Meet Andel Sudik

Andel Sudik, was born and raised in Santa Clarita, California. She spent her winters and summers on her family’s farm in Nebraska near Wahoo and moved to Chicago right after high school. She has performed all over the US with the Second City touring co. and all over Europe with Boom Chicago. She lived in Amsterdam for two years and Arizona for two months among other random places. She has been performing and teaching sketch comedy and improvisation for the last 10 years. Check out her website yesandel.com

 

Sketchpad Comedy recently interviewed her before her trip to St. Louis where she’ll be giving a Sketch Intensive and Showcase through the Improv Shop.

 

The Interview
Q: Your bio says you were raised in California and were so inspired by seeing a Second City alumni show that you moved to Chicago (where you were born). What do you remember about that show and what inspired you to pack up and move all the way across the country to pursue comedy? 
A: Well, it’s two fold: the show was absolute magic. I had never seen anything like it before. But I had actually been to Chicago twice as a kid to see my dad perform (he had been an actor out there before we moved to Cali). First in Singin in the Rain and then in Waiting for Godot. My dad is still to this day the best, most inspiring actor I’ve ever seen and the first time we went I thought “This city is magic.” So fast forward to high school and me seeing this magical art form and its roots being in MY MAGICAL CITY?!?! There was no question.

 

andel6Q: Growing up who were your comedic influences?
A: The Christopher Guest movies (Spinal Tap and Waiting for Guffman to be precise:-) Gilda Radner, Steve Martin and Andy Kaufman. The Princess Bride, Into the Woods and Harold and Maude were hugely influential to my style. I still want to BE Gilda Radner.

 

Q: Do you remember the first time you performed comedy?
A: I mean… In high school theater I suppose.. Or no! Oh, God, I nearly forgot: in elementary school my dad would choreograph my siblings and me for the talent shows, me and my little brother did Supercali…. That was probably comedy (though perhaps not for the right reasons.)

 

andel7Q: How did you practice comedy? How often? What did you do to get stage time?
A: When I first moved to Chicago I just became and allowed myself to be obsessed with improvisation. I interned at iO, took classes, was always there, eventually people started asking me to do projects and then if I wasn’t working (at the Gap, ahhhh memories) I was rehearsing or doing a show and when I wasn’t doing that I was watching them. I was 150% committed to each thing I was doing and the more stage time I got and the more shows I saw, the better I was.

 

Q: Where did you learn to write comedy?
A: Trial by fire baby! When I got hired to the Second City touring company we would write original material for the Christmas show so those were my first lessons. Then in my time at Boom Chicago I worked on 3 revues as well as wrote content for Comedy Central News Netherlands. Then as I started to teach improv and sketch I learned more. I wish I had started earlier and gone in with more experience.

 

andel4Q: You mention that you traveled the country, the world even, with Second City touring Co, what was that experience like for you?
A: Oh man, so I toured when I was 20 and if I could go back… I’d appreciate it more. I actually did get to step in and understudy a tourco a few years ago. I just appreciated it so much more because I didn’t place so much importance on it and I could enjoy it for the amazing and bizarre experience it is.

 

Q: SNL called you in for an audition…. WOW!
A: It was the coolest and most awful experience of my life. I slipped into a pretty serious depression after it because ohmygodthiswasit! (despite having THE BEST JOB EVER) and I really regret just about all sides of it. But I LOVE telling stories about the makeup ladies who did our hair and makeup for the audition. They were fantastic, New York characters.

 

andel2Q: You mention that at some point you had to find a piece of yourself that you had lost over the years and you were able to do that through improv and teaching others. Why do you think you went through that period and how did teaching others help you get through?
A: I forgot what was important and how to get there. I let myself and the noise affect me to point of shutting me down. Teaching kept me honest. Reminded me of the magic of collaboration and connection. The empathy and positivity I lost in performing I regained from my students.

 

Q: What are you expecting from the workshop you are leading in St. Louis on February 13th & 14th?
A: I know a couple of the steadfast at the Improv Shop from when they lived in Chicago. I met and fell in love with some more of them at the Tara D’s retreat in Wisconsin this summer and subsequently made them take me to dinner when I was filming
a commercial in St. Louis. So I got to see part of a show at the Shop. Everyone I’ve met from the scene radiates positivity and openness so I’m looking forward to teaching there. I hope there’s someone who’s never done a thing and someone who’s been performing and writing for 20 years and everyone in between. We can learn so much from each other if we’re willing.

 

andel5Q: Personally, I am looking forward to your workshop because I love sketch comedy and I created Sketchpad to show people how accessible creating sketch is. Could you share a few thoughts about why sketch comedy is important to you and how/if it translates into other forms of writing like playwriting, screenplays and writing for TV?
A: It’s a beautiful way of exploring an idea or a part of yourself with a clear focus. The fundamentals are translatable to every other form and being able to express yourself in sketch is an amazing jumping off point to other mediums. You explore your POV in sketch and that’s the biggest asset you have: YOURSELF
Q: Anything else you’d like to plug, add or share with us?
A: Just can’t wait to play in STL!

 

Thank you to Andel for doing this interview with me! If you’re interested in taking her workshop, sign up below. Spots are limited and I can tell you for certain that Sketchpad Producers scooped up a lot of them already. We can’t wait!
Interview by Jason Flamm
Images c/o Yesandel.com

 

 

PS – If you’d like to see some of her videos, visit her website here!
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