Jen Curcio is a member of new Philly Improv Theater House Team codenamed Brandybuck. She is also a member of improv family The Hendersons.

How and why did you get into comedy? When I was a little kid I used to watch “In Living Color” and “Saturday Night Live” and say, “that’s what I want to do when I grow up.” As a kid I was fascinated by funny people like Jim Carrey, Cheri Oteri and Mike Myers. I was also painfully shy, and cracking jokes was a way for me to break the ice.

How would you describe your style as a comedian? What influences and factors do you think contribute to that? I try to make bold character choices and be physical. People watching is a great influence. It’s important to have a mental library of characteristics of people.

Do you have a favorite show or venue you like to perform at? What about it makes it fun or special for you? I have 2 favorite venues. The Shubin because there is a great energy there, for both the audience and performers. And Tabu because it is such an intimate setting.

Do you have a single favorite moment in Philly comedy or one that stands out? The Really Big Show at The F Harold. To put it in context, Amie Roe was the only consistent improviser in the show and 1 person from the back line would initiate a 3 minute scene with her.  It was an amazing performance by Amie Roe. She made up 18 different characters. The participants on the back line were great too with rapid fire initiations.

Do you have any sort of creative process that you use with your writing or your performance? I have only dabbled in sketch writing. When I do write I like to think of the characters I am writing engaged in an improv scene. As for the creative process in improv, I really don’t do anything besides listen to upbeat music and stay away from people who are bummers.

What is it about improv (or stand-up, or sketch, whatever you do…) that draws you to it? Improv is just plain fun. Plus I like making people laugh.

Do you have any favorite performers in the Philly scene? Why are they your favorites? Kristen Schier, Amie Roe, Emily Davis, Rick Horner, Matt Holmes. They are all amazing performers, very strong and always 10 steps ahead of the game. I feel like just by watching them I can learn a lot. And they are all hilarious!

Do you have any bad experiences doing comedy that you can share? A particularly bad bombing or even an entire show gone haywire? Let me preface this by saying I have nothing against The Gross Show or anyone involved in it. But when I was in The Gross Show my parents attended, and if you know The Gross Show you know it’s probably not a show you want your parents to see. Knowing my mother and father were in the audience while I was talking about furry fetishes made me freeze. But I am very grateful for the support my parents give me, even if it gets awkward.

What do you think the Philly comedy scene needs to continue to grow? I feel like PHIT needs a more diverse audience, and by diverse I mean non-improvisors. The independent groups that are popping up all over the city is great for this. The more exposure people have to improv, the better. Showcases like Polygon are great places for independent groups to perform and get people interested in improv.

Do you have any personal goals for the future as you continue to perform comedy?  I hope to continue to grow and learn as an improvisor. I want to work with a new people.