Audio by Valerie Lopez, Words by Richard Goodwin
You know that scene in Mission Impossible, where Tom Cruise ziplines into a secure vault, to purloin the priceless data that will save the world? (I forget the plot, if there is one.) You can thank movies like that for almost depriving us of this week’s guest’s comedy career, because they inspired a young Ariel Greenspoon that her ultimate destiny was to be a world class bank robber.
Thankfully for the comedy world (and the security of the national banking system) Greenspoon pivoted to something a little safer (though admittedly rarely as fiscally rewarding). Her childhood exposure to the medium came through love of cartoon staples like The Simpsons and Ren & Stimpy and sketch legends Kids in the Hall. Throw in Strangers with Candy and you’ll quickly appreciate her comedic influences. When she stepped on stage at the bright-eyed age of 4 in a community theater production, it was an early confirmation for her that performance was where her life was headed.
Hailing from West Virginia and Maryland, Greenspoon amped up her pursuits of sketch and improv when she landed in New York. Among many opportunities, she spent time training at the world famous Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre. Before long, the now-familiar rite of passage in the comedy world came up: move to Austin, or to Los Angeles. We’re eternally grateful (and humbly certain) to a chance encounter with a dude ranch helping her make the right choice to join our community.
Greenspoon produces at a hectic pace: whether acting, singing (sometimes with fiancé and Austin comedian Rob Gagnon), and teaching and performing sketch and improv at Austin’s well known The New Movement Theatre. She founded The New Movement show Bad Example, and runs a weekly all-female troupe show there called Garage every Wednesday at 8pm. Greenspoon’s open-to-anything spirit and motivation gushes in the interview with Valerie Lopez; I think the fact that the first Google result for her name is a YouTube video of an interpretive dance with a bottle of honey is the perfect metaphor for how she’s game to attempt anything and have a blast in the process.
Keep up with Ariel Greenspoon’s many, many appearances around town and on the big and small screens by following her on her website, on Last Gas Comedy, and on Instagram and Twitter. Catch her in Garage every Wednesday, and Sandbox every Tuesday, at The New Movement Theatre.