Justin Kavanagh

Processing Grief & Trauma Through Improv

 Justin Kavanagh

This episode is dedicated to the late, great, and hilarious Brad Vance. Dear Brad, although your play has ended, your spirit will continue to grace our stage and our hearts for now and always. 

Join us for a very special episode of “For the Love of Improv: Remembering Brad Vance”  As we grieve for the loss of our very dear and funny friend, we thought it appropriate to discuss improv as a tool for processing grief and trauma.  With whom (love it when I have to use “whom”) better to discuss it than Justin Kavanagh.  Justin loves to use improv as a tool for self-discovery and strongly believes that the same principles that make us better improvisers also make us better people.  As an improv teacher and coach, Justin emphasizes this philosophy and encourages the application of improv skills off-stage as well as on-stage.

Can improv games work off-stage as well as on-stage?  How can improv help us to be more engaged listeners and better at being empathetic humans?   And what is up with intermittent fasting and why is everyone and their dog doing it?! Answers to these burning questions (except maybe that last one) and more when you listen to this next episode of For The Love of Improv!


 Show Notes

In this episode we go deep into the

Justin Kavanagh:
Find him @justinkav on Twitter and Instagram| Also check out his novel “The Spice of the Autumn Night” that you can listen to as a podcast| You can find him performing regularly at Reno-Tahoe Comedy and Reno Improv as well. 

Dave Razowsky: Find him at https://www.davidrazowsky.com/

Emily Skyle-Golden: 9 year veteran improvisor at Second City and IO | Executive Director of Cordillera Film Festival | local Reno film director and producer of “10 Syllables” and “Dear George” |  Chairman and Improvisor at The Comedy Collective

The Reno Improv – https://renoimprov.com/ Follow them @renoimprov on Instagram and Facebook. They have a show EVERY Saturday at 8PM  (Come early at 6:30 for the Playground – a 1.5 hour workshop exciting for all levels of players.) $5 gets you into BOTH. 

This Episode’s Segments

  • Game: Emotional Baggage
  • History: Second CIty, Del Close
  • Word Of The Day: “Playing to the Top of Your Intelligence”



History – Sam Wasson’s Book “Improv Nation” – Now Available on Amazon 

“Healing Improv: A Journey Through Grief to Laughter” by Bart Sumner – Also Available on Amazon

Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Improvisation Manual” by Matt Walsh, Ian Roberts and Matt Besser – Available on Amazon 


We are not experts, and do not claim to be. Improv is a craft that you can never master or perfect. Instead, we are improv lovers and students of play talking about our learning experiences. We do not subscribe to or endorse anything said by guests on this show unless specifically expressed. All content on this site is copyrighted to Jesi Wicks and Katie Welsh.