Life of Art interview: Mike Fotis

Who are you and where is “here” for you right now?

My name is Mike Fotis. I live in Minneapolis. North Minneapolis to be
exact.  I am a writer/comedian/improviser. My head is kept dry and my
belly is kept full because of my job as the Co – Director of the Brave
New Workshop’s Student Union. That fancy title means I help run our
school of improvisation.

What is your creative practice and what have you learned from it?

My creative practice is simply this. JUST DO SOMETHING. My instinct is
to not do anything until all of the answers in my head have been
answered, until I think my plan is flawless. That’s dangerous for me
because it completely stalls me. Just create something. I know that
sounds cheesy, but fuck. Don’t be perfect. That’s boring.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration from my comedian pals. I like to be around people
who are passionate about their craft. It helps me feel a little more

How do you overcome the creative barriers you encounter?

Read my post about creative practice.

How do you regenerate when feeling artistically depleted?

I get away from it. I swim. I play sports. I watch a baseball or
football game. I can’t be around art all the time.

What does success look like to you?

In some ways, I feel like I’m at the very beginning of my success. My
goal is to support myself as an artist and I’m very lucky to be doing
that. I love my job. LOVE IT. Moving forward success will mean that
I’m able to continue growing the school while still expanding my
opportunities to branch into other endeavors.

What do you want people to know about you and your work?

That comedy is hard to do. And that smart comedy doesn’t exist. There
are probably other things too.


I can’t tell you how glad I am that Mike was willing to answer my questions – he’s one of my favorite Twin Cities comedians and improvisers. One of his current projects is a podcast for METRO Magazine called the Mike Fotis Storytime Explosion. If you’d like to hear Mike interview me about being a teacher, click here!


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