It was 17 years ago that improv actor Stephanie Courtney (better known as “Flo” from Progressive Insurance) was one of the winners of our Shifting Baselines Stand Up Comedy Contest. It was 10 years ago that I first stood in shock and awe as I watched Brian Palermo teach improv to ocean conservationists with a level of energy I had never seen before in any instructor. Both of them are veterans of the world famous Groundlings Improv Comedy Theater. On Friday they joined a session of our current round of the ABT Framework course with the National Park Service. Check out the video of the session, it’s fun viewing.
YES, AND …
I’ve been working with the legendary Groundlings Improv Comedy Theater for nearly two decades. In 2002 I formed a partnership with one of their most talented comic actors, Jeremy Rowley as part of my Shifting Baselines Ocean Media Project (Jeremy’s enormously popular and hilarious Dating Video shows a bit of his comic brilliance).
That eventually led to recruiting Brian Palermo as a workshop co-instructor, which in 2013 produced our book, “Connection: Hollywood Storytelling Meets Critical Thinking.” Brian has gone on to build his own business teaching improv acting to scientists over the past decade, now working with everyone from JPL to AGU and the Ocean Sciences Meeting.
On Friday I had Brian and Stephanie Courtney (whom I’ve known since 2003, before she was “Flo” of Progressive Insurance, when she won our Shifting Baselines Stand Up Comedy Contest) as guests in our ABT Framework course. The session was so energy-packed and fun that we’ve decided to share it with everyone (above).
It gives you a sense of Brian’s energy, plus you can hear Stephanie talk about what it’s like to be the most popular corporate representative ever.