Tuesday December 30, 2014 at 3pm (CLICK HERE FOR DISCOUNT TICKETS) is our last show of the year. And sadly it is the last show for cast member, Brandon Ford. Brandon is moving to North Carolina next month to go to college… FINALLY… never mind that for now LOL
But the reason I take time now to blab about Brandon, in a way Brandon is a huge part of what EIGHT IS NEVER ENOUGH IMPROV means to me.
Brandon started his journey with us a high school in Queens. At the time I was director of instruction at the Comedy Hall of Fame. I was teaching a weekly program at Queens Preparatory High School in Springfield Gardens, just minutes from JFK airport and the infamous Van Wyke….
In the two years Brandon took these classes, her quickly emerged as a leader. In fact about 5 weeks into our classes, he and some friends formed their own troupe, performing at school functions and always delivering great work in class. In fact the way I heard about their endeavors was from a fellow teachers that gave them compliments on their performance. “WHAT PERFORMANCE?” Still don’t know the whole story behind that formation but could not be more thrilled by the initiative.
Here are some video highlights of Brandon in High School sketches and with LMAO
Unfortunately that group had the same fate as so many troupes in our world. But Brandon continued to grow and thrive. In the summer after his graduation, Brandon assisted me in teaching a teen summer camp. This internship grew into performing some of our outreach shows when we were short handed. What ever Brandon lacked in professional experience, he more than made up for with natural talent and relatability to the younger audiences at summer camps.
There is a lesson to be learned to all young artists of any discipline. When you are friendly, people want to work with you. And Brandon almost felt like the adopted younger brother of most of the cast. While we constantly said – ARE YOU ENROLLED IN COLLEGE CLASSES YET? – we – each in our own way – nurtured his talent. We have a few natural Fathers, mothers and older sibling types in the cast.
In the past year, Brandon has become a full time member of the cast, touring with the outreach, performing in our New York public shows and even assistant teaching at the same program at his own high school and others. Although I no longer spear head that program our troupe’s teachers are still in the trenches running classes.
So I hope that all will come out and join us Tuesday (Tomorrow… or perhaps today if you are getting this on Wednesday) and send of the year 2014 and our student turn intern turn colleague – and always our friend – Brandon Ford!!!