Improv Asylum
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216 Hanover Street, Boston, MA
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Meet the Inmates: Bryan Patterson

Monday, May 09, 2016

NXT Actor, Training Center Instructor, IA Bartender
Bartends: Almost every other night
Tenure: Worked for IA since November 2010

Do you remember how or when you realized that you wanted to work in comedy?

Bryan: I graduated from college and I had already worked here as a video intern. I was doing video stuff, I went to school for film. When I came back to Boston I needed a job, so I came here ‘cause I’d already had the internship. I really like working here, so I stayed.

C: You’re in a lot of different casts and shows here, including The Booby Trap, All The Single Ladies, NXT, and the Ghost Factory house team, as well as your own indie group Just Suspects, right?

B: How do you know all that!

C: I did my research! So how do these roles and shows differ from each other?

B: I’m not really sure what the status of the Single Ladies show is right now, but basically I dress like a woman - I shave my legs and stuff. That one’s fun, it’s on Saturday nights. I bartend here so it’s kind of nice that I can get a night off - somewhat. I get to perform, so that’s fun. Ghost Factory is a House Team. I’ve been doing House Teams for a long time and that’s one of my favorite teams. We’ll do like a twenty minute set. That show’s directed by Jeremy. This is my second year in the NXT cast. Right now we’re not in the revue process, we’re doing The Booby Trap, which is an all-improv show, which is fun cause you don’t have to prepare. But usually NXT is a revue, so we do sketch, improv, writing. That’s fun- it’s more of a process. I always find the process to be the most fun ‘cause you’re working toward it. It’s like a big goal.

C: And you get to see it come to life.

B: Yeah so, NXT is probably the most important, or at least the most challenging one, for sure. Just Suspects is my indie group. We’re going to start doing shows here on Wednesdays starting in May. We’ve been doing Wednesdays at The Hideout in Faneuil Hall for years. We’ve done a couple shows here, we used to. Way back before they had Show Against Humanity, we did a Just Suspects run Fridays at midnight. That was our first big revue. Then we did our own show at the Hard Rock Cafe called “About Time” directed by Jeremy. We got a run here on Mondays, that same revue. This new show is not so much a revue, it’s going to be more like our show that we do at The Hideout, which is more of a bit show. It’s very experimental comedy, very indie. Not so much sketch or improv, it’s a little mix of both. Sometimes we’ll have a host, similar to SNL, like a guest spot. We might have some standup. It’s basically a variety show, a lot of different stuff. We’re going to be doing it monthly which is great because we used to do a weekly show for a long time and it gets hard to pull in the audience. So once a month is a lot easier. We’re really excited for that. Most everyone in the group has been onstage for a long time, so It’ll be interesting to see the new challenges we’re taking on. Where we usually perform, The Hideout, it’s a bar. People are getting drinks and it’s loud. Your environment changes who you are. Over there, we initially just wanted to do improv, but we couldn’t do it at the bar ‘cause no one could hear us. We had to get microphones, we had to get speakers. What we found is more physical humor, more character bits. That changed it into the kind of comedy we do now. So it’d be interesting to see what we do because here, we know we can do improv successfully. It’ll be interesting to see how that mashup kind of show could evolve or change in a different venue.

C: Awesome, I’m excited to see it come alive here! Do you have any weird or funny warmup tactics for before you go onstage?

B: Sometimes I kind of get sick and almost throw up. I almost always have to throw up before a show. I think that’s just because I used to do wrestling in high school, and I’d have to throw up before matches to make weight or whatever. I feel like it’s just pressure - this is a stage. But other than that, we don’t really warm up for the Just Suspects shows. Just bantering with castmates and doing bits. If people want to do a warm up routine, we’ll do that. I’m a big fan of pattern games. We’ll be in a circle and order different T stops, so everyone has to say different T stops.

C: What’s your biggest fear onstage, or the worst thing you could imagine happening during a performance?

B: One thing that we love, all of us who perform at The Hideout, is that it's the place where we’re always failing. So much shit, all the time, goes wrong. So we’re pretty numb to messing up. But I would say the most embarrassing, worst thing that could happen would be...I would hate to accidentally say a word that I shouldn’t say. Something offensive. Other than that, if I ever accidentally hurt someone on stage doing something physical, that would be embarrassing. And I would never wanna do that.

C: Yeah, hopefully that never happens. What are your biggest pet peeves?

B: I’m trying to think. Eric, do you know a pet peeve of mine?

Eric: A pet peeve of yours? Uh, when anyone comments on you getting a haircut.

B: Oh yeah, I don’t like when people talk about my hair. That’s probably it, right?

Eric: Yeah, I mean you’re a pretty laid-back, easygoing guy.

B: Yeah I’m pretty laid back. I don’t really have that many pet peeves.

C: That’s a good thing. I have too many pet peeves, so I wish I could trade. If you could describe Boston’s flavor of comedy, what would you say it is?

B: The flavor is like the last sip of a beer. I think people wanna see that rash, Boston/Southie, kind of Irish humor. Not that I want to exclude anyone!

C: What’s your favorite part of being an Inmate at Improv Asylum?

B: The people! It’s all about the people. Everyone in my cast, everyone I work with. You can’t work with people you don’t like! But I like everyone. It’s just great working with people that you like. This place does a good job at hiring good people. Good work, people who work hard, people who do….stuff like that (Erica makes a funny face).

No More Group Hugs with Brad From Accounting

Adult Ed (Without Creepy Ed)