Del Mar Drama Alum and Actor Nathan Ray Clark Returns to DMC for Week-long Student Improv Workshop, Free “Improv Show” on Jan. 27
Saturday show in Finley Theatre includes audience engagement not unlike popular improvisational television show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”
Article by Melinda Eddleman
He attended high school “across the pond” … Corpus Christi Bay, that is … as well as Del Mar College (DMC). Now his resume includes national commercial spots and hit television shows. This week, alum and actor Nathan Ray Clark returns to the Coastal Bend to teach DMC students the art of improv during a 5-day evening workshop before the troupe hits the stage this Saturday night, Jan. 27, for a free “Improv Show” that’s open to the public.
You may remember comedian Drew Carey hosting the hilarious show called “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Actors used improvisational techniques to create rib-tickling scenes from audience suggestions.
Attendees can expect the same during Del Mar Drama’s own version that includes audience engagement throughout the “Improv Show” featuring Clark and 16 DMC students who signed-up for his workshop to prepare for an evening of sidesplitting antics that will keep you rolling with laughter.
The “Improv Show” begins at 7 p.m. in the Sue Sellors Finley Theatre located in the Fine Arts Center on the College’s Heritage Campus at 101 Baldwin Blvd. (78404). Get online directions and campus map. Seating is open with no reserved tickets required, and theatre doors open at 6:30 p.m. Del Mar Drama’s “Improv Show” has been generously funded with support from the Del Mar College Cultural Programs Committee.
Questions? Contact the DMC Art & Drama Office at 361-698-1216 or email@example.com.
When asked, “Why improv and comedy?” Clark responded, “Making others laugh and money. Kidding...money then laughter.”
Bit, with kidding aside, he said, “No, with comedy it’s a number of things, and I’ve found that you can make people laugh not just with jokes but by sharing personal experiences and unconceived ideas about everyday life. [They] give us an opportunity to laugh at ourselves and difficult or taboo subjects.”
Clark noted that he had dabbled with stand-up comedy but that improv has been a big part of his career and life. “I love it because it forces you to work with others, who could be complete strangers, to create something funny on-the-spot.”
That’s the experience he hopes to teach DMC students during this week’s workshop before they take what they’ve learned into the spotlight Saturday night.
A Gregory-Portland High School graduate, Clark attended Del Mar College between January 1999 and May 2002. He moved to Los Angeles and enrolled in classes in April 2023 at The Second City Hollywood, graduating from the California branch of the world’s premiere comedy theatre and largest school of improv and sketch comedy.
He has appeared in several national commercials (watch the reel), including spots for Lowes, Subaru and CarFax, but said that his favorite is one for Pretty Litter, which only ran online for a brief period. “I had a blast and played an old-timey magician, improvising some and totally hamming it up for the camera,” Clark said.
Clark’s appearances on hit television shows include NCIS: Hawai’i, Modern Family, 2 Broke Girls and Glee. And, even though it’s not a comedy, he said his favorite television role was on the Paramount+ drama Criminal Minds: Evolution, which was a great opportunity to showcase his dramatic skills.
“I played a serial killer’s victim who gets eaten by a dog,” he said, adding humorously: “I know, typecasting, but it was a really intense scene––half naked and crying. But hey, if you can do comedy then you can definitely do drama. Trust me.” We won’t show that reel!
Clark says that the most fulfillment during his career he’s had was working on his web series, Born Losers. “I acted, wrote and produced it with my writing partner; so, having full control over a project is something I greatly appreciate.”
While he credits current DMC Drama Professors Carl Yowell and Michael “Kim” Frederick for influencing his path toward acting and improv, Clark said, “Theater, acting and film were my passion before I even got into high school, but the great thing about Carl and Kim is they cultivated a space where not only are they educating young actors but also giving them the freedom to explore the craft and apply their own personal creativity.”
He added, “If it wasn't for their encouragement to teach improv, I don't know if I would be doing it at all.”
You can see Clark’s own influence on the next generation of comedic improvisors
Saturday night during Del Mar Drama’s free “Improv Show.”
Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.