Scott Hinners is a member of new Philly Improv Theater House Team codenamed Shadowfax. They make their debut tonight at the Shubin Theater.
How and why did you get into comedy? I don’t look at is getting into comedy as much as finding different outlets to get the random ideas in my head to others for public enjoyment/scrutiny. More specifically, I was drawn into improv during high school with a great teacher and phenomenal group of improvisors. Improv feels like the purest form of comedy and I can’t get enough of it.
How would you describe your style as a comedian? What influences and factors do you think contribute to that? I like to think of myself as more observational and deeply appreciate when things are very clever. I find myself to be an analytical person in my everyday life which is probably the cause of the conceptual approach i take to comedy.
Do you have a favorite show or venue you like to perform at? What about it makes it fun or special for you? No favorites, but improv begs to be on intimate stages where there’s little to no space between performers and audience.
Do you have a single favorite moment in Philly comedy or one that stands out? This question is kind of like picking your favorite Lego piece. One piece doesn’t really hold up against the sum of the whole. Like when you build a giant Lego space fortress and you tell your sister not to touch it, but then she does, but says it was an accident and now those cool orange glowy saws are missing and even if you said those saws are your favorite piece they don’t matter as much as when they were being used by your Lego space patrol to ward of invading robots. So I’d have to say no.
Do you have any sort of creative process that you use with your writing or your performance? Writing is more conceptual for me – I like to periodically write down premises or ideas and revisit them. With Improv I think most people, myself included, are more random and find the fun of going with the first thought and seeing it through.
What is it about improv (or stand-up, or sketch, whatever you do…) that draws you to it? I mentioned earlier that I find Improv to be a very pure form of comedy. It is likely the purest form. So I’m drawn to this idea that comedy can be unearthed from our collective brains and put out there for others to see, before it has time to be refined and analyzed and watered down. Improv feels much more like real life, which i think is its universal appeal. Its a force I want to be a part of, as both performer and audience.
Do you have any favorite performers in the Philly scene? Why are they your favorites? Philly has lots of talented performers, each with their own skills and wonderful peculiarities.
Do you have any bad experiences doing comedy that you can share? A particularly bad bombing or even an entire show gone haywire? Negatory. Perhaps another benefit of improv is the ability to transform “bad comedy” into something we can all laugh at.
What do you think the Philly comedy scene needs to continue to grow? Thats a real tough issue to tackle. Economic theory would suggest there’s just not enough Raw resources in Philly as they tend to migrate towards New York. Demand doesn’t seem very high either here (Everyone’s spending money on their favorite sports team). I think if the Phillies suddenly vanished and there was a strong marketing push, we’d see a big growth in the comedy sector.
Do you have any personal goals for the future as you continue to perform comedy? No real goals. Not looking to pursue it as a career, just as a great creative outlet and a way of life.