WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Reading, PA (Home of the Reading Railroad on the Monopoly board!)
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN IMPROV? I was doing stand-up in the '80s and started taking improv classes to help me ad lib and respond to hecklers.
WHO WERE YOUR ACTING/IMPROV INFLUENCES, ROLE MODELS? Growing up, I was a big fan of Red Skelton, Jackie Gleason, and Jerry Lewis (yes, I’m old). And the cast of the Carol Burnett show. All of them were my influences for characters and sketch comedy. And later Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, SNL, and SCTV.
Also, as a kid my brother and I and the neighborhood kids used to do a lot of games that required using our imaginations and creating characters/stories/ad libbing. Our favorite was a game called “Statues” where someone would spin you around and you would freeze in that position. Then a “customer” would turn you on and you had to perform on the spot based on your pose.
DETAIL, CHRONOLOGICALLY, YOUR IMPROV RESUME/CAREER? I started taking classes at First Amendment in the '80s, and then Bob Greenberg (who I met there) introduced me to Katha Feffer. I took her classes for about a year and then was cast as a regular member of her group, For Play. I performed with For Play for a few years, then Some Assembly Required for about a year. I then fell out of it until recently getting the itch back, and started dropping in on Carl Kissin’s classes about two years ago. Carl introduced me to Tom Soter, who started putting me in Sunday Night Improv shows.
WHAT DO YOU GET OUT OF PERFORMING? I’m a ham. Put mustard on me. I love making people laugh. Or hear them applaud if I’m playing music (I’d prefer they didn’t laugh then.)
WHO WERE YOUR TEACHERS? Katha Feffer, Carl Kissin, Tom Soter, Nancy Lombardo, Tom Carozza, and a few other First Amendment types.
WHAT DO YOU GET FROM DOING SUNDAY NIGHT IMPROV? IS IT FUN? It’s a blast. Great to be back doing improv after a long layoff. And I enjoy the challenge of thinking on my feet and helping a scene work.
DESCRIBE YOUR MOST CHALLENGING IMPROV MOMENT? Can’t think of one specifically, but I’ve been involved in many improv shows where the audience just wanted raunchy, bathroom/bedroom humor. I always try to rise above that and be clever.
YOUR MOST REWARDING IMPROV WORK? We did some great Harolds with For Play that could have stood on their own as plays.
WORST IMPROV EXPERIENCE? Two months ago. Leaving a wonderful class taught by Carol Schindler, and breaking my ankle going down the steps!
DONE ANY WORK IN TV? FILMS? SCRIPTED THEATER? I majored in theatre in college, then realized I sucked as a scripted actor. Auditioned for a lot of TV and films, but other people must have thought I sucked there.
WHERE DO YOU HOPE TO GO WITH THIS? At this point in my life, I no longer expect to be the next big star. I’m just looking to have fun and enjoy a creative outlet.
SEE TIM WEISS ON THE SPECIAL NEW YEAR'S DAY SHOW! SUNDAY, JANUARY 1, 2012 AT 7 P.M.!