The Improv Life: I Love LA

The Improv Life: I Love LA

LA has a magic to it that is hard to describe.

I started coming here to do improv, as the thousands before me, so many now being my friends.

I drive these streets and get inspired creatively.

I feel the history around me in LA’s weird angles. An American City grid on top of a Spanish City outline in what used to be Mexico and native land before that. If that’s not improv, I don’t know what that is.

The one advantage is I didn’t have to live here. I can take what I need from it and return to my fortress of decaying suburbia just beyond the Orange Curtain.

But even then, I don’t escape LA’s grip. From the Grapevine to end of the 405, it’s all just one huge quilt of urban development, with LA being the pulsating heart driving the constant progress and expansion. This is Megacity 2.

And you see LA’s cultural reach in TV as well. You watch a TV show and you notice that key creative leads got their training at UCB, Groundlings, Second City, Pack, and a bunch of other improv schools and communities with people cutting their teeth in the LA comedy scene.

Of all the places to find my life – to find myself – LA has become an integral part of my journey, past, present, and future.

Love you LA,

Fernando
Son of Juan and Alicia

#improv #la #losangeles #comedy #ucb #groundlings #packtheater #secondcity #djwaldie #holyland #essay #city #cityscape #megacity2 #immigrant #journey #border

Standard

The Improv Life Ep.10 with Diosa – Fernando’s Improv Blog Podcast

Improv and Magic – aren’t they the same thing sometimes?

The Improv Life Ep.10 with Diosa

Welcome to Episode 10 of the Improv Life Podcast! 

My guest today was the amazing Diosa! 

Man, I got nothing but love, respect, and admiration for Diosa. 

We met through improv and I’ve been amazed by her ever since! 

She is a multi-talented, spiritual, courageous, and bold Latinx artist who will open your third eye with her insights and magic. 

She is Colombian, so I’m going to say that she has a rich and robust personality with hints of witty observations and subtle notes of goddess energy; a great person to spend an afternoon with talking about a bouquet of topics from the absurd, to the perverse, the comically tragic, and the profound- no moment is wasted when you’re hanging out with Diosa. 

And I’m lucky to call her my friend! This was a great episode, one of my favorites so far, so check it out! 

*We talk about magic a lot in this episode. Diosa and her best friend Dre have a new podcast called The Magic Babes where they talk about “Misconceptions, the occult, tarot, history, botany, and cultura.” It’s dropping soon, so follow their IG to stay tuned for their first episode! 

What an amazing episode, one of my favorites so far.

Here’s What We Talked About

  • Her new chile relleno endeavor, Mami’s Chiles – Xicana Soul Food ‘Pa Tú Go
  • Getting hit by the putasos of life – the cause of Diosa’s diverse life experiences 
  • In reference to her tragic life experiences and challenges, Diosa said, “Instead of crying over it, or making it a weakness, you know that’s what comedy does, it gives you that power back. Like, okay I have a problem. Let me laugh at it and address it, you know, obviously, but not make it me…I’m making fun of it.”
  • How Diosa has been creative her whole life – how Kid Khristian is in Mujer Khristian
  • How MadTV, Strangers with Candy, and Upright Citizens Brigade sparked the idea for Diosa to one day be a comedian 
  • How Diosa one day decided to take improv classes at UCB and begin her comedy journey there 
  • The perverse wonder, ahead-of-its-time, ridiculous Strangers with Candy 
  • How Strangers with Candy led her to David Sedaris, and that’s how she knew she wanted to be a comedian 
  • “Life doesn’t get easier; we just get better at it” – Diosa 
  • A sneak peek into Diosa’s high school days 
  • Reflections on high school for both Diosa and Fernando
  • How Latinx high school kids get sucked into adulthood too soon because of relationships, teenage pregnancies, work, or running with the wrong crowd 
  • “What’s bad for your heart is good for your art” – Diosa 
  • Diosa’s journey into magic, tarot, signs, and the supernatural 
  • Madre Monte – a forest goddess that protects the forest; how Diosa likes the fact that her Colombian culture made this story up to serve a function 
  • How Diosa loves listening to these scary stories and folklore, and how they fascinate her 
  • Diosa’s experiences with having her tea leaves read, and how it’s an example of “magic as a tool to give you perspective on things” 
  • How Diosa’s favorite auntie introduced her to the woman who read her tea and opened her up to this larger world of magic 
  • How Diosa’s mom went to the same woman who read Diosa’s tea to spy on Diosa, and how that experience turned off Diosa to magic for a while 
  • Surprising Fact: your first Tarot Deck should be a gift from a friend 
  • “Be careful what witch you trust” – Diosa 
  • “You have to believe in [magic] in order for it to happen” – Diosa 
  • How Diosa’s recent awakening to magic is due to moving in with her current roommate, who is serving as her guide to this new world 
  • “Meditation is power” – Diosa 
  • How Diosa manifested a three month run at Second City with her team Fuck Shit Up 
  • “The connection between magic and mental health is the therapy, the talking about your problems.” – Diosa 
  • My positive Tarot experiences with Nancy Martinez, aka, Bandit the Oracle – check her out! Tell her Fernando sent you!
  • Diosa drops some knowledge on her thoughts about Tarot and its function and purpose in everyday life 
  • “You have to know your dark side in order to shine” – Diosa 
  • Follow Dre, Diosa’s best friend’s Tarot IG page @buzzbunnytarot for insights 
  • “Magic is science we don’t understand” – Fernando echoing Hank Pym from the Avengers 

Thanks for being on the show, Diosa. You can follow her on instagram at @diosanojoda 

Standard

The Improv Life Ep.3 with Winston Carter – Fernando’s Improv Blog Podcast

Talking to Winston was a blast! I learned so much and walked away with a smile.

Ep.3 of The Improv LIfe with Winston Carter

Wassup! It’s Episode 3 of The Improv Life with guest Winston Carter! 

Winston is a cool dude! I’ve known Winston for a few years now, but I’ve never had a deep conversation with him until this podcast. 

The way Winston put it was “I’m leaving the bodega as you’re entering it.” Meaning, as he’s leaving one show, I’m arriving to the next one, which is how it is. However, I’ve been lucky to see Winston perform a few times, so I know a little about him. It was cool to finally sit down with this neighbor and get to know him. 

Honestly, I had a great time talking to Winston and I felt like I made a cool new friend. Like yeah, we knew each other before, but now we really know each other. Check out this episode! 

Listen on SoundCloud now.

Here’s What Winston and I Talked About 

  • How “The Winston Carter Murder Myster Follies” was born and got its name 
  • How Winston Carter and Dominque Johnson became friends by being put on the same UCB Mess Hall Team
  • How getting on a Mess Hall team was validation for him 
  • His experience of coming up through the UCB ranks and being part of that community for the past 10 years
  • Being part of the Improv “Heyday” in LA 
  • The Harold and Mess Hall Team audition process at UCB 
  • Winston’s Amazing Journey Doing Improv in LA – Listen Now! 

Links:

The Podcast Winston Mentioned – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/things-are-going-great-for-me-with-j-claude-deering/id1528661784?fbclid=IwAR2GbNUqwIZq4mE8Xwa2ILJPuELmPIJl_3dABtSUX8Tq-SlGws9Bw7nsYbU

If you want to take sketch classes at the Pack – https://www.packtheater.com/classes/sketch/

My experience in Eric Moneypenny’s Sketch Level 101 Class – https://fernandosimprovblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/02/the-no-1-reason-why-you-should-take-sketch-level-1-at-the-pack-theater-with-eric-moneypenny/

Standard