In 2016 my wife, Kat Koppett, and I bought a derelict building in Schenectady NY–a former firehouse-turned-strip-club that had sat vacant and rotting for 20 years. Over the course of a frenetic 6 months I supervised gutting and renovation of the building, putting in a bit of my own elbow grease. On October 22, 2016, the Mopco Improv Theatre opened for business.
Now in its third year, the Mopco houses our flagship improv troupe, The Mop & Bucket Co., as well as a growing number of other improv ensembles: Alf Pacino, Down The Rabbit Hole, Electric City Puppets Improv–the list goes on and grows on.
We offer a full slate of improv classes for adults and kids, including musical improv. People rent the place for private parties. And of course, the building is the home of Koppett, our organizational development wing, named after its eponymous founder, my aforementioned spouse. In addition to our own productions, we host a monthly story event, StoryTimeTime, produced by Ethan Ullman and Willow Burns. A kickass sketch group, Crime Alley, performs at the Mopco once every other month, and a brand new and terribly-named sketch comedy/game show format, What The Hell Is Going On with Ryan Shanahan, is just starting to show up on our stage.
Getting the theatre up and running forced me to put my coaching work on the back burner, but I am now finding time to assist people in that fascinating realm again. I offer both life coaching and presentation coaching for individuals.
In a typical day, I might work on a proposal for an interactive keynote, design a better solution to a technical problem in the theatre, teach a class, attend as director or improviser a couple of rehearsals, perform, take out the garbage, fix a drain, catch up on a few hundred emails, and bake some coookies for the snack bar. After a life of being too eclectic, too much the jack-of-all-trades for most jobs, I’ve found a home for my work–which I define as being fully human. Oh, yeah: that reminds me of Kat’s podcast: Dare To Be Human. Check it out!