Second City, the improv organisation that started the careers of performers such as Bill Murray, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Mike Myers, Amy Poehler and John Belushi will be setting up shop in London’s own Angel Comedy in the heart of Islington in May to teach improv classes in the day and perform in the evening. This is the first time in their history. So who are the improv experts running the training classes?
Kevin is a writer, musician, improviser and has been a professional actor for 30 years. During this time, he has performed in over 60 television commercials and has had countless appearances on popular series television. Kevin hosted the nationally syndicated children’s game show Kidstreet for five years (350 episodes) and he enjoyed success as the host of Animal Planets’ Pet Project, which received 4 Gemini nominations, including Best Host in a Lifestyle & Information Program. He can also be heard as many of the voices in the Thomas the Tank Engine 1st feature movie.
Kevin began his career studying improvisational comedy with the Second City in Toronto. He rose through the ranks, eventually performing on the main stage at the Old Firehall. He is now Artistic Director of the Second City Training Centre and teaches improv to today’s new hopefuls. In the spring of 2014 Kevin had the pleasure of narrating a Children’s Story with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for 9 sold out performances at Roy Thomson Hall. When Kevin isn’t improvising he can be found behind his drum kit keeping time for Glendale One. Their CD, Live at Asylum Artists is creating a buzz on the Indie scene. You can check them out on iTunes!
Lisa Merchant has been improvising and acting for 28 years. She is a multiple nominee and winner of numerous Canadian Comedy Awards. Lisa was one of the cast of the Gemini nominated Joe Blow Show. She created and produced Toronto’s longest running comedy festival, March of Dames. Some television credits include: Murdoch Mysteries, Train 48, Listen Missy, Go Girl!, to name a few.
Lisa performs monthly in Monkey Toast, the live improvised talk show, now in its 12th year. Lisa is an understudy for the highly acclaimed Women Fully Clothed. She is a 20+ year Senior Faculty member at The Second City Training Centre and corporate facilitator with The Second City Communications division. Additionally she is extremely proud to have delivered improvisation workshops to Canada’s Olympic Team hopefuls for the London 2012 Summer Games as well as Sochi 2014 Winter Games.
Jason DeRosse is the Canadian Comedy Award Winner 2013 for both Best Male Improviser and Best Improv Troupe (Mantown) . He is a recent alumni of the Second City Toronto where he wrote and performed in four amazingly-well received revues and five Second City Touring Company Shows.
Jason’s also an alumni of the Canadian Comedy Award winning troupe The Sketchersons and performed for over four years in their weekly show Sunday Night Live .
Currently on stage in Toronto you can find Jason with the improv juggernaut Mantown, the hilarious sketchprov troupe PB&J and the trio Maybe (Toronto Star has called them possibly the “…next generation of great Canadian Sketch Comedy”).
Jason DeRosse’s television highlights include: Meet The Family (currently on CityTV), Hotbox, Scare Tactics and Sketcherson TV.
His latest writing endeavours for television and film are with Toonbox Entertainment where he was nominated for his writing on The Beet Party and given a “Special Thanks” for the movie The Nut Job starring the voices of Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser and Katherine Heigl.
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