43 - Hosting

June 24, 2015

This week, Rob and Adam delve into hosting: interacting with the audience, common pitfalls for newer improvisers, and basing your style on the tone of the show.  Also listener suggestions of broad characters we never need to see again.


44 - Advertise

June 30, 2015

No matter how good you are or how funny your show - finding an audience to fill the theatre will always be a struggle.  Partly because it's all made-up, we can't guarantee the final product.  A show that consistently kills night after night, can (and most often will) bomb the night a theatre critic attends.  Comedy doesn't work without people there.  In this episode, Rob and Adam talk strategy of how to get people out to your show, and keep them coming back.  Shout-outs to Katie Burns, Kurt Firla, Bonspiel, and Gary Rideout.


45 - Warm-Ups

July 7, 2015

Before every class or show, improvisers dedicate their time, energy, and focus to a series of activities that are supposed to improve their performance. But do they actually work?  Rob and Adam discuss the nature of warm-ups, how to use them effectively in rehearsal, and what to avoid when preparing before a big show. Also listener questions, updates on shows in Ottawa and Vancouver, and awards!


49 - Group Mind

August 12, 2015

This week Rob and Adam mind-meld to discuss their mystical, psychedelic, group mind encounters.  From working better together as a team to factors that prevent teams from synergizing, The Backline investigates shared mental models of all kinds!  Check out Planet Money: How Much Does a Cow Way and The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki.  Or follow us on Twitter/Facebook @thebacklinepod for links!


50 - Dynamic

August 19, 2015

This week we delve deep into what drives a scene: the dynamic. Rob and Adam investigate the differences between dynamic and relationship, how to keep your scenes in the now, and an easy way to figure out what your scene is about.  Also Adam loves coffee; Rob hates coffee. Enjoy!


54 - Characters, Consistency, and Change

September 23, 2015

This week, Rob and Adam discuss characters, consistency, and change. When should your character change their emotion or energy? When should you reinvest? How is a shortform character different than longform?


55 - Five Ways to Make Object Work Fun

September 30, 2015

Ugh, object work. The dreaded chore that every improviser must endure. No one wants to mime when there's stories to explore and jokes to make!  This week, Rob and Adam discuss problems with object work and offer five solutions to make your non-verbal offers dangerous, fun, and inspirational.


56 - Persona

October 7, 2015

This week Rob and Adam discuss stage personas improvisers often adopt when "playing themselves" when they first come onstage, take the suggestion, or between scenes.  But what does a stage persona actually mean? How can you charm an audience before you begin improvising and get them on your side?  Also Rob interviews the producer of Two Strikes, Jason Agnew and how persona is utilized to improve the experience of your show.  Also a listener question is answered about "How to jump on a grenade."


59 - Encouragement

October 21, 2015

This episode Rob chats with Second City alumni Lindsay Leese about her late husband Tim Sims, the 20th anniversary of the Cream of Comedy, and what it means to encourage young comedians. A great story about legacy and how best to honour those in your community.  Enjoy!


60 - Should I Quit?

October 28, 2015

Is there a time when you look at your improv and think "Maybe I should cut my losses and quit?"  This week Rob and Adam discuss the complications involved when making that decisions and also recount their own times in their life when they almost quit.