FROM Emma Allen
The rise of improv and the mainstreaming of ‘yes, and’ When a Press Play producer pitches a story idea that doesn’t make the cut, the staff jokingly says, “yes and.” The phrase, of course, comes from improv. In improv comedy, when someone throws an idea at you, no matter how bad, during a scene, you’re supposed to just go with it say, “yes and.” The fact that this is known outside the world of comedy clubs tells you how mainstream improv has become. The key organization behind that ubiquity is the improv empire known as the Upright Citizens Brigade, which holds classes in New York and LA and attracts tens of thousands of students a year, raking in millions of dollars. UCB has also promoted the idea of improv as self-improvement: something for everyone, not just wannabe actors. But it has also been criticized for a corporate and even cult-like environment.
Industry insights and lessons learned from memorable guests We have interesting guests on The Business, and sometimes our conversations are too long to fit into one show. This week we give you stories that were too good to leave on the cutting room floor, including some sharp insights on making it in the industry from David Mandel, David Simon, Shawn Levy and Matt Reeves.
Securing Public Spaces, Super Wealthy Asians Vehicles are increasingly being used as weapons, as seen in the London Bridge attack over the weekend and in New York’s Times Square last month. The Compton-based company Calpipe is designing security bollards to help make public spaces safer. And novelist Kevin Kwan satirizes the “crazy rich” Asian jet set and their luxurious tastes in his latest book, “Rich People Problems.”
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?
In 'Speechless,' Scott Silveri combines comedy, family & disability Scott Silveri has written and produced sitcoms for more than 20 years. In all that time, he never encountered a TV family that looked anything like the one he grew up in -- with a mom, a dad...and a brother with cerebral palsy. He changed that with his show Speechless on ABC. Silveri tells us about looking to his own past for stories, and why he was determined to make a family comedy and not just a "disability show."