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The Backline

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

113 -
Vulnerability

Aug 02 2017
Jokes are a great place to hide. Having a funny voice or massive character can protect you from you having to expose your true self. This week Rob and Adam discuss how to open up in front of audience and reveal your story to the audience.
The Backline

Vulnerability

00:47:35 Download (65MB)

10 -
Acting

Jul 26 2017
FROM THE ARCHIVES! Rob and Adam discuss truth, believability, and acting for an improv stage. Adam provides some excellent insight into how to maintain stakes but still play within a comedic premise. Passive-aggressive burns: 8 (with a few personal hurtful jabs that go too far). Music by the Brunswick Project. Got a question? Try us on Twitter @thebacklinepod.
The Backline

Acting

00:48:57 Download (22MB)

112 -
Greedy (In a Nice Way)

Jul 19 2017
As performers we are inherently greedy for stage time. We have to be. It's competitve in an improv show. Lots of people vying for attention with competing narratives. This week Rob and Adam gives tips on how to maximize your time onstage (in a nice way).
The Backline

Greedy (In a Nice Way)

00:51:11 Download (70MB)

111 -
Coachless

Jul 12 2017
Again and again, you constantly hear about the importance of having a coach. Which is all good if you're rehearsing in major improv cities with thousands of other comedians. But what do you do if you live in a smaller community? This week Rob and Adam navigate different options for building incredible troupes without the guidance of a professional coach.
The Backline

Coachless

00:36:18 Download (50MB)

110 -
Mentorship

Jul 05 2017
This week Rob and Adam discuss the importance of mentorship in the community: what to look for in a mentor, how to connect with possible mentors, and how to be a valued protege. Also discussed: the giant duck, Rob's new favourite tea, and shout-outs to important mentors from the early days.
The Backline

Mentorship

00:42:43 Download (59MB)

109 -
Our Favourite Shortform Games

Jun 29 2017
While The Backline spends tons of time discussing concepts related to longform improvisaiton, Rob and Adam both started in shortform. This week: Pillars, Pan Left, roast jokes, set-ups, and best practices when performing a shortform show!
The Backline

Our Favourite Shortform Games

00:49:06 Download (67MB)

108 -
Showmanship

Jun 22 2017
No matter how hard you work, you can only get so good at improvising scenes. At a certain point it feels like it's impossible to get any better. This week, Rob and Adam give a list of simple tips to improve your performance - without technique. Good ole fashion showmanship to give your scenes some much deserved polish. Charm, swagger, and strategize your way to success.
The Backline

Showmanship

00:47:36 Download (65MB)

107 -
Harassment in the Classroom

Jun 14 2017
This week Adam and Rob chat about harrassment in the classroom, how to avoid it, and how open communication can help your theatre company thrive. If you're looking for resources or need someone to talk, you can reach out @thebacklinepod privately on Twitter or Facebook.
The Backline

Harassment in the Classroom

00:47:36 Download (65MB)

106 -
A Week in the Life of an Improv Show

Jun 07 2017
This week, Rob and Adam go behind the scenes of MANTOWN: The Improvised Frat Party to learn what it takes to produce a sold-out improv show. This episode follows a week of radio diaries from Sharjil Rasool, LeeLee Miller, Noemi Salamon, Andrew Bushell, Geoffrey Cork and the Dean of MANTOWN, Rob Baker. You'll experience producing an improv show from the cloudy beginnings of its inception to preparation to show day. Also Patio Lanterns by Kim Mitchell.

Featuring

The Backline

A Week in the Life of an Improv Show

00:27:59 Download (38MB)

105 -
Jokes

May 31 2017
In the context of improvisation, jokes can mean many things: a punchline, an out-of-place remark, a desperate attempt to get the audience to like you, or a straight up street joke (think Knock, Knock). This week Rob and Adam deconstruct what it means to tell a joke and some of the biases improvisers have towards joke-telling. Also we open up the Backline mailbag!
The Backline

Jokes

00:45:38 Download (63MB)

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