YBY ep 312: Chris Griswold on justice and being kind to each other.
This week on Yes But Why, I talk to improviser, Chris Griswold.
Chris Griswold is the founder and Academic Director of Thunderbolt Comedy.
Having taught improv since 1999, Chris is currently one of the world’s most prolific improv instructors, coaching more than 800 hours in 2014 alone. Chris is a writer and actor, appearing in commercials for Android and the Brother P-Touch Label Maker, as well as PSAs for the United Nation’s #HeForShe program, and Project #UROK.
Originally self-taught through weekly Pittsburgh improv jams, Chris has since trained with Upright Citizens Brigade, The PIT, Magnet Theater, The Annoyance Theatre, and Arcade Comedy Theater. Chris is now supporting the improv community in the San Francisco Bay area with Thunderbolt Comedy. They also teach private workshops for business and conferences on topics such as branding, team-building, and creativity training.
I was absolutely enchanted by Chris, as I’m sure you will all be as well. In our conversation, we discussed how Chris immersed themselves in the NYC improv scene, and how they have now relocated to the San Francisco Bay area. Such big important improv communities; so much going on.
Chris talked a lot about how important it is for people to be nice to each other. They said that when they teach improv, the effort is to unlock a performer’s true potential, to show the students how they are great.
We got into a big discussion about some bad behaviors Chris witnessed in improv communities across the country. We discuss diversity and inclusivity.
When the pandemic hit, Chris had been coaching steadily through Thunderbolt Comedy. But then, when in person meetings stopped, they had to find another way. So Chris and developer friend Michael Parlato created Pineappl, a Video App for Live Performance. It is an alternative to Zoom, that functions better for live collaborative performance like improv. This app is used regularly by such institutions as Queen City Comedy to host their online jams.
Chris Griswold is a kind-hearted performer and teacher. Support Chris by connecting with Thunderbolt Comedy about coaching (in person and online available) and by checking out and using the Pineappl app!
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(production notes: recorded zoom meeting via Rodecaster on 3/14/2022; posted on 4/25/2022)