With a combined total of 42 years of stage performance and between them, veteran improvisers Brad Fortier and Phil Incorvia actively evangelize a life of improv. According to the pair, the communication muscles developed in improv contribute to success in relationships, professional endeavors, and, more broadly, life.
The longtime friends met “before the turn of the century” as roommates when Incorvia relocated to become an active part of Portland’s improv community. Fortier, a new improv teacher at the time, lived in a house he terms “Planet Morrison,” where the newly-arrived Incorvia became one of a memorable cast of roommates. They’ve been fast friends since, performing and growing into men together.
Fortier and Incorvia founded “Happy Improv Fun Time,” their independent improv studio currently housed in the Willamette Cultural Resource Associates office building and warehouse in Portland, Ore., where Fortier contracts his archeology expertise. With a unique master’s degree in anthropology and theater arts from Portland State University, Fortier has traveled internationally to teach improv, the fine performance art that teaches people how to work together to make meaningful scenes in the moment.
Speaking about Portland’s improv scene, Fortier says, “It’s (Portland) starting to be a place where people are moving to to do improv and comedy which, like geez, five years ago I never would have imagined.”
Incorvia adds, “Yeah, it’s certainly... If you want to get in on what will appear in the not so distant future to be the ground floor, like now will be the ground floor.”
Fortier and Incorvia hold classes in Portland, and their schedule can be found online.
An in depth interview of Fortier and Incorvia discussing the how the lessons learned in improv apply to life in general can be found at: soundcloud.com/kaley-perkins/brad-fortier-and-phil-incorvia.
A Culture of Play: lulu.com/us/en/shop/brad-fortier/a-culture-of-play/paperback/product-20624866.html
Long-Form Improvisation: Collaboration, Comedy and Communion