ComedySportz Chicago ensemble member, Ryan Williams, is half of the two-man improv team called “5280”. 5280 just won this year’s Dual Duel at the ComedySportz Theater. The other half of 5280 is Denver-native, Dave Karasik (rhymes with ‘Jurassic’). We asked Ryan about how he and Dave met and formed their champion team
Ryan Williams (left) & Dave Karasik (right) make up the improv duo '5280'.
Dave Karasik and I met in the Theater Department at Metropolitan University in Denver Colorado in 2003. At the time, I was also working for a theater company in Denver called The Bovine Metropolis as a performer. The Bovine would best be described as a mini-Second City [meaning they do sketch and improv]. Dave approached me in the halls of the theater department about how I became involved with them. Being that Dave was one of the funniest guys I had met, I told him to take classes, as I had done.
Right about the time I moved to Chicago, he was just finishing up his year long improv program at The Bovine. I remember his grad show. He was a clear stand out and I was proud. 4 years later, after being a main-stage performer at The Bovine for some time, he moved here to Chicago. Since then I have been waiting for an opportunity to perform with him and the Dual Duel was it.
We decided on our form based on an old form I used to do. Basically, we divide the stage in two and get two different locations. Dave starts in one location as one half of a two person scene and I start in the other in the same manner. We take our time and establish a relationship. Slow play. Eventually, one of us will join the other in their scene as the second character. From there, we toggle back and forth between the scenes, moving the story forward. To tell you the truth, we don't lay down any "rules" beyond how we start. Too many rules can put you in your head, sometimes. Big, but real is a good way to describe us. I love to play with Dave because he is a good actor and we both believe that being a good actor is essential. We decided to call ourselves 5280 because Denver is The Mile High City and 5280, the number of feet in a mile, is a common term out there.
(That’s “Dual Duel Champion, Ryan Williams” now…)