Where are you from?
What was your favorite show as a kid?
Hmm? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was my favorite TV show and Jurassic Park was my favorite movie.
Do you remember the very first video game you ever had?
The old Atari was the first. I remember playing Space Invaders and Pit Fall. The first one I really remember spending hours playing was the original NES and the OG Gameboy. Several hours logged on Battletoads and Link's Awakening.
If you had an arcade room in your house, what games would be in there and why?
The Jurassic Park Pinball Machine, several other pinball machines, the T2 one, Alien, The Creature from the Black Lagoon. I love pinball and Jurassic Park is my favorite table. The OG Mortal Kombat, the original Ninja Turtles arcade machine, Off Road Turbo, Street Fighter 2, the original Simpsons arcade game. Oh man, I would love to have an Arcade!
How did you get started in improv?
I got started in improv by taking my first theater class in 10th grade. I was honestly taking drama because I thought it would be easy and it sounded kind of fun. My teacher, Ms. Miles, did a whole unit on improv and we learned a very basic Harold in class and performed it and I loved it! I then fell in love with acting and directing and I started doing workshops in SLC with KYSOff when I was in 11th grade. Improv is the best!
What brought you to Cedar City?
I went to SUU for college. I moved to Cedar with my friends Chase and Will, thought I'd be here for a couple of months, met my wife, started OTC, and I've been here ever since. Haha!
Tell us about meeting Wendy!
The first time I met Wendy she was my SUU orientation leader. She invited me and my friends to an improv show they were doing for the college at the time with a group called Improv Sports and I got to see her do improv. She was awesome, and still is. My favorite improviser. We started hanging out at Improv Sports rehearsals and I didn't talk to her for like a year (I'm smooth like butter, or socially awkward, maybe a little of both?), then she called me and we have pretty much hung out everyday since.
What is your favorite part about teaching classes at the OTC Comedy Training Center?
I love being able to share the craft and art of improvisation with people. It is something that has brought much joy and laughter into my life, has improved my quality of life, made me a better person, and really challenged and changed me. I absolutely love it! I love seeing people get up onstage and surprise themselves. With improv you get to hear authentic voices of people. There's no script to follow, there is no path you must stay on. It's you and your choices dealing with another person and their choices. It's not controlled, it's experienced. Sorry, I kind of went all improv zen freak, but I stand by it! Also, it's damn fun and astonishingly funny at times.
What do you do when you aren't improvising?
I love hanging out with Wendy and my peeps! I love to play video games, listen to music, argue with myself in my truck, hike, boat, travel, and enjoy a damn fine meal!
What's your favorite show now?
Hmm? That's tough for me. So I'll put a few. Parks and Rec, Schitt's Creek, The Good Place, Arrested Development (original series), Game of Thrones, Last Week Tonight, Happy Endings, 1st Season of True Detective, and I would be lying if I didn't mention how many fail videos I watch on YouTube. I love Fail-Army.
Have more questions for TJ? Come to Off the Cuff on Friday nights at 10pm. Inquiring minds want to know what he is arguing with himself about in his truck. See you soon!