No amount of experience makes an actor completely immune to stage fright. At least, that's what Gillian Jacobs and Kate Micucci say. Jacobs, who has been acting since she was very young, rose to fame when she landed the role of Britta in the acclaimed ensemble TV comedy Community. Since then, she has guest starred on Lena Dunham's Girls, and snagged a leading role in Judd Apatow's Netflix comedy series, Love. Fans of Micucci's know her as one half of the sweetly saucy musical comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates, the ukulele playing nurse on Scrubs, and the voice of Velma in recent Scooby Doo reboots. Even with these extensive resumes in their back pockets, Jacobs and Micucci are quick to share that when they found themselves on stage without scripts for the first time, they were terrified.
The lack of scripts was not by accident. In fact, it was part of the job for Jacobs and Micucci as they prepared for their starring roles in Mike Birbiglia's film Don't Think Twice. The film follows the members of a struggling improv comedy troupe in New York City, and required Jacobs and Micucci to join their fellow cast members (improv comedy veterans Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher, Keegan Michael-Key, and Birbiglia) in performing live improvised shows all across New York. According to Jacobs, jumping into improv wasn't always easy. "I hadn't felt my heart race in terror like that in I don't know how long," she admits to Ophira Eisenberg, describing what it was like to perform live alongside her co-stars for the first time. "You walk out with nothing! Just your brain! And that's not enough!" she laughs.
To keep these guests on their toes, we wrote them a special edition of This That or The Other. We gave them a clue and they had to decide: Is it the name of an improv group that performed in the 2016 Del Close improv marathon, a restaurant in New York City, or a Scooby Doo monster? Then Micucci closes with an original song called "Have You Met My Robot?"
Kate Micucci on her early music career
The first ukulele song I ever wrote was called The Nap Song, and it was [about] how I wanted to sleep with this guy. But I only meant sleep with him. And that's it.
Gillian Jacobs on performing improv for the first time alongside an all-star group
You basically threw us on an NBA team, and were like "This is a basketball. Go."
Gillian Jacobs on the relatability of Don't Think Twice
There's all the dynamics of jealousy and bitterness, but also celebration for your friends. I think I've seen every variation of what the characters go through in my life.