IRC Podcast with Craig Cackowski

Episode 14 of the Improv Resource Center Podcast is up and ready to download. Craig Cackowski from iO West and Second City in LA talks about doing scenes from imaginary plays, feeling scenes before you know what is happening, La Ronde and the North vs. South Harold.

See Craig perform in Quartet at iO West and Dasariski at UCB Theatre. He has been writing about his 20 years in improv at He will be an instructor at Camp Improv Utopia next May.

It’s funny how memory warps and changes over the years and how if we are honest, we don’t remember the past like we think we do. I had one thought about La Ronde, after considering our conversation. While I’ve always thought Del must have come up with the idea, I don’t really remember doing it in his class. I’m thinking that Craig’s version is probably right. It was his idea originally and I just assumed it was something Craig had done in Del’s class.

5 thoughts on “IRC Podcast with Craig Cackowski”

  1. Loved listening to Craig. Especially him talking about feeling scenes before you know what is happening. OMG, I wish EVERYONE understood this. As an audience member, I would have much better theater going experiences if this was true in every scene.

    Wish he wouldve talked more or described more of what a La Ronde might look like.

    I will be seeing him at Camp Improv Utopia, so I guess I will ask him there 🙂

  2. I’ve taught & peformed the LaRonde several times and this interview alone was my education in it for a long time. I’ve learned that to not have too similar of a show(ex:all about ‘rednecks’) C should initiate w/a character that takes B away from A and A&B’s scene so that the rest of the show is about exploring, then pulling it back to make the final connection. What other tricks & tips can be shared about this form?

  3. Every time you edit, the person making the edit has the responsibility to take the character that is staying to a new kind of situation. Here are the guidelines I like to give:

    • Move the character to a different realm of their life. If the character was at work, let’s see them at home, or at play. If they are a cop, let’s see them doing something besides police work. Are they also a landlord? Do they use Tinder? Do they bowl with their dad on Saturdays?
    • Also, it’s good to take the character to a surprising situation. Take the drill sargent to a pottery class, the librarian to martial arts ring, the cheerleader to the secret headquarters of a criminal organization.
    • Don’t talk about things from previous scenes and don’t feel the need to explain how a character is both a high school cheerleader and a mobster. She just is both things.
    • Characters should behave similarly in both of their scenes, have the same physical manners and same voice, but they should have new things to talk about each time they appear.
    • The last link can be the most fun because it’s the second scene for two different characters. The person initiating the scene should try to find a situation in which it is surprising to find both characters.

    Hope that helps!

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