Meet A ComedySportz Player

Player Name: Daryl DucharmeDaryl-Ducharme

Player Number: √-1

Hometown: Olympia, WA

What got you started doing improv?

I have always been an entertainer. I’ve been my school mascot, been in bands, been a professional wrestler and even tried my hand at magic for a bit. A few years after I retired from wrestling I was itching to get back in front of people again. There was a comedy and improv school and theater just 5 minutes from my house called DSI, which stood for Dirty South Improv in Chapel Hill, NC. One day I drove by the theater and decided to sign up for their 101 class. With home just a few minutes away I didn’t have time to forget. My first class was just a few weeks later and I was hooked from day 1. This was what I was missing when I retired from wrestling and more. I only took one class at DSI before moving to California and taking classes from ComedySportz San Jose. That’s where things got even better. The playerz there were so polished and shows were always tight.

What do remember about your first show?

My first improv show is a bit of a fuzzy memory. I remember being very happy to have been performing in front of people again but no specifics. On the flip side, my first show with CSz Seattle had me very nervous. I was one of the first people brought onto the roster after they had already been playing matches at the Ballard Underground for a few months. Now I was playing with people I looked up to. It took me a few months to get past that feeling.

What kind of games do you like to play, and why?

I like to play games that have a physical component. All games can have some physical parts but certain ones allow physicality to shine. Forward and Reverse, Replay at Bernie’s, Countdown and Shrinking Scene (among others) really shine. Physical humor is something I played with quite a bit as a wrestler. Now that I’ve added improv knowledge I have even more fun with it.

I also have a fond place in my heart for rap games. My musical background along with what I hope is a decent vocabulary makes those games a fun challenge. After all, I’m not exactly the kind of guy who stereotypically has any skill at rapping.

What is one of your favorite ComedySportz memories?

Some of my favorite memories have come up since I’ve started the CSz Seattle After Party podcast. I got the idea to start it after listening to Kevin Smith’s book Tough Sh*t. The idea I had was simple, hanging out with improvisers after a show is pretty fun as we are all hyped up after a show. I wanted to let the CSz Fanz in on that fun. However, the podcast has taken on a life of its own. It’s turned into a podcast with guests from the local entertainment and creative community. I’m talking to people I don’t even know about really cool stuff I like. We recently had our 1 year anniversary and I can’t wait to see how we will grow even more in the next year.

How has ComedySportz and improv affected your life?

The improv community is the largest of my social networks. The Seattle improv community is such a close group of people, despite its size. On top of that, I’m part of the CSz family. I’ve met people from many different cities. I love having such wonderful and creative people as friends. It keeps a smile on my face most of the time.

 

About Dave Bogan

Back in 1985, I was a junior at Greendale High School near Milwaukee. I was in forensics at the time, and I was already a huge fan of comedy. Through some friends I met in forensics, I found out that some high schools were doing something called ComedySportz Saturday afternoons at a place on Milwaukee’s East Side called, “Kalt’s”. I decided to go check it out, and I was instantly hooked. I was amazed at the games, and how they were making up everything as they went. I had never seen anything like it. I tried to go to shows every week. Once I became a senior in 1986, I asked Greendale High School if they would sponsor a Greendale team. They said no, but after I graduated, they started a team the very next year. After a six year stint in the Marines, I came back to Milwaukee, and became a bouncer and bartender at a popular sports bar. I still loved comedy, and routinely made my co-workers and customers laugh as much as I could. One day, one of the waitresses told me I should take this improv workshop they were teaching at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee as a night course. It was ComedySportz. I signed up, and was taught by the founder of ComedySportz himself, Dick Chudnow. Over the next couple years, I ended up taking all the classes they had to offer. The 101, 201, 301 and 401. After completing all of them, I asked Dick if our class could put together a “Minor League” show in the smaller ComedySportz Black-box Theater. He said yes, and we started doing our own matches. With no one available to referee our shows, I volunteered to ref them myself. After months and months of performing, I became more comfortable in the position, and gained an appreciation for it. One day, Dick told me he needed a ref, and asked me to ref a family matinee show. I said yes, and soon afterward in 1997, I was added to roster of the original troupe, ComedySportz Milwaukee. And I have been a ComedySportz player and instructor ever since.