The Michigan Daily: How did The 313 get their start?
Marc Evan Jackson: We formed the group (in L.A.) based on the city from whence we came (Detroit) two years ago. We all, with the exception of Andy Cobb, worked at the Second City in Detroit near the Fox Theatre. We’ve known each other for quite a while and have worked in different capacities as actors, improvisers and directors.
TMD: How do you feel about Improv Inferno promoting The 313 as the heroes of Detroit improv?
MEJ: (Laughs.) I think it’s about time somebody said it – We’ve worked for a long time to be known as the heroes of Detroit improv. I would like to commend Dan Izzo (the Artistic Director of Improv Inferno) for putting that in print for the very first time. But we don’t walk around considering ourselves that – it’s lovely to have fan base in (Michigan) and have people happy to see us come home.
TMD: What makes The 313 different from other improv groups?
MEJ: We approach a lot of our work using the fearlessness we were taught by those who came before us. If you’ve tried (improv) once, you know how scary it can be. The thing I love about working with The 313 is that that scariness is still there. When I work with other successful improvisers, it’s not scary. What’s nice about The 313 is we challenge ourselves to get lost and be frightened.
TMD: What does the group have planned for the show at Improv Inferno?
MEJ: We’d like to pay homage to the Gods of Improv. Our plan is to come in and do some long-form improv, which is when we get one suggestion from the audience and we roll from that. We may do some “Who’s Line” stuff – fairly traditional improv games. But all of that can go out of the window if something is working or seems not to be working.
– Jackson (VH-1’s “ILL-ustrated”) is a member of LA-based improv group The 313, which also includes Larry Joe Campbell (“According to Jim”), Keegan-Michael Key (“MadTV”), Nyima Funk (“Wild ‘N Out”), Andy Cobb (“The Family Guy”) and Joshua Funk (“Wild ‘N Out”). They are performing tonight at Improv Inferno. Tickets are $15 for the 8:00 p.m. show and $20 for the 10 p.m. show.