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St. Louis improv artists wing their way through this Cut & Paste episode

Members of St. Louis' Improv Shop -- Tyler Crandall, Andrew Langerak, Erinne Haberl, Daniel Westheimer, Asia Thomas, Sue Koppel -- perform on stage in this file photo.
Provided | Improv Shop
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Members of St. Louis' Improv Shop, from left to right: Tyler Crandall, Andrew Langerak, Erinne Haberl, Daniel Westheimer, Asia Thomas and Sue Koppel, perform on stage.

We’ve all had that dream. You know, the one where you’re naked on stage and the audience is laughing.

For an improv performer, that’s no nightmare; that’s life. OK, they're wearing clothes but they're emotionally naked, working without a script, responding off the cuff to random cues from the audience and their co-performers.

In our latest Cut & Paste podcast, we talk with Kevin McKernan, Melanie Penn and Becca Brooks — members of St. Louis’ Improv Shop —  about what it’s like to be in the spotlight and the hot seat.

Becca Brooks, Kevin McKernan and Melanie Penn of the Improv Shop ( Jan. 5, 2016)
Credit Carolina Hidalgo| St. Louis Public Radio
Becca Brooks, Kevin McKernan and Melanie Penn of the Improv Shop.

Here’s some of what you’ll hear in the podcast:

  • Becca Brooks on being thrown an unfamiliar word: “If there’s something we don’t know, we’re not going to let the audience know; so we just say, ‘OK.’”

  • Melanie Penn on the importance of trust and vulnerability: "Improv, when you boil it down, is the art of being human."

  • Kevin McKernan on sports analogies: "What we like about sports, and improv, is that we don't know what is going to happen."

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Look for new Cut & Paste (#cutpastestl) podcasts every few weeks on our website. You can also view all previous podcasts focusing on a diverse collection of visual and performing artists, and subscribe to Cut & Paste through this link.

Follow Willis and Nancy on Twitter: @WillisRArnold and @NancyFowlerSTL

Please help St. Louis Public Radio find artists to feature on Cut & Paste. Tell us which artists and cultural themes deserve a closer look.

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