Meet the Teach: Andrew Cornelius

Hello, ComedySportz New York Loyal Fanz!

Its been a great summer. Some of our Playerz have produced works of their own (A.J. Cote’s Puppet Shakespeare premiered Puppet Titus Andronicus and James Rana launched a revised Zoro!) and “we dominated” at the ComedySportz tournament in Milwaukee; according to the subject of this month’s blog, Andrew Cornelius. More on him later.

Production ReadyBut fun aside, we’re officially “post Labor Day”, which means back to school time for students, old and young. And with that we wanted to spotlight the instructor our 303 class.  None other than the super talented Andrew Cornelius. Andrew is a prime example that in order to stay knowledgeable and fresh in any field, you have to keep learning. He is a “proud graduate” from Second City A – E (games), Second City Conservatory and Musical Conservatory, iO, Annoyance, in Chicago; as well as Magnet Musical Improv, The PIT, UCB and Broadway’s Next Hit Musical. Training aside, he’s also equally as supportive off the stage as he is on and he took some time (while he was on vacation) to answer some questions about the upcoming level 303 class.

How long have you been performing as a ComedySportz player and why did you join?

My debut show with ComedySportz New York City was July 30th, 2011.  I was a part of  short-form improv comedy teams in Chicago from 2005 – 2010 prior to that.  I joined ComedySportz because my friend from musical improv classes, Drew Tarvin, got me an audition slot.  I should point out Drew is now a CSz manager…so, I think he has good taste.

What’s a fun memory that you have from performing with CSz?

I was blown away by ComedySportz tournament this year in Milwaukee, WI.  It is such an amazing feeling to perform this kind of comedy locally, and then travel to find there are other performers across the United States (and the UK and Germany) doing the work as well or better.  The icing on the cake was performing in front of an audience of local fans and being funny enough to win the votes away from the home team.  Eat it, Milwaukee!

What do you love about coaching/ teaching?

I love teaching in general.  There are so many ways to do a particular scene well, and I like to put on my “Artistic Director” hat and shine the light on other ways to make a successful scene.  In particular, I love teaching the 300 level classes because this is where I get to show off the “cheat-codes.”  Not only do we get to delve into the micro-comedy of “what is the built-in comedy in a game?” but we get to tackle macro-comedy questions of “where can we mine the whole-show comedy gold?”

What coach/teacher was the biggest influence on your playing style?

The biggest influence on my playing was Mick Napier of the Annoyance.  The Annoyance was like improv graduate school for me.  He taught me my style of play, which I would describe as aggressively collaborative.  I convey comedic ideas, but not at the expense of my scene partner’s.

What do you hope students will gain from the class?

If I did my job, the students will walk away better players of the ComedySportz game canon and leave with an understanding of how to maximize their comedy opportunities in a short-form improv show.

Sign up for our next semester today. You’ll be glad you did.