Baltimore Improv Group welcomed Kate Zelensky as a teacher and improviser in September 2017. We’re wishing her well as she skips town later this year, but first! We had a conversation about her time at BIG.
Kate developed many BIG shows including Surprise Party, KZ Irregulars, Romper Room, and When Improv Meets Stand Up.
Sharing her methods, language and tools to many in our community, Kate taught BIG classes such as Evente, Monoscene, Openings and Initiations, and Intro to Game.
Before arriving in the Baltimore area, Kate spent 10 years at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City performing with former Harold Night team Sandino, weekend team Airwolf, and taught all levels at the UCBNY training center for 5 years.
Read on for a transcript of our conversation.
Tell us all about your time at BIG as a teacher and a performer. How might you describe it to someone who knew nothing about improv?
My time at BIG has been very rewarding – as general as that sounds.
Let me specific ... coming in I had a great, long-term relationship established with my bosses (Terry and Jenn Withers) and also built a fast relationship with my other boss Michael Hartwell.
What I found was that I was met with warmth from my new teammates and respect and enthusiasm from my new students.
I’ve had the opportunity to teach workshops all around the East Coast, but to get to have an experience of instructing and performing more long-term in a different city than New York definitely challenged me to evolve to a new theatre with its own groove and philosophy.
If I had to describe BIG to the layman I would say: if you’ve ever been part of a team or classroom environment and would like to discover something more positive and forgiving in those spaces, try BIG.
For the more knowledgeable improv crowd, what do you hope they’ll take away from your time here.
For the improv savvy folks, I hope they’ll take away my time here is to trust your teachers and coaches and peers that guide you.
My style is blunt and I come from a lot of discipline training for this art form, but I’m leading you to find the best way to take what makes you funny and make that effective in your long form improv.
Kate worked with Comedy Central, Onion News Network, MTV and MTVOTHER, Fuse, HLN, National Geographic, the CW, TLC, IFC, The Colbert Report, The Food Network, TruTV, Above Average, Fox.com, UCBcomedy.com, UCB BETA Teams, College Humor, Funny or Die...
... and most importantly Baltimore Improv Group.
Thanks for being you, Kate!
Various BIG members and friends contribute to the blog. Enjoy!