Episode 58: Bill Binder, Ninja Improvisor


A glorious morning to you, and a fine morning it is to enjoy the aromatic bouquet of the S&M Comedy Podcast!

Today’s interview features our fantastic conversation with Bill Binder of The Torch Theatre!  Bill is one of the founding members, or “The Foundation” of the Torch Theatre, our favorite little improv space at the bustling confluence of Camelback and Central Avenues in Central PHX.  Bill is a perplexing, enigmatic presence on any stage, able to layer his performances with fully informed references to Baudrillard’s Simulacra, deepened by philosophy gleaned from William Shatner, and tied together neatly by a diabolically extensive knowledge of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe…and then he’ll do the same thing in the course of a five minute one-on-one conversation about the weather.

As an instructor at The Torch, Bill can be a seemingly intimidating presence to the uninitiated.  His intellect is readily visible in his impassive face, and he has a way of cutting to the quick in every conversation.  Even his gait- purposeful and direct- means serious, non-fucking around business.  That is not to say that Bill is hard to deal with; far from it.  All of these traits, the focused determination and the firm, fixed desire to get to the heart of every matter, are designed to fill every student with a deeper understanding of not just longform improv, but of their own personal relationships and their place in the world.  Bill is one of those rare souls that genuinely believes in helping and encouraging others to look more deeply within themselves to do their best in whatever they strive to achieve.

As you’ll hear in this talk, Bill’s work extends further than his performances with Apollo 12 & Galapagos and his instruction at Torch; he’s now reaching out to improv theaters in other cities to form the National Improv Network in an effort to establish a baseline for performance and instruction quality across the country.  It’s the very tiny beginning of an immense tidal wave, growing in size and scope, ready to wash over improv theaters and troupes all across America, and Bill is surfing the very crest of it.  Either that, or he’s a savage supervillain, uniting outcasts from society under one monolithic umbrella to take over the world and bring about the end of civilisation as we know it.  One of the two.

We had a good time in this conversation, and we hope this podcast will help inspire members of the PHX Comedy Scene to go down to The Torch Theatre to see Bill perform with The Foundation and want to learn longform themselves and become more well rounded performers.  Gah!  Did you hear that?  We’re all supportive and welcoming and crap!  He’s rubbing off on us!

This Thursday at Monkey Pants, the comedic powers of Myke Dehu, Anthony Desamito, Matt Micheletti, Charlie Speez, Kristofer Royer, Geof Picarreta, Jim Bambrough, Matt Levy, Chale Galaviz, and Josef Kruppenbacher unite to with the attitude adjusting energies of $4 Captain Morgans to battle the evil forces of boredom and tedium!

Friday night, S&M Comedy Presents returns to Space 55 for another raucous Poetry Slim, featuring far too many comics to name!  The soliloquies kick off at 10.30pm, and the last Poetry Slim was a standing room only crowd, so make sure you get there early with your $5 admission in hand to ensure your sensitive side a seat!

Upcoming shows for us:  Jamie will be at Laughs and Drafts at Copper Blues on 6/18.

Pertinent Links:

Go and read some of Bill’s blog!

Get out to The Torch Theatre and take a class!  Improve your improv!

Tune in now to the National Improv Network!

Forget not S&M Comedy Presents Poetry Slim!

Twitterz:  Bill  Torch  S&M  Steve  Jamie

Facebookz:  Torch  S&M  Jamie  Steve

Get out to Press Coffee and get some juice!

Thanks for listening; keep coming out to shows and supporting the Live, Local, Spur-of-the-Moment, Always-Yessing Independent PHX Comedy Scene!


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