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  • 1. “Not David Schwimmer”The Importance of Communication:My Interview with Actor/Comedian Daniel StraussSarah Ahearn | April 2013
  • 2. Communication✤ Communication is commonly thought of as the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs✤ Communication is dependent on five major factors ✤ setting: the physical surroundings ✤ participants: the people who are interacting ✤ channels: the means through which a message travels ✤ noise: any stimulus that can interfere/degrade the quality of a message ✤ feedback: the response to a message✤ Human Communication in Society, Third Edition- Chapter 1
  • 3. Communication✤ There are two major styles of communication to be weary of while engaging in conversation with one or more people: verbal & nonverbal communication✤ Human Communication in Society, Third Edition- Chapter 1
  • 4. Covering the Basics:Verbal CommunicationVerbal Communication✤ The verbal elements of communication are the foundation on which meaning is created and redistributed✤ Verbal communication has to do with more than just the words people speak✤ Factors for consideration: ✤ pronunciation/accent ✤ the meanings of the words used ✤ variations in the way people speak a language✤ These are especially important when conversing with a group of people, who may not all be from the same area✤ Human Communication in Society, Third Edition- Chapter 5
  • 5. Covering the Basics:Small Group CommunicationSmall Group Communication✤ Leaders exist to help empower group members to collaborate between themselves✤ There are two types of leaders: transformational and charismatic✤ A good leader must excel at ten characteristics:✤ awareness ✤ empathizing ✤ conceptualization ✤ stewardship ✤ commitment✤ listening ✤ persuasion ✤ foresight ✤ healing ✤ community✤ Human Communication in Society, Third Edition- Chapter 10
  • 6. Covering the Basics:Small Group CommunicationSmall Group Communication✤ Within small groups, it is important that all members feel their ideas are being heard✤ It has become increasingly common for businesses to have employees in different parts of the country, sometimes even the world ✤ This makes communicating with your team members difficult when you cannot meet face to face✤ A rising trend for problems like this seems to be virtual communication✤ Human Communication in Society, Third Edition- Chapter 10
  • 7. Covering the Basics:Technology & Group CommunicationCommunication✤ Technology has become a vital role in group communication; teams that are separated by time or distance rely on technology✤ Live videoconferences, text-based document sharing and audio conferences have become increasingly popular over the past five years ✤ Skype, Google+ Hangouts, and AnyMeeting are popular programs used for connecting with teammates, friends, family, and co-workers✤ Two ways to make sure virtual communication is effective: ✤ Engage in frequent communication: it builds trust and reduces conflict ✤ Choose the most appropriate technology for the task at hand✤ Human Communication in Society, Third Edition- Chapter 10
  • 8. Not David Schwimmeraka “Dan,” “D-Strizzle,” “ShipMaster Strauss”aka “Dan,” “D-Strizzle,” “Ship Master Strauss” Name: Daniel Strauss Age: 27 Known For: Second City Game Bros Airport for Birds The Weatherman Represented by Gray Talent Group
  • 9. Q: Tell me a little about yourself. “Sure! My name is Daniel Strauss, and I’m a 27 year old actor living in Chicago, originally from Washington, DC. I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2007 with a BFA in Theatre Performance. Currently, I am a member of the Second City Theatre’s Touring Company, and was also recently seen in Team StarKid’s sketch comedy show, Airport for Birds.” ✤ Fun Fact: Team StarKid became an international internet sensation in 2009 upon uploading their parody musical “A Very Potter Musical” to YouTube. Written by Brian Holden, and the Lang brothers, Nick and Matt, it was performed as part of the Basement Arts series of student- written work. All songs were written by Darren Criss (of GLEE fame), and AJ Holmes (of Young Frankenstein: The Musical fame). ✤ Dan Strauss & Brian Holden in a sketch from Airport for Birds
  • 10. Q: Can you describe a few of your most recent projects that relateto the subject you majored in at the University of Michigan? “Working as an actor for The Second City has allowed me to use my degree quite a bit. A lot of people assume that just because you’re performing comedy, the acting isn’t very important. But I’ve found it to be quite the opposite! Second City is known for their sketch comedy, and if you’re able to get an audience on your side during a scene via character investment, it usually makes the laughs feel much more earned, and rewarding. I also was recently in a movie called In Between Engagements (yet to be released) where I was able to implement a lot of the on-camera acting techniques I learned in college. It was great to start from a place where I was already so comfortable.”
  • 11. Q: Do you feel that communication is a vital part of what you do? “Yes, absolutely. Particularly in improvisational comedy, it’s maybe the most important thing! If you and your scene partner aren’t communicating well, and- even more importantly, listening to each other- your scene is guaranteed to go south pretty fast.”
  • 12. Q: In your own experience, what is the most important aspect ofeffective communication? “Listening. Without a doubt. So many people just wait for their turn to talk when communicating, but if you really, truly listen to what your conversational partner is saying, you will undoubtedly be able to understand better, and accomplish more.” ✤ Dan with another member of the Second City Theatre’s Touring Company
  • 13. Q: Are you confident speaking to small and large groups? Whichis your best experience with public speaking? “Usually, I am very confident. Public speaking is a strength of mine. This is kind of a ridiculous answer, but honestly, when I was in middle school, we used to do projects for art class. And we’d have to stand up and present them, and our teacher would video tape them and everything. I used to love doing those, I would always try to turn my presentation into some sort of character study- just like, being these total weirdos presenting their artwork (it should also be noted that I am a fairly awful artist).”
  • 14. Q: When you were became a member of Second City, or amember of Team StarKid, what efforts did you take to build uprelationships with your colleagues? “Joking around is always my way to go. I find that if you can make someone laugh, or laugh with them, that’s usually a pretty quick way to make friends.”
  • 15. Q: How did you get involved with Team StarKid and their sketch-comedy show, Airport for Birds?“I’ve been friends with most of the members of StarKid since college, we all studied theatre at Michigantogether. After seeing me perform one night, Brian mentioned they wanted to mount a sketch show, and asked if I’d join them. It was a no brainer for me! We tried to do a traditional Second City style writing process, which consists of people bringing in pitches and written sketches, throwing them up on stage, and seeing what works. It was a very collaborative process, which is what I love. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. ✤ Double click to watch a preview of Airport for Birds | Sketch written by Dan Strauss
  • 16. Q: Did the show involve interacting with the audience at all?Were there any memorable instances from the show’s run?Were there any memorable instances from the show’s run? “Actually, during Airport for Birds, there was pretty minimal audience interaction. Which is different than what I’m used to with Second City, where there is almost always some interaction. The last show we did with A4B, I played a character named ‘Captain Cheapass,’ and I made my entrance by running through the audience. Then I grabbed someone’s drink and told the bar staff I wouldn’t pay for it. I think I scared the people at the table, but it was pretty fun!”
  • 17. Q: StarKid has an international fan base. Now that you are anhonorary member of the group, what has your communicationswith the fans been like? You seem pretty popular with them onTwitter!“It’s pretty funny. When I first started interacting with members of the StarKidfandom, I was like, “What’s the difference, I’ll never meet any of them, I can saywhatever I want.” The joke’s on me. In all honesty, I’ve been blown away by StarKidfans. They’re the nicest, sweetest, most friendly people I think I’ve ever met. And it’salways hilarious when I get videos or pictures tweeted to me of old stuff I’ve done. It’sjust like, “Where on Earth did you find that?”I think my all time favorite tweet was when someone told me, “When I first followedyou, I thought you would be funny. But it turns out I’m much funnier than you are.”I’m a member of the StarKid fandom fandom... is that a real thing? It should be!”
  • 18. Q: You’ve also recently started a web-series called “Game Bros.”What sparked your idea for this? “Tim Ryder (my co-star) and myself just really love to play video games. I was looking to do more with with video, and it seemed like a super simple, super fun way to start doing that. Easy to shoot, easy to edit, and fun to write!”
  • 19. Q: While writing, how involved is Tim in the process? Do youfeel that you’re effectively communicating, and both of your ideasare being taken into account? “Tim and I write all the episodes together. Usually, one of us will have an idea, and then we sit down and flush it out and just write the episode. Tim and I toured together for Second City for a little over a year, so we know each other’s styles and senses of humor really well, which makes communication very easy.”
  • 20. Q: Do you feel that multi-player gaming platforms (like theXBox) bring a new level to the way people communicate?“Maybe. However, I think it’s one that still needs to be perfected. So much of online gameconversation now (sadly) seems to consist of racism and homophobia, which I know a lotof people- myself included- are starting to get tired of. And that has a lot to do withmisunderstanding and misinterpretation. Where most of the people that tend to spend alltheir time gaming are teenaged guys and young adults, I feel that there’s still a lot ofimmaturity, and using certain words (I think you can guess which I’m thinking of), asinsults- when really, the way they’re using them is just totally incorrect and offensive.It’s stupid, really, that people are still so intolerant- especially all these younger people. Ido think, in the coming years, you’ll see less and less of it. But at the moment, it’sdefinitely not somewhere I go for heightened communication.”
  • 21. Q: Do you have any hilarious misunderstandings that involve afailure to communicate, or miscommunication? “When I was in high school, I worked with a theater group consisting of deaf and hearing-impaired kids. I didn’t know much sign language yet, but I was still learning. We were doing this exercise using fans, and one of the deaf kids had gotten a brokenone. He asked me, using sign, if he could have mine. Me, having no idea what he’d said, just nodded an smiled.When he tried to take my fan, I was just like, “Whoa what? Stop, what are you doing?” Itled to a little altercation that our director quickly cleared up. When I got home that night, I realized I had to get more serious about learning sign, which I did. When you have no choice but to learn to communicate or be lost, it’s amazing how quickly you can learn, and pick up on different things.”
  • 22. References& BibliographyBibliography✤ Alberts, Jess K., Thomas K. Nakayama, and Judith N. Martin. Human Communication in Society. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2012. Print.✤ Holden, Brian, and Brady, Pat. “TeamStarKid.com” TEAM STARKID. Cunningham Escott Slevin & Doherty, n.d. Web. 21 Apr. 2013. <http://teamstarkid.com/about.html>.✤ Strauss, Daniel. "DanielStrauss.com." DanielStrauss.com. Gray Talent Group, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. <http://danielstrauss.com/links.html>.✤ Strauss, Daniel. "DANIEL STRAUSS." Tumblr, n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2013. <http://danielstrauss.tumblr.com/>.