Chris Kenklen is the face of SJU improv
Photo by Andres Deschapelles

For improv club member and theatre major Chris Kenklen, being quick on his feet has always come naturally. Throughout his childhood, Chris was always the person in class who made everyone laugh. He found his joy by putting a smile on other people’s faces, and is able to still achieve this in improv club. Chris’s passion for improv came about during an acting class in 5th grade; the rest was history.

While in high school, Chris continued to show his love for acting and improv by taking part in musical productions, as well as improv club. When Chris heard about the improv club here at SJU, he was ecstatic and decided to go for it. He also chose to major in Theatre, which continued his devotion to acting. Chris’s favorite type of improv is “long form improv” which is when actors attempt to keep a scene going for 15 minutes or even more. “When it works it’s just the coolest thing because you just create all these stories out of nothing,” Chris says. He finds excitement in the creation of something new every time he gets on stage. Improv allows him to be someone and do something different every single time he performs. 

People often think that improv is too difficult and feel held back from participating. Chris wants people to know that that’s not true. “Improv is just working together with people. Everyone thinks it’s harder than it actually is but it’s really just being quick on your feet and thinking of funny scenarios.” When it comes to improv actors, Chris admires people like Wayne Brady and Chris Farley. It inspires him that a lot of huge comedians and actors got their start with improv, and admires those who have made it all the way to the top. When it comes to the club here at SJU, Chris says, “Anyone can join it and a lot of people should. It’s really just a ton of fun and it’s an easy way to meet people and have a good time. It’s something anyone can do.” 

Chris finds his joy in the lighter side of the arts with improv and theatre. His ability to make people laugh, and his love for creating something out of nothing, is what makes him not only a dedicated improv member, but a fun and goodhearted person.

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