If you’re a fan of the animated FX spy-spoof Archer, you know that hapless human resources director Pam Poovey is both the most frenetic character on the and perhaps the most badass. So it makes sense that Amber Nash, the voice of Pam, does something that’s equally energetic and badass in real life in Working Title, the show she performs with her husband, actor/writer Kevin . Using suggestions from the audience, and Nash create a film plot, working their way through various crowd-suggested settings, plot points, and characters. plays the main character; Nash plays everyone else he encounters.
“The idea is born from reading a screenwriting book called Save the Cat,” says, “which really boils down every Hollywood film into the same 13 beats. I play the main character, which means that I end up doing a lot of the technical work of organizing the beats and keeping the narrative on track, and Amber is such a great character performer, so she plays all the other characters, and that plays to her strengths, so that’s kind of the genesis of it.”
One would imagine that being about of the characters in a film would be exhausting, but Nash says that some combination of excitement and fatigue is what improv is all about.
“I remember thinking when I was kind of a young improviser that if I get offstage after a show and I’m not sweaty, then I didn’t have a good show, because I didn’t put it all out there,” Nash says. “You never know if it’s going to go off the rails, but the audience is with you and wants you to succeed, and that’s why it’s so much fun to do and to watch.”
Working Title also allows the increasingly busy couple the chance to work together, something that their schedules don’t always have room for.
“As Kevin and I both expand our careers, we’re being pulled in different directions,” Nash says. “I’ll be in one place for a month or he’ll be on a tour, so it can get kind of hairy. So I decided that if I’m going to be on the road this year, I want to be on the road with Kevin, so it’s nice to have this show we’ve created that people can respond to.”
“I was probably in my mid-20s when I realized that if I’m not going to start dating people that I’m working with, I’m gonna not have relationships,” adds with a laugh, “because of the demands of the work and the schedule. So I love that Amber and I get to work together.”
One more thing: If you decide to go see Working Title, the duo have a request to make before you settle in to watch the (improvised) movie.
“If the audience is generally a little tipsy, it’s a perfect formula because they’re ready to watch some comedy and laugh,” Nash says.
“I want everyone in that audience to have had two-three beers,” says. “If you haven’t had any, you’re too sober, get out of here. If you’ve had four or more beers, you’re drunk, you’re going to make a fool of yourself, get out of here. So I want everyone in Charleston to show up having had two-three beers.” —Vincent Harris