Instant Karma, Feb 2012

Instant Karma Improv

Instant Karma brings a blend of short and long form improv to the VIC’s stage! The first half of the evening, Instant Karma will perform scenes and games based on audience’s suggestions. In the second half, Instant Karma will create magic! Based on a single audience suggestion, they will weave a series of improvised scenes, stories, and games into a single 40 minute piece.

Instant Karma stars Ventura Improv Company members Dan Gunther, Jeanie Hays, Nikole Hollenitsch, Talia Savren, and Paul Tevis.

About Instant Karma

Dan Gunther was born and raised in Los Angeles, but has since recovered. A proud member of Actors’ Equity, Dan has appeared in 50 professional plays on stages throughout California, including the Ensemble Theatre Company in Santa Barbara, the Old Globe in San Diego and Ventura’s own Rubicon Theatre Company. He has also played numerous roles on television, ranging from the small to the vanishingly small, and had starring roles in independent films that graced the Cannes and Sundance film festivals. He enjoys improvisation for many reasons, not the least being its dependable lack of homework. He lives in Santa Barbara, where he enjoys walking his dog on the beach, recording science textbooks for the blind, and looking for Oprah.

Jeanie Hays began improvising with her imaginary friend at the age of three. She was an only child raised by hippie dropout parents who vagabonded their way across the US and Mexico for most of her early years. She learned to play gibberish games with the Mexican children she could not understand, and played solo scenes for the pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico. Only as an adult did she realize that it takes training, commitment and effort to have that much fun, training she got from the VIC. Jeanie also sings very loudly. Jeanie on Facebook

During high school in Riverside, Nikole Hollenitsch had a teacher who used to commute from Studio City everyday to teach the drama program. “What’s Backstage West and why are you teaching us improv?” Nikole would ask. Every day Nikole thanks him because her desire to be an actor just needed a little push and guidance, and he offered it. Nikole studied/performed at I.O. West in Los Angeles for 5 years, coming to the VIC in 2008. Nikole is repped by Nancy Chaidez & Associates and you can view her list of credits and reel at www.hollenitsch.com. Nikole on Facebook

Talia Savren has been participating in theater since kindergarten — her starring role was Rosa Parks wearing a babushka. Talia performed in all her school plays, and joined the VIC at the same time. She held the record for being the youngest VIC member at the time. She then went off to get her BA in theater from Cal State Northridge, where she was continuously busy on stage. Talia took advantage of being in LA, studying with the Groundlings and earning her memberships in both AFTRA and SAG. She continued her education, earning her Masters in Education from UCLA. It was a sad six-year loss for the VIC, but the good news is … Talia is back! And everyone is happy. Talia on Facebook

Paul Tevis has been performing pretty much since the day he was born (just ask his parents), but it wasn’t until college that the theatre bug bit him hard. As a Coordinator for the Rice (University) Players, he acted in, lit, designed for, built, stage managed, painted, and tech directed over forty shows between 1996 and 2000. After graduating and moving to Santa Barbara, he discovered he had to work for a living, which pretty much put an end to all those shenanigans. Fortunately he discovered with the VIC in 2007, and with no sets to build or lines to learn, Paul’s been happy ever since. Paul on Facebook