James Clark of Governor Jack on improv, and making a web series about a web series

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Governor Jack uses a live interview of a "local celebrity" guest, in terms of what you choose to create content around. Why or how did you decide to use that formula, instead of just asking the audience questions?

I wish it were more original -- but it is kind of based off the form called the Armando, which Armando Diaz created. It's a relatively common opener, whether you choose to interview someone or have someone tell their story, and then you use that as source material. It's premise-based improv. There's not a ton of it here in Denver.

I feel like we've gotten really lucky with all of the people we've had on the show -- super-interesting people that I'm excited to talk to, whether I was talking to them on a show or not. I think there are lots of pseudo-celebrity, people-of-interest types that we've had on Governor Jack, and it makes it really fun.

We've had people like Michael Sawaya, the lawyer with the awesome late-night commercials; Ben Roy, who was really hilarious. The rapper Mane Rok was really great -- I mean, I've enjoyed all of them. We're working on a couple of athletes, a few politicians and people who have gone on to L.A. to do things to come back. But we haven't gotten confirmation yet, so I don't know if it's worth even mentioning. (Laughs.)

Can you talk a little bit about the development of your web show?

We started making our web series this year, with the first one coming out in April. Each episode will be released at our live show, Governor Jack Watches You Sleep, which is the third Thursday of every month.

We were having a difficult time, initially -- we knew we wanted to do a web series and we had a ton of ideas. But we would sit down to write it and realize they were all hokey or lame or cheesy or we had seen them before. Late one night, we had the idea to make a web series about making a shitty web series.

That's the premise -- each episode is one member pitching the web series. So you see a little bit of that idea -- and then you see why it sucks. We're making fun of ourselves and the whole institution of the web series, which is a laughable idea within itself.

Catch the next Governor Jack Watches You Sleep and the premiere of How to Make a Web Series: Episode 2 - The Hacker Pitch at 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 30 at Voodoo Comedy Playhouse. On June 8, the troupe will relaunch The Duel, an improv cage match that will run Saturdays at Voodoo. For more information, visit the Governor Jack website.

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Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies

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