comedy? I got into comedy when i was in High school, there was a company that came to high schools in NYC to teach improv to students.

How would you describe your style as a comedian? What influences and factors do you think contribute to that?  I can say that i have many different styles that come from influences and factors in my everyday life. It gives me a variety of things to pull from when i’m on stage.

Do you have a favorite show or venue you like to perform at? What about it makes it fun or special for you? Favorite show that i would love to be a part of is “In The Heights” which is on tour now. For venue, I’d have to say anywhere in the world. Im not a big broadway person, but for a musical I would do it all the way. Really any venue would be fine with me

Do you have a single favorite moment in Philly comedy or one that stands out?  I don’t have a single favorite moment in Philly comedy. I travel from NYC to Philly once or twice a week to be with my team, so I haven’t seen much comedy here to pick my favorite yet.

Do you have any sort of creative process that you use with your writing or your performance? Writing new characters all the time (which is amazing way to start writing). I do a lot of writing for my one man shows and i’m always writing new ideas and anything that comes to mind.

What is it about improv (or stand-up, or sketch, whatever you do…) that draws you to it? Improv has changed my life so much, I don’t know where I would have ended up without it. Not a big fan of stand-up, but I don’t mine getting in front of a mic, in which case I would pick doing a one man show over stand-up. Sketch is something I’m looking forward to doing in the future.

Do you have any bad experiences doing comedy that you can share? A particularly bad bombing or even an entire show gone haywire?  Most of my bad experiences doing comedy have come from team members not bring on the same page.

Do you have any personal goals for the future as you continue to perform comedy? My personal goals are to learn from everybody and to become a great spanish/english teacher and improv coach as I continue doing comedy.

Ten Questions With…Matt Holmes

This Friday, Philly Improv Theater will debut two new House Teams, known until then by their codenames: Brandybuck and Shadowfax. All this week, we are going to bring you special editions of our 10 Questions With series profiling each of the new house team members. First, we will profile the directors of the groups. Shadowfax’s director, Kristen Schier, was already featured in a 10 Questions With column, which you can read HERE.

Brandybuck’s director, Matt Holmes is a member of Rare Bird Show and also performs as Matt&, where he pulls an unwitting stranger from the audience and performs a half hour show with them.

How and why did you get into comedy? In college, I tried it out as an experiment. I found that it really suited me.

How would you describe your style as a comedian? What influences and factors do you think contribute to that? I like weird stuff, smart stuff, and comedy that isn’t afraid to try something new. I like different formats and structures and techniques.

Do you have a favorite show or venue you like to perform at? What about it makes it fun or special for you? I think my favorite venue has been the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York. It’s in a basement under a grocery store, and there are pillars that kind of block certain views, but it’s big enough to have a large, energetic crowd engage you as a performer, and it’s not too big. With improv, you want to be close to the audience. I’ve performed in plenty of venues that were tight, and actually I’ve performed in a lot of rooms that were too big (and empty).

Do you have a single favorite moment in Philly comedy or one that stands out? I remember laughing so hard I cried at a Ponycoat show in the Troika improv competition. I remember some pretty interesting audience member partnerships for my show Matt& (a few drunk people, someone who left me alone on stage, having to improvise a love poem).

Do you have any sort of creative process that you use with your writing or your performance? Lately, I’ve started preparing less for my shows.  A lot of people get themselves riled up for improv, as though it’s a 40-yard-dash. I like being at a stage in my performing career where I’m confident enough to relax.

What is it about improv (or stand-up, or sketch, whatever you do…) that draws you to it? I think improv is pure. There’s no filter, no judgment, no limitations. You can do anything in it.

Do you have any favorite performers in the Philly scene? Why are they your favorites? I’m a big fan of Andrew Stanton, Scott Shepherd, Kristen Schier, and Amie Roe for their energy and improv skills, and I’m also excited to see more from a newer group of improvisers, like the new PHIT house teams. For stand-up, I like Brendan Kennedy’s unique style.

Do you have any bad experiences doing comedy that you can share, a particularly bad bombing or even an entire show gone haywire? I’ve done a couple shows for a ridiculously small audience, and I did a show where food orders were announced over a loudspeaker.

What do you think the Philly comedy scene needs to continue to grow? I’ve said for years that the next level for Philly comedy is having a home. If you look at the growth and easiness-for-the-audience that have orbited around PHIT, Helium, and other regular performances, it shows the importance of real estate. It’s been great to see the start of a community and the trajectory for the future.

Do you have any personal goals for the future as you continue to perform comedy? Again, I want to see more regular shows, different shows. I have some ideas, and I’m sure there’s a lot more floating around in people’s minds. I’d like to do a theatrical run of an improv show and get a theatrical review from the press. And I’m really interested in helping the next wave of performers.

Philly Comedy Round-up, Vol 16

In case you haven’t heard it yet, Doogie Horner was a featured guest on the Used Wigs Radio podcast recently. Listen to hear him talk about America’s Got Talent, Last Comic Standing, designing book covers, and other pop culture fun.

Comedians Derek Gaines, Chris Cotton and Monroe Martin have started their own podcast, CDM’s Midday Talk. Their first episode features guest Conrad Roth as the four talk about the death of Amy Winehouse, Captain America, and racism.

Last night the first round of Philly’s Phunniest Person Contest continued at Helium Comedy Club with Dave Terruso, Jim McGinty and Darnell Williams moving on the the semi-finals.

This Tuesday at Helium, the Bird Text Comedy Show will feature Steve Gerben, Paul Virzi, and the guys have teased the release of a sequel to their hit sketch The Real Househusbands of Philadelphia. You can see a promo for part two HERE.

There is a new casting call out for Down the Show. The Philly-themed sketch show is looking for two men and one woman who can play “older” as well as one younger man and one younger woman. Interested actors can contact Abigail Bruley.

This friday Philly Improv Theater will debut their two new house teams, currently codenamed Brandybuck and Shadowfax. The two teams will reveal their names and perform with Upright Citizen’s Brigade Harold Team Grandma’s Ashes at 8:30pm and 10:00pm Friday night. When the teams were first formed, we told you who made it – and all this week we will be featuring the new house team members in their own 10 Questions With…interviews.