One of my favorite things about doing this podcast is that I have an excellent excuse to call people I haven’t seen in a while and say, “hey come be on my podcast!”. Lucky for me (and you) my friend Tony Rago said yes! Tony is an acting coach at Scott Sedita Acting Studios where he teaches Sitcom Characters and Technique. I assume he just starts every class with, I learned everything about comedy from Heather Brooker. Let me know if you hear him say it and you’ll get a discount on my podcast!
First, here’s the ridiculous Carl’s Jr. parody we talk about in this episode. I wrote it with Brandy McKay when we were at ACME. Tony and Kevin King bravely offered to play their parts. Keep in mind this was before we had kids. And before either of us had actually seen breast milk.
Tony is a naturally funny guy who has a real love for sitcoms and half-hour comedies. I wanted to talk with him about the evolution of the sitcom over the years and how actors can adapt to the changes. Are people still watching the classic multi-cam sitcom? Chuck Lorre would say yes. But mostly I feel like the networks are still trying to capture that magic of the 80’s and 90’s sitcoms juggernauts. We delve into how the sitcom has involved from larger than life character-centric shows, to more “real” people with relatable story lines. Tony also shares how comedy is a dance, and once you get the rhythm just about anyone can do comedy. He gives great tips on how actors can stand out in the audition room without making it weird. Like we do sometimes.
Tony and his wife Marianne are new parents to a cute baby boy. He shares how this new chapter in his life has presented some challenges in his career, and more love than he knew was possible. Being an actor parent presents a unique set of circumstances where we find ourselves torn between dreams and duty. And Tony is a great example of a dad who’s making it work, while staying creative and reaching his goals. After all how can he not succeed? Look at that chinhole!