Paul Hungerford is one busy man. When he is not teaching acting and improv classes at Keep It Real Acting Studios, he can be found performing on Impro Theater’s Mainstage and starring in television, film and commercials shown around the world. His interests are broad, but as Judy Kain learned in her interview with Hungerford on her podcast Hollywood Game Changers, Improv is the key to keeping him motivated, happy and fulfilled as an artist in this wild wild western town called Hollywood.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Hungerford studied acting and film at Emerson College. He went onto study classical theater at the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England before starring in a number of plays, movies and commercials. It was not until Hungerford moved to Los Angeles that he even discovered improv.
Paul was busy auditioning and running casting sessions, when his good friend Gunnar Todd Rohrbacher said , “come over on Sunday. My friends are going to do some improv”. Little did Hungerford know that this simple invitation was going to change his life. Hungerford soon immersed himself in the world of making up stories on the spot. He became a full time member of Rohrbacher’s improv team, Captain Creepsicle’s Laughateers, performed at every possible opportunity, and was even mentored by the iconic improv teacher Cynthia Seghetti. Before he knew it, Hungerford was a mainstage company member at the Impro Theater and teaching improv to students at Keep it Real Acting Studios and other studios around Los Angeles.
In retrospect, Hungerford understands that has been improvising his entire life . He would go on auditions and was “just so excited to act . I would read the lines and then just keep going.”Hungerford believes that all humans are “hardwired to tell stories”, and he encourages his students to use their innate abilities to their advantage in his 8 week Improv-A-Thon Class at Keep It Real Acting Studios. Each week, Hungerford focuses on helping students actively listen to their scene partners, make strong choices and feel honest emotions.
Best of all? Improv-a-Thon’s final class is a performance for friends, family and industry professional. Hungerford believes it’s a great opportunity to show “an agent that you can stand on your own two feet. You’ve got confidence, you are outputting your creative material right off the top of your head and they see you can do it”
For actors, Improv-A-Thon is a wonderful opportunity to express themselves creatively and “stay lean” in a town where their next job is never guaranteed. For humans, Improv-A-Thon is a fantastic way to tell all of those stories we are made to tell. As for Hungerford? He says that “Being an artist is a never ending journey of knowledge and growth.” and he looks forward to growing right alongside his students in the upcoming session of class at Keep It Real Acting Studios.