Merlin Works Teacher Spotlight: Kevin Miller

Kevin MillerI’ve known Kevin Miller since we were both Plan II Honors students at The University of Texas. When nerds unite, it is a lifelong bond. We played together years ago at the Hideout Theater. And the past few years he’s been back in the improv scene with a vengeance. Kevin is a hub of Austin Improv Online, responsible for the eminently useful Facebook Group Hey Austin Improv, Whatcha Doin’ Tonight? as well as the insider comedy Tumblr WhenInAIC. Kevin is fun, smart, passionate, and a great communicator.  You’ll often find him setting up 3 or 4 games a night with the preface, “This is one of my favorite games.” We are excited to have him as one of the newest teachers at Merlin Works. He is one of our favorite teachers.

Get to know him a little better in this interview:

When and how did you get in to improv?

In 2001, I went to my friend’s graduation show at the Hideout Theatre and decided if he could do it, I could too. I started class the very next morning, taught by Shana Merlin herself.

When did you know you were bitten by the bug?

That’s an interesting question, because I don’t know exactly when I fell head-over-heels in love with improv. It was just a gradual process of taking over my weekend nights… and then my weeknights. Now I can’t imagine life without it.

What do you love about improv?

Well, besides “everything,” I love marveling at the endless possibilities that improv gives us. When a performer delivers a line that’s somehow both obvious and unexpected, or when a new show format pushes the boundaries of what improv *is*, I feel like it’s a microcosm for human creativity as a whole.

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What are some highlights of your performance experience?

The most fun I’ve ever had is improvised Beverly Hills, 90210. My favorite accomplishments are improvising as a single character for an entire ten-show run of improvised steampunk, and performing improvised Star Trek at an actual Star Trek convention.90210posterweb-small

How would you describe your teaching style?

I try to be even nerdier and more playful than my students, so they know it’s okay to push themselves out of the “cool” box. And I laugh a lot.

 What advice would you give a new improviser?

Relax and have fun, instead of being funny. The comedy will come to you.

What’s something you are passionate about that has nothing to do with improv?

For some nerdy reason, I have a slight obsession with Legos.

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About Shana Merlin

Merlin Works is the brainchild of Shana Merlin: improviser, teacher, and performer. Since 1996, she’s been leading classes that stretch people’s imaginations, push them out of their comfort zones, and make them laugh out loud for hours at a time.
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