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The Backline

Canadian Comedy Award winners Rob Norman and Adam Cawley discuss weekly improv-based topics based on a theme.

47 -
Being An Expert Student

Jul 22 2015
This week we discuss the skill of being a student and making the most of your workshops, classes, and shows. Rob and Adam also recount failures and anecdotes from recent years. Also a follow-up from RN and Cawls in Ottawa. Enjoy!
The Backline

Being An Expert Student

00:45:09 Download (41MB)

45 -
Warm-Ups

Jul 07 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!
The Backline

Warm-Ups

00:46:17 Download (42MB)

44 -
Advertise

Jun 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.
The Backline

Advertise

00:41:56 Download (38MB)

43 -
Hosting

Jun 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.
The Backline

Hosting

00:40:00 Download (37MB)

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

Jun 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.
The Backline

R.I.P French Guy with a Cigarette

00:47:20 Download (43MB)

40 -
Premise

Jun 03 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.
The Backline

Premise

00:39:26 Download (36MB)

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!
The Backline

Editing

00:48:23 Download (44MB)

35 -
Failure

Apr 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.
The Backline

Failure

00:03:59 Download (4MB)

34 -
Back to Basics

Apr 22 2015
Improv is getting too confusing. Go back to basics. This episode shows you how.
The Backline

Back to Basics

00:44:06 Download (40MB)

32 -
What’s Missing?

Apr 08 2015
This week Adam and Rob talk about might be running through your head, standing on the backline of a longform improv set. Great improvisers don't walk onstage and just do good improv scenes. They are mindful of the scenes that came before, the overall energy of the show, what variety looks like in longform improv, and most importantly what's missing from a show. Also the guys answer listener questions regarding being blackballed from shows and which accents are offensive onstage.
The Backline

What’s Missing?

00:43:28 Download (40MB)

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