From the Sidelines: Five Questions with David Warick

David Warick has worked as a professional actor, improviser, teacher and writer for over fifteen years. He is a member of SAG, Actors Equity, the Writer’s Guild and the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Guild.

After graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts he trained and performed with The Groundlings, The Second City LA, and Los Angeles Theatresports for over ten years At Los Angeles Theatresports he regularly performed in the groundbreaking long-form show, TRIPLE PLAY. He later wrote for Paramount, Fox and Walt Disney Television and was a story analyst for Artisan Entertainment, IFC, Avenue Pictures and director Michael Mann.

David has taught improv to adults, teens and kids on both Coasts. In Los Angeles, he developed the popular teen improv stage show LAUGH OUT.

In July 2005, David founded the Delaware Comedy Theatre. In addition to teaching workshops and classes for DCT, he has also served as director for the sold-out shows “A Chili Sumo Christmas” and “Cupid Shoots Self In Foot.”


What is your approach to improv?

Eclectic.  A balance between the structural approach of Johnstone / Second City / Groundlings, to the more organic / experiential approach of Spolin and others.

Is there anything in particular that you find informs or inspires your scenework?

No matter what the format or venue, playing it fully and real – allowing myself to experience real emotions as an actor and channeling these directly into the Game/Scene through connection with my partner on stage.  I take improv deadly serious underneath it all, really.

Are there any pre-show warmups or rituals that you do?

I don’t like over warming up – it almost always leads to a bad show. Quick, fun, easy bonding with others. But a balance between the physical, vocal, stream of consciousness and team mind is a good idea, I think. About four to five warmup games is more than enough.

What is something that’s proven to be a significant challenge in improving your work?

Separating my director’s head, my writers head and performers head – depending on who I’m working with – and just allowing myself to be all there, experiencing whatever is happening in the moment, giving gifts to others and finding the fun or newness in each new scene for me.

What advice would you give to those who are new to improv?

Take improv seriously as its own art form – not ancillary to writing, acting, whatever. Take every game you get and try to make it work for you – don’t cherry pick the types of games and formats you’ll participate in. Come in to a scene with a character, a strong want and an attitude towards the other characters and heighten it – immediately. Have fun and be good to other improvisers; if their newer than you, make them look awesome, rather than foolish. Find patterns/game within the scene and heighten it don’t fight it.
Develop showmanship and an eye for putting on a good looking set; dress well; don’t be sloppy in how you perform or present your set; keep it shorter rather than longer. Don’t settle on one school of improv thought – take the best from each and become an improv star in your own right.


One Response to From the Sidelines: Five Questions with David Warick

  1. Kristen says:

    Yay David!

    The best thin I can say about him is that you can totally see the joy and fun in his improv and in the way he approached life. No that I know him that well, but sure seem like it.

    He definately practices what he preaches.
    I am a cheerleader for David. Yay David!

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