The Improv Agents | Improv Workshops

Emily Askin

Emily has been found using her improv skills to trust her instincts as a small business owner, to think on her feet when auditioning, and as a way to stay present while trying to adult.

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mily Askin is an actor and entrepreneur with a combined 15 years of experience teaching and performing and has been celebrating the power of improv as a mindfulness and development tool in both her professional and personal endeavors. After receiving a degree in Theatre from Kenyon College, Emily studied and performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade and Magnet Theaters in NYC. Emily performed for the UCB in New York and LA and has toured the US with her improv troupe, Bombardo, for the UCB TourCo.  In 2015, Bombardo was the first improv troupe to headline the Pittsburgh Comedy Festival. In Pittsburgh, Emily has performed on various house teams, for many years with the musical improv troupe The Lupones, and has co-written 2 award-winning screenplays for the 48 Hour Film Festival. In a bizarre twist of fate, Emily also starred in a documentary about women in comedy and plastic surgery called “Take My Nose, Please.” Ever the entrepreneur, when Emily returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh in 2011 she co-founded and operated a highly successful, award-winning salon and spa for 4 years. Since selling the business, Emily has been exploring new ways to use improv as a tool to enhance people’s lives, including creating an improv program for women in the mental health system.

Frank McDade

Frank has used his improv skills to facilitate a smooth Yes, And in verbal wars between co-workers, improve his writing by using the structure of different improv forms, and has gained the title of “the fun one” just by mentioning that he does comedy.

Frank McDade is an artistic entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in bringing fun, creativity, and strategic ideas to the world around him. He started studying improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in NYC before moving to Chicago to study at iO and work in the marketing department for the B2B division of the famed comedy theater, The Second City.  Frank has performed and coached both long form and short form improv, written many sketches for video and stage, dabbled in clowning but couldn’t master the pratfall, and co-produced a transmedia web series “I Made America”. For the majority of his day job career, Frank served as a business consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, bringing design thinking to a traditionally non-creative world. His area of expertise is in content, marketing, and digital transformation. He has worked with fortune 500 companies such as Toys “R” Us, Humana, HP Enterprise, and Eli Lilly. Aside from co-founding The Improv Agency, Frank created his own line of original plush toys, puppets, and stories, owns and operates his own toy store Playn’at Toys, and is co-founder and Partner, Strategy and Consulting at DIRT Research and Consulting. He is certified in LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® and has completed training in Strategyzer and the Fundamentals of Innovation through Human-Centered Design at LUMA Institute. Frank graduated from Point Park University with a Bachelor of Science in Sport, Arts and Entertainment Management with a concentration in Photography.

Jocelyn Hillen

Jocelyn uses uses her improv skills to connect with her customers, speak in front of groups and crack inappropriate jokes in meetings.

Jocelyn Hillen fell in love with performing at the age of 10, when she went on an extremely ill-advised audition for the Mickey Mouse Club. This led to her attending the Pittsburgh High School of Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) for acting and musical theater, receiving a BFA in Theatre from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia as well as earning a degree in residential design. Throughout this time, Jocelyn began to host a local cabaret series and act regularly in regional theater productions, as well as completing several short films, before falling into improvised comedy. Jocelyn has been performing and coaching long form, musical and short form improv for the past 5 years. In addition to performing on house teams in Pittsburgh, she’s studied and performed at such notable institutions as iO and The Second City in Chicago, UCB and Go! Comedy in Detroit. She’s also trained extensively in movement, theatrical clowning and mask work. Jocelyn has worked on the marketing team and as a juror for the Pittsburgh Comedy Festival, as well as producing the local Camp Night for Camp Improv Utopia. Her long form improv duo, Brothersisterfriend, is an official act of the 2018 UCB Del Close Marathon. For her ‘daytime’ job, Jocelyn has been in retail marketing for several years and is currently in client services.

 

Abby Wilson

ABBY’S IMPROV SKILLS SOFTEN HER INNER CURMUDGEON, BRING NEW THINGS INTO THE WORLD, AND HELP HER PARENT A TODDLER. SHE HAS ALSO USED IMPROV TO BRAINSTORM WITH TEAMS, PREPARE ATTORNEYS FOR ORAL ARGUMENT, AND EQUIP NATIONAL SECURITY OFFICIALS FOR MORE CREATIVE THINKING.

Abby Wilson has been improvising for work and play since college, and she loves bringing this life-changing practice to Improv Agency clients. She is also a senior instructor for LUMA Institute, where she catalyzes innovation through human-centered design in the public, private, and civic sectors. She recently served as Deputy Director at the Allegheny County Health Department, and in 2014 completed her term as founding director of the federal government’s first design-led innovation lab, partnering with the Obama White House and over a dozen federal agencies to develop more user-friendly policies and services. An anthropologist, lawyer, and service designer by training, Abby holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University, an LL.M. in Public International Law from University of Utrecht and a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.