In the lifespan of every PHIT house team there comes a bittersweet time in which we must say farewell as the team members embark on new and exciting opportunities.
Outside Voices has grown into a glorious ensemble of bombastic, talented, supportive and extremely creative players that have graced the PHIT stage with some of the most energetic, surprising, and hilarious shows.
In honor of Outside Voices FINAL show on Saturday May 28th at 9:00 P.M we’ve asked the cast to share their thoughts about their time on the PHIT stage in a wonderfully long, but gloriously emotional post.
Outside Voices ran a consistently great Harold that people could watch and learn from. They also have that slight element of unpredictability to their shows that made them always a joy to watch.
Also I was always jealous of their pyramid warm up. – Kristen Schier (PHIT’s Improv Producer)
Outside Voices was the most fun thing in the world to be a part of. It was an honor to get a chance to be on this team of people who loved to be silly and make bad puns and do jump kicks. I remember the first time we met as a team and feeling like these weirdos might be fun. Now, two and a half years later, I know that they’re fun, caring, and great people.
We had a good run but it’s nice to go out with a little mystery still intact. Like, does everyone in Rob A’s England speak with a cockney accent or just most people? Would Erin ever have finished that meal she was preparing? Would Tom or McGair have perfected the Philly lifer character first? How bitter would we have gotten about Tyler and Corin’s inevitable out-of-town success? When would Rob O and I have fallen in love for real? Also, Ronnie?
Thanks for the ride Caitlin, it was a fun trip. – Adam Siry
Tom Hannigan is a wizard. His wit is so quick and honest that it makes my characters angry sometimes.
Erin Pitts plays with so much heart that you can’t help but love what she does on stage. To play with Erin is to play with emotion and love.
Rob O’Neill’s brain is like a deep comfy cave where there’s nothing but old David Lynch movies and Are You Being Served episodes. To be in a scene with him is to play without fear.
Tyler Garamella is just an incredible actor. I miss him greatly and I’m so glad to be able to play with him one last time.
Adam Siry is so god damn smart and funny that I don’t even know what else to say. He’s wonderful and I miss him too.
Corin Wells is a force of nature. Like some wonderful comedy god that I am blessed to call my teammate. She will be known far and wide.
Ronnie is, very simply, without parallel. I know no one like him and I will never know anyone like him. He is a perfect wild mad man and is a being of pure energy. He is a comedy buzzsaw.
McGair Valois is a warrior. He’s got your back in every single scene and every off stage situation. You would be a very lucky person to count him as your friend.
Caitlin Weigel made us a family. She made us better. She made us who we are. I will love and respect her for all of my days.
#OVFS4E – Rob Alesiani
Tom is pure sweetness and love in one human package. He’s a true blue friend that I’m so grateful to have. He plays some of my favorite characters because their sincerity always shines through and it makes them endearing and lovable. Playing with him is like lounging in a sturdy hammock on a spring afternoon. You feel completely supported, relaxed and totally at ease because you know he’s 100% present and ready to catch and cradle everything you send his way.
Rob A. is easily one of the best improvisers I’ll ever get to work with. No question about it. There’s absolutely nothing he can’t do. I feel like he’s destined for SNL, but that’s even selling him short. He has such incredible range as an actor and he’s whip-smart on top of it. I love playing with him – and it’s deceptively easy because there really isn’t much you have to do except pay attention, react and enjoy the ride. It’s exhilarating. I’m thankful we have the same name because I still get to play with him if we do a Rob-Prov show.
Ronnie blows my mind. I can’t even believe he’s real. He’s the most uniquely talented person I know. What you see on stage is just a tiny fraction of his abilities. Dude can put on a full one-man soul concert with just a chair! Seriously. Ask him to do it sometime…he will. He’s often misunderstood, (as are many great artists ahead of their time), but I’m happy to say that I “speak proficient Ronnie” and understand him at least 90% of the time (unless he’s talking about Pokemon or something). I wish I could introduce him to everyone that I know just to share the magic (I will continue to try).
Erin is beautiful in every way imaginable. My whole world brightens up when she walks in the room. She’s one of my favorite people to watch perform because she always delivers such weird little specifics that you weren’t expecting. She’s the O.V. member most likely to give me the unshakeable giggles. She’s also completely present and supportive on stage and never afraid to go deep in scenes. I feel like many of my most sensitive and emotionally satisfying work has been with her. I’m so glad she’s directing a new team because I can’t wait to see her sensibilities come through in a 9-person group.
McGair Valois has the coolest name I’ve ever heard in my life and he’s also one of the coolest dudes (ditto that for his new wife Kimberly – a.k.a. “McGirl” – who has probably seen more Outside Voices shows than anyone else). He finds the fun in every scene and makes it fun for his scene partner. Also, watching him play a sensitive female office worker– or similar ladies – is one of my favorite things in the world, which I tell him at least once a month.
I remember seeing Adam perform at the audition and thinking “I hope I don’t end up on a team with this guy because he’s intimidating and I already have a schoolboy crush on him.” Then I met him and he was the nicest guy ever and complimented me on my work and it meant the world to me and gave me an immeasurable confidence boost. He’s such an intelligent, clever, stealthy performer. I get an adrenaline rush when I step out on stage with him.
Corin is a class act. Like Rob, I don’t think there’s anything she can’t do on stage. I had my first round of auditions with her and she blew me away. When I found out I was on a team with her, I thought “Oh man…I better really step up my game.” She was also really encouraging of me in the beginning, which I truly appreciate. I was more excited than sad when she moved to New York because I have no doubt that she’s going to have phenomenal success. And, once she’s super famous, I’ll pop out of the woodwork trying to reprise “O’Wells,” our little-seen, though highly respected duo.
Aww, Baby Ty-Ty! Tyler is the cutest ever, you guys. I want him on a keychain so I can keep him in my pocket and take him out anytime I’m feeling blue. He’s a great actor and the energy he brings to scenes is incredible. He loves to make himself the butt of the joke, which is always hilarious to me. He’s also great at doing this annoying, high-pitched screechy voice thing and pretending to hit his head on things – both of which delight me to no end. I was bummed when he told us he was moving to Chicago, but I’m also really excited for him and can’t wait to see where life takes him. Little bird’s gotta fly.
I am a die-hard Caitlin Weigel fan. I send her House of Solitude and Sketchier videos to my best friend at work and we quote them all the time. Being directed by her is like being directed by one of your comedy heroes (even if she’s a real-life friend). It’s so much fun to make her laugh during practice – usually because we’re making complete fools of ourselves and she loves it. She has been out biggest cheerleader since the very beginning and has stuck with us the entire time. I’m so grateful for her unfailing support and for everything that she has done to make me a better player.
Derek is a piece of sh*t. He’s the worst child ever. I’ve never liked him. Nobody does. He’s always getting into trouble and touching things he shouldn’t be touching and messing things up and challenging our authority. I don’t know why Caitlin keeps bringing him to practice. Seriously: F*ck that kid. – Rob O’Neill
I want to open a candy store called Outside Voices, because that would combine two of my favorite things. – Erin Pitts
One of the weirdest things that comes to mind about my time as a member of the OVfsquad was just how close I came to not actually ever being on Outside Voices. A day before the house team auditions I made a last minute decision to cancel a trip that I had been planning to take for months. I’m both happy and relieved to say that canceling that dumb weekend warrior trip hanging out with my old frat bros will probably go down as one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Going through the audition phase makes you realize just how many incredibly talented people exist in this ever growing community of ours. I’m not afraid to admit that starting out I was…how you say… a big scared baby. Not just at the idea of being a regular performer, but being expected to perform with a group of people that were all so good, like really freakin’ good. Each member of the squad is a stone cold killer and brings something that no one else on the team can provide. When you’ve worked week in and week out with such a diversely talented crew you couldn’t help but feel yourself getting better. That hard work bred a track record that each of us can be proud of- over 100 shows,1 Wit Out nomination, 3 appearances at the Del Close Marathon, 1 fully produced and written sketch show, countless human pyramids, at least 4 different entrance songs, 1 steadfast and ever-inspiring coach, and 9 people who will always have a special place in each other’s hearts.
Moving on is bittersweet. I’m sad that we have to say goodbye to the PHIT audiences. It bums me out knowing that I won’t get to see or play with this sweet group of oddballs every week. I’m excited though knowing that each one of us is moving onto bigger projects and comedic avenues. The magic that we created with OV is now going to get the full opportunity to spread itself out all over this weirdly beautiful city of ours and to cities across the country. So whether you take a class at PHIT, attend a show that’s written or produced by a squad member or see one of us perform, if you pay close enough attention you’ll feel a little bit of OV coming through. We’ve definitely rubbed off on each other and made each other better skilled comedians.
Thank you to everyone who came to our shows and laughed. Thank you PHIT for the incredible opportunity. Most of all thank you Erin, Rob O., Adam, Tom, Ronnie, Corin, Tyler, Rob A., and Coach.
O.V. Forever – McGair Valois
Outside Voices was a bunch of jabronie chumps who’ve never busted cheeks in their life. – Tom Hannigan
Being cast as a member of Outside Voices, I can honestly say, has changed my life forever. Through comedy, I’ve been given opportunities in life that many people wouldn’t even dream of. By being a part of PHIT, I’ve been given new friends, experiences, and memories that will last me a lifetime. Sure, it’s all coming to an end, but all things sadly have an ending (Life Spoiler Alert: Everybody Dies). Love though? That’s forever. Believe you me, when everything is said and done, that’s one thing that will always remain between us, and that’s what made being a part of this team so special.
Coach – I cannot thank you enough. You pulled a total Ash Ketchum and chose me, and in doing so, I evolved into something greater than I ever thought possible. By you believing in me, you’ve given me a chance to make my dreams come true. Being coached by you was an absolute pleasure, I wouldn’t want to imagine what my life’d be like had I been a part of any other team. You did it, Coach! You brought together a bunch of “turkeys”, turned them into a family, and showed them a different way to Love. You will forever be appreciated. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Corin – Corin is the kind of person you’d sum up as if you were looking at short quotes from movies reviews. “Brilliant!” “Seriously funny!” “****” “The year’s best film!” Corin’s genius works on a different level, one I’d hope to be on one day. I’m anxiously waiting to see what her future has in store for her, because I know it’s going to be incredible.
Tyler – There was a time when I thought, “No, seriously, if we just killed him, nobody else can ever love him.” Why? Because every time Tyler was around, it was an absolute joy. I kinda felt that no one else deserved him like we do, and I’m sticking to it. Gosh, I loved that freakin’ guy.Adam – Adam “The Button” Siry, a genius of comedic timing. I would always tell myself, “Welp, if Adam laughed, it was funny.” That’s always going to be the case, because when you get right down it, you just have to respect the man for his brilliance. Not going to lie though, I’ll miss making up stupid words and/or names and hearing you not like the fact that you enjoyed them.
Erin – My buddy in 101, my friend for life. You’ve literally always been there for me, and I you, and I know you know that because you know I know that. Always smart, specific, and eating imaginary food with a slight Southern drawl, I’m going to miss being around you week in and week out. Your smile alone is enough to make me smile, so I’m going to miss being a part of that energy.
McGair – I remember watching McGair in auditions and thinking, “Oh gosh, this guy is good… This guy is reallllll good.” That is still true to this day, and honestly, it’s just never going to change. He’s the kind of guy that, although he looks as if he could kill you with a swift punch to the neck, is one that you always feel you just need to hug. An infectious laugh, a great pair of gams, and the coolest name out? Yeah, that’s McGair Valous, and if anyone asks, that’s my baby boy right there. I’m going to miss slapping your calves hello.
Rob A. – All in. That’s how you describe this man. With everything in life, with everything he loves, with every cool new thing he just discovered by chance on a Tuesday, he is all in… and it is damn inspiring. I loved being able to make him laugh, because when he did, it was always genuine. I’m going to miss the scent of that sweet, sweet vape in the basement. That’s not what I’ll miss the most, though. I’m going to miss being around his eagerness and his willingness to be greater, because it inspired me to want to be greater.
Tom – Ohhh Tom, AKA Saint Bloodlust. Yes, that’s Saint Bloodlust. The guy is a comedic powerhouse, one in which I find myself learning from every time he’s around and/or on the stage. When I think of the way he improvises, I think of freshly fallen snow. He’s just so pure, and we all wanna play with him. Not to mention, when the guy needs to get something done, he gets it done (sometimes early, sometimes eight seconds from the deadline). We can all learn from Tom, and we all have. Sure, I’ll miss him, but I can’t wait to see what he does next!
Rob O. – Not enough can be said about this brilliant individual right here. When you’re with him, you know everything will be okay. He’s always got your back, he’s always there to let you know he believes in you, he’s always there to make everything better. As both an improviser and a friend, he’s priceless. He’s got roughly 206 bones, but I don’t think there’s a bad one in his body. I’m honored to have him in my life, and that’ll always be the case.
Thank you to everybody that’s been a part of this wondrous journey. Thank you directors, thank you Improv community, and thank you fans!
Every laugh, every smile, every “great show!”, every tear, and every time I was able to walk off that stage with a sense of pride and accomplishment, I wouldn’t trade these past few years for anything.
Like I said, all good things come to and end, but you don’t have to worry… The Love is Forever.
#OVFUCKSQUAD4LIFE – Ronnie Spettacolare
Outside Voices is a glorious band of weirdos who never fail to make me laugh. They each bring some unique skill to the group, a la the Planeteers, and their power is greatest when their forces combine. I’m so proud of this group and their run together. I will miss worrying about everyone’s safety, especially Ronnie’s, as Ronnie Matrix karate chops his way across the stage while doing a soul-based step routine and naming everyone futuristic comic book neighbor names. I will miss Tom’s profound moments and Adam’s buttons, Rob giving info that contextualizes the whole scene, and McGair surprising you with insane specifics. I’ll miss Erin’s patient style and weirdo characters and Rob O’Neill’s insane ability to take everything thrown out him and create such real, bizarre details. I’ll miss watching Corin just OWN the stage like a volcano woman and Tyler’s alien brain. I will miss their group games, which, 1/10 times are just all of them acting like Hawaiian Elvises because they know it makes me laugh. This group has had each others backs for the past two and half years and it’s been an honor to coach them and watch them merge all their individual weird into something greater. OVFS / OV4E / fuck that kid, amen. – Caitlin Weigel
PURCHASE TICKETS HERE FOR OUTSIDE VOICES’ FINAL SHOW MAY 28TH 9:00 P.M. !