What does it take to be an improv musician? Laura Hall from Whose Line Is It Anyways talks about the show, The Sweet Potatoes, Improv Karaoke and how we can make it as improv musicians.
ENTERTAINMENT DRIVE-THRU PRESENTS
The Sweet Potatoes
Laura Hall is best known as the improvisational pianist the hit TV show, “Whose Line is it Anyway”, which is currently in production again after a 10 year hiatus. New episodes air on the CW network on Friday nights.
Laura got her start in Chicago at “The Second City” as an improvisational pianist, composer and musical director. There she helped create for the Jeff Award winning revue, “Channel This!” Laura has toured nationally doing live improv with “Drew Carey and The Improv Allstars”, and played with countless improv groups in Chicago and L.A., including The Groundlings, Annoyance Theater, Improv Olympic, Opening Night: The Improvised Musical, and Theatresports. Laura and her husband, Rick Hall, also teach music improv workshops around the country. They have developed “Improv Karaoke” a set of cds designed to help improvisors learn how to perform song improv.Laura’s pet project, Americana style band, “The Sweet Potatoes”, released first their album “Faith, Good Neighbors and a Telephone”, which received critical praise and airplay around the country. “The Sweet Potatoes” tour nationally, doing fun live acoustic shows everywhere from performing arts centers to house concerts.
Laura has written music for several indie films, including the score for “Slice of Pie”, written by and starring her husband. She also scored an award winning documentary about the holocaust, “Swimming in Auschwitz”, and the romantic comedies, “Anatomy of a Breakup”, directed by Judy Minor, and “Look at Me”. Laura has also composed music for several original plays and musicals, including “Where Did Vincent Van Gogh?” and “Empire Burlesque” with Dan Castellaneta, as well as Theater-A-Go-Go’s “Patty! Patty! Bang! Bang!” which won an LA Weekly Award for Best New Musical.
Grew up in Chicago
Worked in Second City as a waitress then musical director
Met her husband there.
Learned from the one and only Fred Cass
Moved to Los Angeles to pursue singing/songwriting
Ron West Producer on Whose Line and asked her to audition
Auditioned with Brad Sheerwood and Wayne Brady
Getting the call about Whose Line is it Anyway getting picked up again
Same stage and studio for Whose Line is it Anyway
Aisha Tyler vs. Drew Carey hosting
Whose Line is it anyway turned into Improv Karaoke
Teaches Improv Karaoke Workshops with her husband
Benefit Show with Robin Williams
They got The Sweet Potatoes name from a name generator website
Showing her daughter Whose Line Is It Anyway
“There´s always gonna be someone who plays better than you, so you gotta be everything else”
“Every chance you get play with people that are better than you”
“If there are two improv people and you. You gotta step up! Your part is equal.”
Balancing act, being a musician, manager, pr, social media person etc.
“Doing improv and making money doing it too, what a shocker that is.”
SONG OF THE SHOW
Big Yellow Dog by The Sweet Potatoes
Robin Williams on Whose Line Is It Anyway