23 - Ego and Ensemble

December 17, 2014

Ego is the part of Self that interacts with outside world.  A strong ego is important for developing your voice and point of view onstage.  But is it possible that your comedic voice might be interfering with the quality of group work onstage?

This week Rob and Adam try to figure out how much of You should you bring to the stage.  Passive Aggressive Burns: Many.  Impromptu Christmas Carols: One.  

25 - Survival

February 18, 2015

It's the 2nd Beat (Season) of The Backline with Rob and Adam.  In this episode, the guys remember back to their first days of being a "professional" improviser and all the odd jobs and desperate measures they took to stay afloat. Discover that there truly is nothing more Bohemian than a Pizza Pizza coupon.  

27 - Story

March 4, 2015

Every scene has a story.  For game-based improvisers, we believe that story is what happens while you’re busy with other stuff.  But for narrative improvisers, story is something to be cultivated.  In this episode, Rob leads Adam through a Joseph Campbell-esque journey and gives tips on how to apply it to your show tonight.  Adam tells his own story of sneaking into a secret backroom speakeasy … May all your chocolate be sexual!

28 - Self-Evaluation

March 11, 2015

After a particularly rough show, Rob and Adam sit down to discuss the importance of self-evaluation.  If your troupe has made the dangerous decision to play without a coach, you'll need to learn how to deal with failure, self-critique, team challenges, and taking your play to next level - on your own. 

29 - The Harold or Not the Harold?

March 18, 2015

The Harold is the most recognized format in improvisation.  The list of celebrities and improvisers who have learned, loved, and mastered it is extensive.  In this episode, Rob and Adam discuss what is a Harold, how it works, and some tips for improvisers struggling with 123ABC's.  The guys also discuss Pam Victor's incredible article "Geeking Out with The Harold (What Makes a Harold a Harold)."  A link of her blog post can be found at our Facebook page @thebacklinepod.

34 - Back to Basics

April 22, 2015

Improv is getting too confusing.  Go back to basics.  This episode shows you how.

35 - Failure

April 28, 2015

The comedy business is hard.  It's full of rejection, hardships, and failure.   If you're feeling lost in your career, this episode is for you.  This podcast contains a reading from Improvising Now: A Practical Guide to Modern Improv, available on Amazon.com or wherever improv books are sold.

38 - Editing

May 13, 2015

There's nothing worse than a perfect improv scene that goes on for too long.  This week, Rob and Adam tackle different types of edits, tips on how to make clear transitions, and what a well-edited show looks like.  Enjoy!

40 - Premise

June 3, 2015

We all know preconceived notions can be toxic for improvisation.  But what do you do when premises are ingrained in the format you're playing?  This week Adam and Rob recount their experiences writing through improvisation at Second City, improvising through heavy offers in the Armando, and navigating premise-heavy beatprov.  A special dedication to Sebastien Fazio.  Find us online @thebacklinepod on Twitter and Facebook.

41 - R.I.P French Guy with a Cigarette

June 15, 2015

There's a handful of characters that every improviser knows.  Stock characters that we fall back on in scenes.  This week Adam and Rob, put a bullet in the brain of 10 well known hack, trope characters and discuss how to make your characters more nuanced and idiosyncratic. Let us know what character you see all the time in your city @thebacklinepod on Twitter and/or Facebook.