Episode 95 - Frank McDade

Back to the archives for one of my favorite Art of the Covenant chats with my former Day Drunk improv teammate, Frank McDade. Originally recorded for Halloween 2015, we talk about his time in Chicago, improvisation, puppetry, and everything in between. 

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Since this episode, McDade has launched his own company, Brouhaha Toys, that features plush dolls and enamel pins of the many characters he’s created for the stage show Stranded With Strangers.

Posted on February 21, 2018 .

Episode 94 - Shannon Norman

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Still basking in the afterglow, I catch up with Shannon Norman the day after he recorded his first stand-up album. Shannon who is part of the "Race to the Coffin" comedy cacophony, just recorded two nights of very funny comedy. One at Comedy Roulette’s 3rd Anniversary Show (Club Cafe) and the other at his monthly showcase Sit Down and Laugh at (Hambone’s). 

We discuss the off-stage work that went into pulling off these recordings, narrowing down 8 years of material to a 45-minute record, changing careers and returning to the classroom, and touring with Owen Straw last year.

Posted on February 13, 2018 .

Episode 93 - Harry Gilliland & Alex Homyak

Harry Gilliland Alex Homyak Unplanned comedy pods nice to see he's working

So we are starting the 2nd month of the year with a trip back to the podcast archives with a great episode for all our stand-up newcomers. Harry Gilliland & Alex Homyak help us navigate the ins and outs of the open mic scene. We discuss how to manage a jukebox playlist, how to grow your act, how to choose your regular rooms, and how to enhance your stage persona by adding more you.

I've been blessed to have come up in this community around a lot of supportive friends, and this episode was taped right after the 10th week of my former Cattivo weekly open mic, The Wide Open Stage. It’s a great introduction for new comics to the scene even nearly two and a half years after it originally occurred.

Original Air Date:  Oct. 26, 2015

Posted on February 6, 2018 .

Episode 92 - Michael Petyak

MICHAEL PETYAK                   Photography by Dallas Mease

MICHAEL PETYAK                   Photography by Dallas Mease

Actor, Producer, Stuntman - Michael Petyak.

Joining the podcast for our final episode in January is Michael Petyak. Tomorrow night at The Funhouse at Mr. Small's you can check out Pink Floyd's Rock Opera The Wall. We discuss the differences in approach when he's directing (like tomorrow's Wall show) vs. acting and stunt work. Tons of great information in here for comics looking to find out more about the persuit of film work in Pittsburgh and how to persue multiple passions to fulful your days.

Tickets: https://www.mrsmalls.com/event/1615525-pink-floyd-s-rock-opera-wall-millvale/

Posted on January 30, 2018 .

Episode 91 - Ramsey Daniels

Ramsey Daniels It's Nice to see he's working Unplanned Comedy Pods
 

With a great cherry on top of his first year in comedy, Ramsey Daniels capped off 2017 with a victory at The Pittsburgh Improv's -"Stand up Pittsburgh" comedy competition! I’ve really enjoyed getting to see him grow as a comedian, exploring new topics and finding his comfort levels. Also, since we are two guys that started in improv comedy before trying stand-up comedy, we had plenty to talk about. We discuss the classes he’s taken in both comedic arts, he doles out advice about "assimilation" to the next crop of stand ups, and we also talk about growing up in Pittsburgh and noticing the growth the city has had in the last two decades. 


Posted on January 23, 2018 .

Episode 89 - Addi Twigg

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Addi Twigg is a Pittsburgh-based singer-songwriter who performs with various eclectic projects, jumping genres seamlessly from soul to folk and even punk. She occasionally performs comedy, composes jingles, and has recorded and produced her own podcast.

Her most prominent project, five-piece pop/soul band The Telephone Line, features powerhouse vocals and vintage organ vibes. Their debut album Tied Up is available on iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, Spotify, and anywhere else music is sold online.

Posted on January 9, 2018 .

Episode 88 - Rashad Bashir, Wanjiko Eke, & Bob Kitson

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Great way to kick off Year 3 of podcast episodes with a trio of incredibly funny New York City comedians. On the mics this week, while visiting the Steel City for the third iteration of Norlex Belma's LexFest at Club Cafe are Rashad Bashir, Wanjiko Eke, & Bob Kitson. We talk about the skills needed to be a good host and a comic generally, we talk about the differences between NYC and LA audiences, we go over the types of rooms and scenes that exist in the Big Apple, we have a good conversation on how to respond to different types of moments on stage, and of course we take some time to talk about kittens.

Loved getting to know all three of these jokers during their December visit and to see them perform both at LexFest III and at The Home Club at the Unplanned Comedy Warehouse. Check out this month's Home Club on Saturday 1/6/18 at 8 PM!

Posted on January 2, 2018 .

Episode 87 - Andrea Wetherald

I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season and were able to spend your Christmas with all your friends and family. (if listening to this the day it comes out). In 2014, I was lucky to get to take an improv class with this week’s guest, Andrea Wetherald at the Steel City Improv Theater. While studying there we were both placed on our very first improv house team, Carousel Rehab. Andrea and I talk about some of our fun and ridiculous improv scenes we've done, and our super famous improv duo, Blunder.

This episode covers some of the major changes in Andrea’s life in 2017, including the journey to become foster parents with her husband Kyle, and growing her on-site office training company, Improvising the Office.

In less than two weeks on January 6 at 8 AM Andrea is launching her new workshop titled, Improvising the Inside: The Path to Forgiveness. The one-day session will run until 11:30 AM at the Pittsburgh Mennonite Church. FREE onsite childcare is available for any participants in need.

Posted on December 26, 2017 .

Episode 86 - Top 10 Fan Favorite Moments: The Best of 2017

Another year older and hopefully wiser, top two fans, Ossia Dwyer and Phil Forrence, are back on the mic for our 2nd Annual Clip Show! Join us this week as we take a walk down memory lane to recount some of their favorite memories from 2017 episodes. We also talk about what's coming up as we careen closer and closer to the century mark. This March we hit 100 episodes. Stay tuned.

Tweet us @droppingbaums with any moments you think deserve honorable mention.

Posted on December 20, 2017 .

Episode 84 - Ben Amiri

Garret & Ben Amiri

Garret & Ben Amiri

Well Known Strangers, Pittsburgh's long-time, premiere improv group is having their 5 Year "Pizza-versary" show this weekend. It all goes down Saturday,10:00 PM, at the Cabaret at Theater Square. They will perform with their full current cast along with several notable alumni from their delicious run.

This week’s guest, Ben Amiri, has been with the team since its inception as a house team at the Steel City Improv Theater. We discuss his improv philosophy and coaching style, his other groups Irony City and Change Machine, WKS, St. Louis pizza, 48 Hour Film Festival, Monty Python Coconut Night at Row House Cinema, rocket science, Taco Bell, and The Simpsons. A very full episode. Enjoy.

Posted on December 5, 2017 .

Episode 83 - In Toon w/ Jeff and Nico

I’ve been getting to know Nico Alfonso and Jeff Marra as my classmates in the Stand Up Comedy 101: Stage Confidence Class at Unplanned Comedy. After stopping by their podcast In Toon with Jeff and Nico, I thought it’d be nice to have them on Nice2See for some fun banter. We talk about their day jobs in kitchens and cars, the current run as members of The Unplanned Comedy Players, sketch influences, their cartoon love, the Pittsburgh comedy scene, and as a special post Thanksgiving treat we go over the Top 10 things we’re grateful for. 

They were even nice enough to bring by one of the advertisements from their show ft. Randy Savage. 

Posted on November 28, 2017 .

Episode 82 - Anna C Reilly

It’s been a few months since we went back to the Art of the Covenant archives, but for the Thanksgiving week I thought it’d be a good time to go back and reflect on some of the great conversations that helped give birth to this weekly podcast. In fact, one of the things I’m most thankful for about being a podcaster in this community is having a built in excuse to get to know people I only know tangentially better during a long form conversation. This was one of my first conversations with improviser Anna C Reilly and one of my favorites from the previous iteration of my show.

Being that this chat discusses the similarities between the three forms of improv and the love interests of Rory Gilmore and this week marks one year since their reunion run on Netflix’s Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life  and this month marks two years since this episode first aired, I can think of no better time to return to Stars Hallow and the Sky Lounge above Cattivo for a great chat from the back catalog to see how far we’ve come.

“Arcade Comedy Theater's Anna C Reilly is one of the Pittsburgh comedy scene's best performers. We get into her unique origin story with ties to Green Bay clowns and Dayton area colleges. We have tons to talk on including cool guy head nods, being uncomfortable on stage and which of the men from Gilmore Girls reminds her the most of performing long form, short form and musical improv. ” - November 2, 2015 

Posted on November 21, 2017 .

Episode 81 - Joey Welsh

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We Got Next co-founder Joey Welsh joined me on mic shortly after he performed at the Pittsburgh Comedy Festival, having earned the fest’s final spot by winning in their third annual Stand Up Comedy Contest. 

Joey and I talk about the creation of We Got Next, their podcast, his firefighter and husband responsibilities outside of jokes, and is one of the only NBA fans in the Steel City. 

This Friday at 8p in the Strip District, stop down to see We Got Next Presents A Slice of Comedy at Bella Notte ft. Joey and other Nice2See alumni Alex Homyak (Ep. 20), Seneca Stone (Ep. 35), and Brandon Schell (Ep. 64).

Posted on November 14, 2017 .

Episode 80 - NFBD’s Jordon Rooney

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Never Fear Being Different (NFBD) founder & CEO Jordon Rooney and I met for the very first time on the mic doing this episode. We had an amazing and unique conversation ranging from his time playing professional football in Serbia, Brazil, and Poland, to his frustrations with society's need to fall in line, which led to the origin of NFBD. We talk about his early collegiate podcast experiences that helped him feel more comfortable speaking, then closed it up with how he approaches dialogue on race and culture with people that disagree with him.

Jordon is open and honest about the vision of the NFBD movement, and his viral success of his most recent videos Confronting Racism from the Charlottesville protests and Colin Kaepernick & NFL - National Anthem Protest.

NFBD looks to make an impact worldwide by spreading a positive message on self-awareness, overcoming our insecurities, avoiding negative attitudes and behaviors, and attempting to bring a realistic vulnerability to connect with people through social media and public speaking engagements.

Posted on November 7, 2017 .

Episode 79 - Sam Leonard

Sam in action on "Pittsburgh Local News with Sam Leonard"

Sam in action on "Pittsburgh Local News with Sam Leonard"

After placing 3rd in the Pittsburgh Improv’s annual winter contest last year, Sam Leonard has shifted his priorities in 2017 towards bringing me and tons of other listeners a weekly podcast focused on our local comings and goings. Pittsburgh Local News with Sam Leonard recently joined Epicast’s family of shows where he dives into the news that effects the Steel City in a fun and humorous way. 

We dig into Sam’s comedy choices. We talk about finding his voice on stage, then discuss his foray into journalism, and some of the feedback I’ve given him along the way. We then finish up with the topical Top 10 Halloween Costumes with my crusty co-host, Lunchmeat Grumblekraut. 

Posted on October 31, 2017 .

Episode 78 - Chris Franz

Garret Titlebaum & Chris Franz

Garret Titlebaum & Chris Franz

Shortly before his departure for Chicago, improv darling Chris Franz and I got the chance to shoot the breeze about his comedy roots here in Pittsburgh. We talk of his Murrysville theater days, go over his intro to improv at Point Park University with his group "Slow Clap" then later independent group "Well Known Strangers".

Chris and I talk about making positive changes in his health, focusing on what you enjoy outside of comedy, and touch on how he will be sorely missed in our comedy community. Enjoy the "Windy City" good sir. We look forward to your visits and are, as always, rooting for your success from Western PA.

Posted on October 24, 2017 .

Episode 77 - Kelsey Claire Hagen

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After successful iterations of her "Don’t Grab My Pussy" showcase in Rochester and Buffalo, Carnegie Mellon University alum, Kelsey Claire Hagen brings together comedians, poets, models, visual artists, business owners, and musicians this Sunday 7:00 PM at Steel City Improv Theater. Proceeds to benefit PAAR (Pittsburgh Action Against Rape). 

I met Kelsey during the Burning Bridges Festival this spring and then again at Kelly O’s when she came through town this summer. I sold her an air conditioner.

For our third meeting, I was lucky enough to get to chat with her on the show. We talk about her recent host sets for Maria Bamford and Nikki Glaser, then delve into the uniqueness of upstate New York’s comedy scene, then she enlightens me on what the hell dramaturgy is and why she studied it.

Kelsey is energetic, honest, and passionate about the subjects she brings to stage. If you're in Pittsburgh this weekend, you should absolutely make an effort to get to Shadyside for a show that’s really "neat" --episode inside joke.

Posted on October 17, 2017 .

Episode 76 - Rob Speer

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Episode 76 - Rob Speer

 

Rob Speer joins me on the mics this week to discuss his new weekly radio show on The Rivers Edge which is also available as a podcast, Damn Near Killed ‘Em.

We discuss his struggles with depression and mental illness, his time doing improv in Chicago and stand up in Memphis, and of course his involvement in my first open mic set.

Rob consistently has impressed me in his ability to bring levity to serious topics and structure sets to feel cohesive in a time when many peers don’t seem to focus on a through line to their act. 

Posted on October 10, 2017 .