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Brad McEntire and Jeff Swearingen are FUN GRIP IMPROV

FUN GRIP is a comedy duo who perform with the energy and presence of an improvisational army– an army filled with acrobats, philosophers, lion tamers, dancing robots, lunatics and maybe even a rock band. Their show starts with a single audience suggestion, and from that tiny seed they grow a mighty improvisational oak branching out with extraordinary characters, extraordinary situations, and usually at least one impersonation of a live animal (or mythological creature of yore).

FUN GRIP is unique in the sub-arcana of longform improvisation for a few innovative reasons:

1. The performers approach the set in a highly theatrical way. No “talking head” improv here, if we can help it. We consider improvisation a form of theatre… a very pure form of theatre.

2. The performers frequently play each other’s characters. Technically, this dictates that each character presented in a FUN GRIP set must have very distinct vocal and physical qualities that can be duplicated by either performer.

3. The performers frequently personify inanimate objects, space debris, animals, disembodied voices from the sky, etc. Jumping back and forth through time or to parallel universes is also not completely unheard of.

4. The performers strive to follow a distinct primary story arc, leading a character (or group of characters) through an archetypal story. Though we love the exploration of character, we are most interested in plot. Scenes are almost always related, as opposed to stand-alones (we respect, but don’t do the Armando) and the whole set feeds on cause and effect. We believe in the David Mamet dictate that what the audience wants the most is ” to know what happens next.”

5. Above all else, the performers are there to have a good time. They want the audience to have a good time. Each FUN GRIP set is a celebration of imagination, participation and kick-assiness.

As hard as it may be to believe, FUN GRIP is just two guys: Jeff Swearingen and Brad McEntire. They’ve been performing together in one group or another for years and years. They both have impeccable improv comedy pedigrees, along with healthy doses of experimental and traditional theatre training.

FUN GRIP started existence in January 2006 at Dallas’ West End Comedy Theatre, at that time under the name FUN DIP. In April of 2008, they changed the name to FUN GRIP to avoid future legal hassles with a certain candy brand. They now perform, on average, once a month somewhere in the world.

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