10 Questions with Full Ammo’s Brad Einstein
We sat down with Brad Einstein, a member of Full Ammo Improv. Here are the 10 questions.
What is Full Ammo?
Full Ammo is Penn State’s— I don’t know if it’s their only, but it’s their biggest, and Dana says best— improv troupe on campus. We are a long form group that performs twice a month [including this Sunday] in the arts building [Room 6].
Were you always a theater kid?
No, actually. For a while I was a sports fanatic, until I went to this all-boys Catholic school in Delaware and their soccer program was ridiculous, it was like the seventh best in the country. Then, I got slide-tackled and I broke my back… so I kind of stopped. I am holding [the microphone] with my pinky out, like it’s a little teacup, and I feel very feminine now. But, anyway, after the healing process I was like “Ah, fuck it,” and my mom was like “You gotta sing in high school!” because she liked me singing when I was little, and she made me try out for a bunch of musicals, which were the bane of my existence. So yes, thank my mother and her demands and my broken back.
Do you rehearse improv? Did you hear what Bo Burnham said to one of your troupe members?
Yeah, that was Brendan, one of our new guys. It was so sad because it was like being in ‘nam and watching one of your buddies jump on a grenade, except frivolously because it wasn’t by anyone or anything, and watching Bo Burnham slowly suck out the information that he was at improv rehearsal. It’s really hard because we don’t want you guys to come to a show and have it be a big clusterfuck and have people say “oh anyone can do that. I can just go up on stage and be like ‘oh, I’m in a store that sells … motherfuckin’ potatoes, want a potato?’” because like, that is a bad show. But yeah, there’s a lot of stuff to practice- not necessarily formulas, but we practice a lot so that we all have like one big group mind, and also so that we can have really cohesive scenes where audiences can find something to identify with automatically and it makes it seem more polished. I’ve only whispered like three times, to be like “do that”, but then I feel like a sinner. That’s probably from Catholic school, the feeling that I have to go sit behind a partition and confess my improv sins.
There’s more inside…
After a show, does real life seem more or less funny?
Oh my gosh, it depends. I remember thinking after I did improv for a really long time I thought I was less funny, and then I realized that I think I had just stopped trying to make everyone laugh in a pathetic attempt to find some sort of personal worth. So in that respect, I think I try a little less now, which is good because I think I make less of an ass out of myself. I think if it’s a good show the world is funnier, and when it’s a bad show, you… well you drink a lot, and weep in a corner so it’s less funny. but then the next day when you’re like ‘hey remember that time when I wept, and drank a lot… in a corner, and pissed myself…” yeah then that’s a story and it makes the world funnier so… I guess it’s like a sine wave, kind of.
Did you improvise the recruitment video?
Fuck you, the recruitment video. Let me just say I did improvise a lot of the recruitment video, but that was a poor representation, because the third take of every one was really good, but just off-color enough for them to cut… I was like “Yeah, this is the HUB, it’s the heart of campus, like if [Penn State] was a vampire, this is where you’d stab it with a stake!” but they were like “you probably shouldn’t talk about stabbing in a recruitment video” and I was like that’s fine. So I was really embarrassed because I tried really hard to make it funny and they edited it out, so they like took all the ones where I was like “Schreyer…[said in zombie voice]” and used those. And I looked like a douche in that. Like a huge, huge, huge, huge douche.
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Um, that’s a really interesting question because I think, more importantly than how much wood a woodchuck would chuck is that we need to address these situations where we’re just painting people into boxes. Like this woodchuck, maybe we should ask how many beautiful paintings he would paint, you know, if a woodchuck could paint… fuckin’ canvas. I don’t think it’s fair for this poor woodchuck to be subject to such sweeping generalizations and just be a slave to other people’s expectations. To answer that question, he would paint four really good paintings, and then get on this portrait kick where he would only paint chicks he met at weird indie things, and then they’d probably go downhill.
What is your favorite band?
Oh my god, oh my god, this is fun. Ok, so what’s my kick… I really dig… right now… well it depends. when I’m pissing myself in a corner after a bad show I’ll probably listen to Elliott Smith and just imagine him stabbing himself in the heart two times… On good days, I really like lyrically the Decemberists, ‘cause it’s all dark, well not all of the time, but especially when it’s all dark and creepy, and they just have a new song out about a dude who murders his kid so he can be a bachelor again, and that’s fun. He’s gonna do a musical. His most recent CD that’s coming out in March was gonna be a musical, but then he was like fuck it, let’s just do a concept album. And then I really like Blind Melon at the moment, because my brother just broke his hand and has been bored, and has been sending me music. There’s this one song called “Mouth Full of Cavities” which is cool as hell. And you should check it out, because the guy like died two weeks after they recorded it and there’s this like girl singing on it who’s just like some groupie that wandered in off the street, and I’m like that’s cool. So that’s like my recent, recent kicks at the moment.
In the movie of your life, who would you want to play you?
Fuck, if I could pick myself that’d be sweet. If I could get paid to play me in a movie that people would actually… fuck that’s so masturbatory. Let’s see… I think I would really like Forest Whitaker to play me. Or Don Cheadle, or Djimon Hansu because he is the handsomest man in the world. Or I think just the blackest person you could find, just because I think it would be really funny for them to have to play a really awkward, pathetic white man. If you put this answer in, please make that answer not sound racist. Thank you.
What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever witnessed at Penn State?
At Penn State… oh my god. Well there’s chicken man, but everybody’s seen chicken man. Okay well one time, my friends and I… we didn’t break in, but we went in to one of the forensics cottages without realizing what it was. We were just like “Yo check it out, it’s a house, let’s go inside,” and we didn’t realize that they put up crime scenes. I mean we sort of knew it but… I don’t know. We were confused, we thought maybe it had something to do with forensics. So we stumble in, and there’s blood everywhere, and a kicked-in window, and there’s coke everywhere, and there’s footprints in the blood and coke… and we don’t know what’s going on, and it’s around Halloween, and I’m a sissy so… we go into the basement which is creepy and we go into this back room and there’s a body, that’s back lit, like from one of the laboratories and it’s just this slumped over body in a pool of blood. And this is at three o’clock in the morning. So it was very scary, and weird at the same time, ‘cause it’s like “oh, I’m headed back to South… let’s stop on the way and hit up a crime scene” so that was really weird. I dug that a lot.
If you were a dinosaur, what kind would you be?
Oh god, that’s so fuckin’ easy. I would be a carnivorous anklyosaurus, and they don’t exist, but anklyosauruses are so cool ‘cause they’ve got like clubs and spikes coming out everywhere, and the only thing that sucks about them is they don’t eat meat, so if I could be that animal and still be conscious, I would be a man-eating anklyosaurus and for shits and giggles, if we’re gonna do this, can shoot missles and is powered by green energy which I guess man is. Yeah, I’d do that.