Mirth in a Box (MiaB)* interviews another rising improve star, Alex Berg of Los Angles, CA. Alex will be performing at the 14th annual Del Close Marathon in NYC. The Del Close Marathon runs June 29 through July 1 this year
MiaB: How long have you been with the UCB?
AB: I started taking classes at UCBLA in spring of ’06, maybe? I don’t know. I have a terrible memory and there’s no seasons here so time passes you by in different ways. Either way, it’s been a while, and a good while at that.
MiaB: What got you into improv?
AB: When I was 11, I went to summer camp at Long Lake Camp for the Performing Arts. I had no clue what improv was, and had no desire to do it. Alas, the lifeguards on duty at the lake were about to take a period off, and so kicked my pasty butt out of the water. Some friends of mine were on their way to an improv rehearsal and dragged me with them. That was 18 years ago, and to this day I’m still a better improviser than I am a swimmer.
MiaB: Who is your favorite improv performer/team to watch?
AB: Dasariski. I have no idea if they’ll be at DCM this year or not, but for my money they’re the finest improv team on the planet. They’re patient, grounded, and never pull anything out of their asses on stage. It all happens right there, in front of you. I’d also highly recommend seeing Bassprov should you get the chance. Y’know, and my teams (Convoy, Sentimental Lady)
MiaB: What has been your favorite moment doing improv?
AB: Hrm… Robin Williams dropped by UCBLA one night and sat in with Sentimental Lady for a show a few years back. Given how many thousands of times I watched Aladdin as a kid, that was pretty awesome. Then again, I got to do a show in a science museum earlier this year. Then again again, there was that time I made a spot on penis joke and everybody chortled at my cleverness. So, it’s tough to pick.
MiaB: Have you ever performed at the Del Close Marathon before?
AB: Yeah. A bunch of times. I think this will be my seventh year there? I had to miss one year because my lousy sister had her wedding that same weekend, but I’m told that whoever sat in for me with Convoy wore camo shorts (so I was there in spirit at least).
MiaB: What time is your slot?
AB: Sentimental Lady is up at 7:30pm on Friday at the UCB main stage, and Convoy is up at 5:00pm on Sunday at the UCB main stage. Also, I’m teaching a class at 1:00 Friday afternoon, should you want less performance and more of me stammering my way through improv philosophy for a few hours.
MiaB: Is there anything that you would like to say to the people out there internets?
AB: Check me out on Facebook**.
* We have Ed Vail to thank for this series of interviews!
** Please note!!! The Alex Berg on Facebook with 1500 followers is actually a bunch of his friends. The Alexander Paul Berg Facebook page, I hope, is real.Actually, I just found out that I was duped and Alex will never, ever have a Facebook page. Sigh.
*** Disclosure: Alex Berg is Gay’s first-born son so we(she) think he is great.