I discovered the thrill of live performance like many others... in school plays. In college I became heavily involved in the Little Theatre, learning everything from writing and performing, to building sets and hanging lights. This technical training opened the door to working Concert Production during the Summers and IATSE calls the rest of the year at our LORT House, Studio Arena Theatre, where I gained plenty of carpentry and production experience.  Eventually, I got my Equity card, a coveted benchmark of the professional actor.

Even though all the plays and commercials added to my experience, improv comedy became the main component in my performing life.  It honed skills I didn't know I had; it became therapeutic in ways I still don't understand.  I'm not a smoker and I'm not a big drinker, but I do see improv as a bit of an addiction.

I started out with ComedySportz in 1993, but I've been a founding member of shortform troupe Eclectic Improv Company since 1998. I'm also proud of my work with Todd Benzin in Longform duo Babushka! where I find it fulfilling to create many intertwining characters, yet not feel rushed to complete a story arc. Recently I've been co-hosting a comedy podcast called The Discount Deejays with Adam Nowak, who started in ComedySportz with me so many years ago.

 

As a graduate of Toronto's Second City Conservatory and Improv Programs, I've studied under Moira Dunphy, Jerry Schaefer, and the late Frank McAnulty. I even got to take an Intensive with Susan Messing AND see TJ & Dave in action, which are conservatories in and of themselves. Improvising in Toronto allowed me to perform with a plethora of improvisers, and I grew immensly because of it.  I'll also remain friends with my Conservatory class forever.

 

Improv has made me into the performer I am today. It's my passion. It's my Method.

© 2017 by Don Gervasi.

Actor. Writer. Improv guy.

Buffalo, NY