It is always difficult when PHIT must say goodbye to a dedicated, talented, and incredibly present team such as Masher as changes at the theater occur and members embark on new and exciting opportunities.
During their run as a PHIT house team, Masher has grown into a collage of extremely supportive creating truly unique and simply enjoyable shows. In honor of Masher’s FINAL show on Wednesday July 27th at 9:00 P.M we’ve asked the cast to share their thoughts about their time on the PHIT stage.
There will never be another Masher, and I don’t mean that in the “every team is a unique snowflake” sort of way. I mean this team was a group of purposeful weirdos. We played the characters who were endearing but awkward, the well meaning but oblivious, the tragic braggarts, idiots, and liars of the world. We celebrated the best and worst parts of a person and showed how they were inseparable. We made a mess. We played dirty. We almost did a Harold once. We could bring the heat or the chill in an instant to a packed room of astonished eyes. We played open. We got real. We shied from nothing. We revealed the broken parts of ourselves and played in that beautiful damage. We brought to the stage that beautiful human damage, every week, for years. I’ll miss Masher. – Nick Gillette
In true Melyssa fashion, we decided to make a video. Thank you to every single person who has supported us over the past year and a half. Whether it was coming to one of our shows, watching our Launchpad parody videos, liking/sharing a post on Facebook or accepting us into a festival – we thank you. You are all an important part of the Masher family and we love you all. Glory be to Megatron now and forever. K, byeeeeeee…..
Since the night I saw my first show at PHIT in 2012 I knew I wanted to be on a house team. I auditioned and I was rejected many times for teams. It was beginning to feel like I would never make it. However, I decided to give it one more try and sure enough Nick [Gillette] gave me the call and I was in. I had to make a lot of a sacrifices in my schedule but it was worth it. Even though it was shorter lived than a lot of other teams I wouldn’t trade my time with Masher for anything in the world. I quickly realized why it didn’t work out with getting on those other teams. I had finally found my team, a team with people on it that I have the right chemistry with, a team with people I trust absolutely, and a team I intend to continue working and growing with even when the lights go out on July 27.
Alyssa, you are one of the greatest actors I’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing the stage with. Your level of commitment and ability to not only be vulnerable but your ability to make your scene partner vulnerable in scenes has resulted in some of the highest tension scenes I’ve ever been a part of.
Sue, you have this ability to always get the audience on your side. You aren’t afraid to be vulnerable on stage but you also aren’t afraid to take scenes on a darker path.
Melinda, I know it took some time for us to begin playing in scenes together but I’m so happy because I’ve always admired how smart and how witty of a player you are. You’re also not afraid of looking foolish or playing characters that can be a little scary.
Remi, you take to the stage in such a confident way that there is never a question that you belong there. We play well when we’re doing peas in a pod but admittedly I absolutely love throwing you an occasional curveball to try and make you break character.
Mike, you are truly the strength of this team. I never shared the stage with someone with more intensity than you. You’re not afraid to “go there” and take the scene in a crazy or unexpected direction. I know you departed from the team when you heard the news of the end of our PHIT run and it hurt to see you go, but I hope you can find some time to play with us in the aftermath.
Pim, you’re a superstar. You love improv so much and it really shows on stage. You’re not afraid to play the fool in the scene and you’re one of the most supportive players I’ve ever seen.
Andrew, I never know what I’m going to get with you but I know whatever it is it will be funny. Whether you’re playing the straight man or the crazy person in the scene you commit fully and completely. Its always a pleasure to see you and be with you on stage.
Nick, you are the best director we could have hoped for. You took this team of people, many of whom had never worked together previously and turned us not only into viscous improvising machines but a family. Your kindness and your patience molded us into top tier performers. You pushed us to experiment with forms rarely attempted and made us ready for any possibility. We have always been proud to have you as our director and we are eternally grateful for all that you have given us.
These are only a few reasons why my experience with Masher has been such an important part of my life. If I could say anything to someone who has not yet made it onto a house team I would say don’t let it discourage you. Keep auditioning, keep trying new things with a bunch of different people. Eventually the right team will come along and when it does you’ll be at home. – Quinton Alexander
Being a part of Masher has been a great experience. From working with the very well-respected coach and performer Nick Gillette, to performing on PHIT’s stage weekly and being a part of this growing, amazing community, to performing with some of the most talented improvisers I know, being a part of Masher been amazing, exciting, and fun. I remember clearly the day I received the email stating I was on the team, I couldn’t have been happier or more excited. The audition was stressful and fun; to hear I made a team after was absolutely amazing. I have learned so much about being on a team and improv in general, I thank PHIT, Nick, my teammates and Tommy Wiseau. Exploring the city, warming up in the dark, lifting rocks, and Pac-Man, Masher was my weekly adventure. Lots of love Masher. Best of luck to the new house teams! – Remi Dhillon
I don’t think I’ll ever have words to describe what Masher means to me. I remember before auditions how people already on teams said they wished they could be on Nick Gillette’s team. I remember after callbacks realizing how badly I wanted this and how it might not happen. I remember getting the email saying I was on Dresden and crying because I’d just moved to the city and was feeling very unsure about it, but knowing at that moment that I made the right choice.
I remember the first Harold we ever did and how it just felt right. I remember feeling intensely intimidated being on a team with some of my improv heroes, people that I’d watched since I started and people who had been around for years. I think everyone has the feeling of ‘how did I end up on this team’ but for me it was almost paralyzing. And then to watch these people become my teammates, my friends, is more than I could have ever hoped for.
Thank you to Melinda for being our heart and for always putting your all into everything. For always remembering our birthdays and applying to every festival for us. You’re the reason we have so many amazing memories and the reason we figured out we are an away team. You’re an improv machine and I know that if I look at you in a show and say something, anything, you will know what to do and will take us somewhere great.
Thank you to Remi for always being our straight man and for telling it like it is. Thank you for always being down to hang and for being the one that pushed us to become closer as friends and as teammates. Thank you for always caring and checking up on people if they were having a bad day and for prioritizing Masher even when your life was crazy busy.
Thank you to Alyssa for always being our voice of reason, for logically walking us through to the solutions that you always saw. Thank you for always listening and being there for everyone. For being the one that everyone could always go to to hear us and let us know that we were cared for (and for being our reality check when we were wrong). Your relentless support and caring has made us who we are.
Thank you Mike for being our driving force. Thank you for always running out when the rest of us were scared or worried or unsure. Thank you for pushing us and for encouraging us and for making us better by playing hard and making us play hard too. Thank you for being yourself and for teaching us all so much both on and offstage.
Thank you to Quinton for always supporting any dumb idea any of us had to the fullest. You’re one of the most supportive and kind people I’ve ever met and thank you for always jumping on anything we did no matter what. Thank you for being selfless and enthusiastic and always down for anything. Thank you for being fearless and honest and teaching us to do the same.
Thank you to Andrew for always saying the thing all of us were afraid to both on and offstage. Thank you for always seeing every situation as a whole and for making us realize things we may have missed. Thank you for letting us be there for you like you are there for us. Thank you for messing with us, for your intelligence and for never letting us rest on what’s easy. Thank you for guiding us and being exactly what we needed when we needed it.
Thank you to Pimmy baby for caring so much about us as a team. Thank you for encouraging us and especially me in the beginning, it meant more than I can say. Thank you for your enthusiasm for improv as an art form. Thank you for grounding everything in emotional reality and for making us all look great. Thank you for your dedication and for sticking with us through it all.
It’s been a privilege to be on this team and I can never be anything but thankful for everything. This hurts so badly because I love you all so much. Thank you all for being there for me. These past two or so years have been some of the hardest for me, personally and professionally, and I could not have done it without every one of you. I care about you all so much.
Thank you to Kristen, Jess, and Greg for this opportunity. It’s been an incredible experience and one I am so grateful for. Masher has done 68 shows at PHIT and I am so thankful for each and every one. We would never have ever had the chance to do all of this without you, so thank you.
Thank you to everyone that came to a show, for spending your time with us. Thank you to Steve and Frank for workshopping with us. Thank you to Hunter for letting me talk through every show and practice in painstaking detail and for your love, patience, and support through it all.
Lastly, thank you to Nick for putting us together, for your immense foresight and for your passion and energy always. Thank you for being our biggest cheerleader and for caring so much about all of us. I can only hope that we accomplished some of what you set out to do. Thank you for your vision and for encouraging us. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, you are the one who has held us together and held us up all this time. We could never have done any of this without you. You are our rock.
And last, but never least, glory be to Megatron. – Sue Nelson
To be honest, I am not interested in writing any thoughts about my experience with Masher.
I would much rather sing them to the tune of “Father of Mine” by Everclear. Please listen along and hear these words as urgently as Art Alexakis might have sung them.
Masher the team
We have become such great friends
You know we just did improv
And that was nice and fun.
Remi the guy
Tall and friendly and kind
He has got a way of saying things,
Understated. Also his mom.
I remember the bow ties, Quinton would wear
I loved it when he said funny stuff
It was helpful for us.
I remember our good scenes.
I remember our great scenes
I remember our scenes that were just ok but ok is still good.
Pim pim pim pim
Pim pim pim pim pim pim
Pim pim the world pim pim his hand
Pim pim pim pim pim pim pim
Alyssa my pal
Is a big fan of snacks.
She’s great at singing, acting, and driving and putting stuff together
She’s really smart
I like her a lot.
Holy cow there’s a pretty racist line in this Everclear song.
Melinda would send me a birthday card
She was good at that
She’s also good at improv and smart as a tack.
Butler knows krav maga
Mike B knows krav maga
Then he punched a groin
Butler knows krav maga
Then he improvised well
Butler knows krav maga.
Sue the Nelson
Is talented too.
Her wit is good, yup
That’s an asset. Good for us!
Director named Nick
Was a mentor to us
He’s patient and insightful
And he can do great mime stuff
I am happy for this
I am happy for that
I will miss these guys very much
Another thing about this:
Now I am a grown man
With a new thing to do.
And I swear I’m going to do reunion shows, so,
acoppolalypse at gmail dot com
Becca is great too
But she moved away
Becca is so talented
But she moved away
Becca is really swell
But she moved away
Now that you are done singing, I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to Nick, PHIT, my weirdo Masher friends, all the interviewees who shared their experiences with us so we could turn them into really great fart jokes, and the kind audiences who enjoyed our fart jokes. See you all around, I hope! – Andrew Coppola
PURCHASE TICKETS FOR MASHER’S FINAL SHOW HERE!