Talking Improv With Kevin Gillese And Amber Nash From Dad's Garage

Jul 10, 2016

We have an eclectic mix on this edition of "Two Way Street." Because it’s summertime (and the livin’ is easy), it seemed like a good time to start the show with something light and fun; and so, we do.

We’ll talk about the art of improvisation with Kevin Gillese and Amber Nash, two members of one of the best-known improv companies in the Southeast – Dad’s Garage.

It’s always exciting to watch actors take suggestions from an audience of a location, an occupation or other prompts and try to create a scene that’s funny and true. Sometimes they succeed in wildly hilarious ways…but when they flop it can be painful for audience and actor alike. And watching a scene head in one direction or the other is part of the fun.

Kevin and Amber are standout improv performers, and during our conversation they talk about the keys to becoming good at improvisation. They also take a few suggestions from me and create scenes in the studio.

If you like what you hear, you can check out more of Dad’s Garage work here:

Later in the show, we have an intriguing interview with best-selling author and historian Joseph Ellis, whose latest book “The Quartet” has just been released in paperback.

Ellis writes that many Americans have a mistaken belief that the signing of the Declaration of Independence marked the beginning of our coming together as a nation. He argues that nothing could be further from the truth; that even after the Declaration was approved, most of the Founding Fathers favored allowing each of the 13 colonies to operate as independent nation-states bound only by the loosest of confederations. He points out that the colonists had just declared independence from a ruling monarch and the last thing they wanted was to be bound by another central ruling force.

In “The Quartet,” Ellis says it was four visionary leaders – George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay and James Madison – who believed passionately in the need for the colonies to be bound together and led by a federal government. His book describes how the four outliers struggled at the Constitutional Convention to win over the skeptics and eventually convince them that their vision was essential to the success of the American experiment.