WHO WERE YOUR ACTING/IMPROV INFLUENCES, ROLE MODELS? I have a strong background in musical theater, so I would say Bernadette Peters is one of my biggest theatrical influences. Not only is she a great song n dance gal, but also a great comedienne. I love the truth and honesty that Mark Rylance, former artistic director of Shakepeare's Globe brings to his work. In terms of improv, I of course need to pay homage to Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, as I feel they helped redefine women's roles in comedy. I love the strong and specific character choices of NY improvisors Bob Kulhan, and Natasha Rothwell.
WHERE WERE YOU BORN? HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN IMPROV? I was born here in NYC and spent my formative years in Westchester. When I was a sophomore in high school I started taking improv classes and was a theater major in college, so it was part of my training.
WHAT DO YOU GET OUT OF PERFORMING? I love the rush that comes w not knowing what is going to happen on stage, creating a piece of work out of a simple suggestion, and the support that goes with working as a team. It also makes me a better listener off stage.
DETAIL, CHRONOLOGICALLY, YOUR IMPROV RESUME/CAREER? Improv Short form..I started studying in high school through a gifted and talented after school program. I studied at Comedy Sportz and performed with them for three years short form and musical improv. I was also one of their improv teachers. In NYC, I was part of two improv based off Broadway shows "Tony and Tina's Wedding" and "The Boychick Affair"Several years ago I started studying long form and completed all the levels this summer. I also studied musical improv at The Magnet. I am currently on three teams MIDNIGHT SOCIETY, which performs at the PIT every other Sunday. And two indie two prov teams BALL CHANGE and PROUD DUCKS
WHO WERE YOUR TEACHERS? Christine Walters, Steve Soroka, Joe Sciappa, Chris Griggs, Pat Shay, Scott Eckert, and I have been coached by a multitude of NY improvisors
WHAT DO YOU GET FROM DOING SUNDAY NIGHT IMPROV? IS IT FUN? Yes...since I spend the majority of my time performing long form, I love being able to do short form, it gets me back to my improv roots.
DESCRIBE YOUR MOST CHALLENGING IMPROV MOMENT? They say that acting is living truthfully under imaginary circumstances, I think my most challenging and rewarding improv moments are when I am forced to be vunerable and truthful.
YOUR MOST REWARDING IMPROV WORK? I am on several two prov groups at the moment and I find that particularly forces you to listen hard and make strong and specific choices.
DONE ANY WORK IN TV? FILMS? SCRIPTED THEATER? yes. I have worked internationally in the theatre as well as several off broadway shows in musicals and plays. I have worked for Disney and Nickelodeon, and I was the touring Dora The Explorer on the National tour of Go Diego Go Live. I was on this seasons "Why Am I Still Single" on VH1 as a recruiter for nyc matchmaker Siggy Flicker.
WHERE DO YOU HOPE TO GO WITH THIS? is Whose line is it anyway? looking for a nice Jewish girl from Queens??
WORST IMPROV EXPERIENCE? I was on stage once and my scene partner broke character and started directing me in the scene. It was pretty terrible, bc it was the antithesis of yes and, and everything I had been taught.
SEE HAYLEY RAPHAEL IN SUNDAY NIGHT IMPROV ON SUNDAY, JULY 1, AND SUNDAY, JULY 22 AT 7 P.M.!