Harvey Chipkin

       Born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and grew up there.

  • My wife pulled flyer off a store window for improv classes.
  • Influences were Deb Maclean, director of Lunatic Fringe in NJ; Mr. Tom Soter; Carl Kissin; for musical improv the great pianist Frank Spitznagel and teachers Michael Martin and Kirk D’Amato.
  • What I get out of performing is an opportunity to lose any inhibitions and make people laugh. Most of all, it’s fun.
  • Resume:

2001 – started taking classes with Lunatic Fringe

2002 – started taking classes with Soter

2003 – began studying with Second City

2005-08 – studied at UCB

2011 to present – studied musical improv at Magnet Theater

2011 (?) to present – regular appearances with SNI

So many teachers: Soter, Kissin, Tom Carrozza, Armando Diaz, Anthony King (UCB) – many more

  • SNI is tremendous fun. The fact that it’s different people every week – all of whom are talented- gives it an element of surprise. Many of my friends have come to see the show which is often the first time they have seen me perform.
  • Most challenging: Lunatic Fringe did a show for a long-scheduled fundraiser at a private home in NJ the day after Hurricane Sandy. Getting there was difficult and half the house was without power. But we did a good show and raised money for a good cause.
  • Most rewarding: Simply being on stage with people who are ridiculously accomplished but gracious about sharing the stage with me.
  • I have done a number of indie videos – including one that gets me onto IMDB (The Legend.) Those opportunities have come out of doing improv.
  • Where do I hope to go? In my fantasy life, somebody sees me in a show and decides that an older guy with white hair would be perfect for their major motion picture. In reality, I would love to do improv as much as I can as long as I can because it really is a passion.
  • Worst Improv experience? Lunatic Fringe did a show at a Sweet 16. None of the girls was paying any attention. It was worse than no audience at all. In fact, I have performed for one or two people and it can still be fun.
  • Other thoughts: Everybody should do some improv. I have never seen anybody who doesn’t enjoy it on some level.