I have been a student at The Groundlings School for about two years now. The Groundlings is an exceptional improv school that was started in 1972 and is practically a breeding ground for Saturday Night Live actors. Some of the comedic greats who got their start at the Groundlings include Kathy Griffin, Lisa Kudrow, Paul Reubens, Phil Hartman, Jennifer Coolidge, Pat Morita, Chris Farley, Jon Lovitz, Chris Kattan, and Frank the Tank himself, Will Ferrell. Every few months the Groundlings invites some of its famous alumni to participate in a question and answer session a la Inside the Actors Studio for the current Groundlings students. This past Monday night I was lucky enough to attend a Q&A session with funnyman Will Ferrell. I was even more excited because my Groundlings teacher, Roy Jenkins, was the one interviewing Will.
The evening was so much fun!! I had expected Will to be extremely hyper and keyed up during the interview, but he was actually very down to earth and normal. And absolutely hilarious! As an actress, it was amazing to be able to hear acting advice in person and straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Will shared many stories with us about his acting career and his long road to success. He even told us that at times he still gets stage fright, as he did the last time he performed in a Groundlings show! That was very heartening to hear! Here I thought I was the only one. LOL 🙂
He even did a few impersonations for us – one of James Lipton, host of Inside the Actor’s Studio, and another of Harry Caray, an announcer for the Chicago Cubs – which were incredible to see in person. It was also a great learning experience to see my teacher, Roy, onstage with Will. The two studied at the Groundlings together and have known each other for over 16 years. It was amazing to see that not only was Roy just as funny as Will, but how they were able to work off of each other the entire time to make us laugh. I definitely saw them using some of the same Groundlings techniques and trainings during the interview that I am being taught in class. It was amazing to watch. 🙂
Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂
Stalk It: You can stalk the Groundlings at 7307 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. The improv and sketch comedy shows are HILARIOUS and are put on practically every single night of the week. Famous alumni even stop in on occasion to perform alongside current Groundlings castmembers! I recommend catching The Crazy Uncle Joe Show, my personal favorite, which is a long form improv show held every Wednesday night at 8pm. Tickets are $12.50 per person. If you are interested in studying with the Groundlings, you can set up an audition here.