Difference between revisions of "Chet Watkins"

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(Improv Festivals: queens jamboree, baltimore, dcm '12)
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* 2011, 2012 Chicago Improv Festival [http://www.chicagoimprovfestival.org/ CIF]
* 2011, 2012 Chicago Improv Festival [http://www.chicagoimprovfestival.org/ CIF]
* 2011 Queens Fringe Festival - Featured Team [http://faceoffunlimited.com/posters QFF]
* 2011 Queens Fringe Festival - Featured Team [http://faceoffunlimited.com/posters QFF]
* 2011 Del Close Marathon [http://delclosemarathon.com DCM]
* 2011, 2012 Del Close Marathon [http://delclosemarathon.com DCM]
* 2011 Vancouver Improv Festival [http://vancouverimprovfest.com VIF]
* 2011 Vancouver Improv Festival [http://vancouverimprovfest.com VIF]
* 2012 NYC Improv Festival [http://nycimprovfest.com/ NYCIF]
* 2012 Baltimore Improv Festival [http://www.baltimoreimprovfestival.org BIG]
* 2012 Queens Improv Jamboree [http://secrettheatre.com/QIJinfo.html QIJ]
== Reviews / Recognition ==
== Reviews / Recognition ==

Revision as of 21:26, 5 July 2012

Chet Watkins is a longform improvisation group based out of New York City that performs weekly at the Magnet Theater.


Current: Chris Camp, Karsten Cross, Kelly Kreye, Lauren Olson, Christian Paluck, Justin Peters, John Roukis, Jana Schmieding

Directed by Jodi Lennon

Variations of Chet Watkins

  • March 2009-October 2009. Chris Camp, Kelly Kreye, Christine Magee, Dave Maulbeck, Christian Paluck, Lizzie Redner, Jana Schmieding, Dave Thunder.
  • October 2009-July 2010. Chris Camp, Kelly Kreye, Dave Maulbeck, Christian Paluck, Lizzie Redner, Jana Schmieding
  • July 2010-September 2010. Chris Camp, Kelly Kreye, Christian Paluck, Lizzie Redner, Jana Schmieding
  • October 2010-September 2011. Chris Camp, Laura Grey, Kelly Kreye, Christian Paluck, Lizzie Redner, Jana Schmieding
  • October 2011-November 2011. Chris Camp, Kelly Kreye, Christian Paluck, John Roukis, Jana Schmieding
  • December 2011-present. Chris Camp, Karsten Cross, Kelly Kreye, Lauren Olson, Christian Paluck, Justin Peters, John Roukis, Jana Schmieding.

Directors Chet Watkins has had: Alan Fessenden, Karsten Cross, Armando Diaz, Russ Armstrong

Improv Festivals

  • 2009, 2011 Boston Improv Festival BIF
  • 2010 Providence Improv Festival PIF
  • 2011, 2012 Chicago Improv Festival CIF
  • 2011 Queens Fringe Festival - Featured Team QFF
  • 2011, 2012 Del Close Marathon DCM
  • 2011 Vancouver Improv Festival VIF
  • 2012 NYC Improv Festival NYCIF
  • 2012 Baltimore Improv Festival BIG
  • 2012 Queens Improv Jamboree QIJ

Reviews / Recognition

  • "These long-form practitioners have a secret weapon: fearless women. The men aren’t half bad either (especially the woolly and magnificent Christian Paluck), but I marveled at how the ladies (including former Second City e.t.c. ensemble member Laura Grey) tackled each scene with bawdy abandon." TimeOut Chicago
  • "Overall, a very fun and affordable night with a great personal feel to it. This comic group has a lot of talent and chemistry, which allows them to so effectively play off of one another. A great show for a great price" ImprovisationNews Brendan McSherry
  • "If you admire great space work, character work and moment to moment reaction, not only is Chet a group you'll enjoy, but the Magnet Training Program is something you should definitely check out as well." ImprovisationNews Israel Savage
  • "Chet Watkins + The Magnet = Improv Gold!" Improvised New York
  • "Thank you for being hilariously funny all the time!" The Friars Club Improv & Sketch Comedy Competition

Group Bio

Magnet Theater‘s Chet Watkins – In March of 2009 a gaggle of performers were born. Some died, some wandered off into the woods, others went to work in the private sector. Those that remained grew strong by feeding on the nectar of specific choices and the gruel of strong character work. The not quite two year old terror that exists today is akin to watching a Tsunami of hair and teeth attack a baby Blue Whale and destroy it with the will of a thousand hungry Burnese Mountain Dogs.

What does it all mean? We don’t know. We all just took a creative writing course at the Learning Annex and we’re trying to make good use of it. Come make your own assessment every Friday at 8 pm at the Magnet Theater and you can write your own descriptive verse on who or what we are

Warm Ups

Chet Watkins loves to throw knives. Not with silly over committed grunts but with fast efficient throws, a "phhhfffft" noise and a catch. Chet Watkins doesn't stand in a circle and throw knives, they run frantically around a room and do it. Chet Watkins loves Beastie Boys Rap. Most notably in the format "Doobie Doobie doobie, doobie doobie doo" ("bah da da dah da da da da dah" is really lame). Every Beastie rap ends with furious dancing. Chet Watkins also likes to do a Pattern game every now and again. Chet Watkins also likes to do that game where you clap at the same time and say the words at the same time really quickly. Chet Watkins also does that "Gracious Goat" warm up, but only does it cause Kelly Kreye makes them.


The group was formed by Armando Diaz in February of 2009 for the purpose of performing in Megawatt, the Magnet's house team showcase. The members were picked from a graduating class of the Magnet conservatory's Team Performance Workshop. Chet Watkins first performed on Wednesday March 4th, 2009 at 10:00 PM with veteran Magnet Theater house team Hello Laser.

Magnet Theater house teams traditionally have been formed after auditioning improvisers in an invite only process that typically includes former Megawatt performers, students who have recently completed Level 6 Team Performance and performers from teams that have recently been disbanded. Chet Watkins was unique in that they were formed without auditioning and 7 of the 8 original members were chosen from a single round of the most recent Level 6 class that ended in February 2009.

In November 2010 the group was moved out of the theaters Wednesday night Megawatt slot to Friday nights where they performed a weekly one hour show. Their Friday night run ended at the end of July 2011. The group continues to perform weekly on Wednesday/Thursday nights.

To date Chet Watkins has had 13 distinct members of the group.

Origin of Name

While sitting at the Tick Tock diner right on 8th Ave and 34th Street we wrote a million different suggestions of team names on random scraps of paper. We were not getting anywhere. We were experiencing classic name suggestion overload... when that happens of course, as you all know, every name sounds completely ridiculous and dumb.

Then buried under "Camp Thunder" and something else, Chet Watkins emerged. We started describing Chet's personality traits. Of course it always seemed like Chet means well but he kind of sucks at everything. He's been crashing on your apartments couch for the past two months and can't remember to pick up milk from the store. He's divorced because he spends more time bowling than loving and caring for his ex-wife. He lives his life like its kind of a sad joke. But he's content and he's happy. He is ultimately a good guy.

Audience Appreciation Month

Chet Watkins has deemed every June as Audience Appreciation month. During this month they will buy every member of the audience beer for the entire month. Other surprises usually are included as well. Like cake and chocolate mustaches.

Dunk Watkins??

In December 2011, at the suggestion of co-Artistic Director, Louis Kornfeld, Chet Watkins melded with recently disbanded team Dunk to form a team of Megawatt veterans. Karsten Cross, Justin Peters, Lauren Olson and Garrett Palm joined the team for a trial run to see if the two energies melded well together. Garrett left at the end of December to literally travel around the entire world. The remaining "Dunkies" stuck permanently with Chet Watkins. This represents the biggest change in group history as just a couple months earlier Watkins had added John Roukis formerly with the improv group The Imposters, taking in 4 new members in a matter of months.

Honorary Members

Honorary Members are performers that have been invited to perform with Chet Watkins for a limited time (1 show or more) but are not actual members of the group.

Former Members

In October of 2009 Dave Thunder decided to take a hiatus to work on some of his other comedy projects and pursue acting and directing.

Christine Magee also left in Oct. 2009 to devote more time to teaching New York City children in schools as a part of the NYC Teaching Fellows program.

In July 2010, Dave Maulbeck left the group for personal reasons.

In September 2011, Laura Grey and Lizzie Redner left the group to pursue other comedic and non-comedic projects.