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Billy Merritt – SE01 EP02

Billy Merritt, along with Will Hines, came out with a book called Pirate Robot Ninja: An Improv Fable.  The book expands and explains a theory that Billy developed in his teaching that improvisers are either naturally Pirates (driven more by the right brain/emotion) or Robots (driven more by the left brain/logic and facts) — with the Ninja one who was able to access either tendency when needed in the moment.  It’s much more, though, than a discussion of that topic.  In fact, it’s almost an improv workshop in book from from two high level instructors.

This episode includes a discussion of Billy’s early days in improv, trying to figure out improv with some college friends out of Spolin’s book, Theater Games, and then with the National Improv Theater before connecting with the UCB.  Billy continues to improvise and teach at the UCB in LA — although he first began with UCB in New York.  He was a founding member of The Swarm, one of the best regarded improv teams from UCB in New York, and now performs with The Smokes at UCB LA.

You can find Billy on social media at:



Pirate Robot Ninja is available at Amazon in both a hardcopy and a Kindle version.  You can also learn more about the book at




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