When Brian was a kid, he played a game while watching television: find an Asian person. There usually wasn't an Asian character; at best, an extra buying coffee. Nowadays, while scrolling through Netflix, he challenges himself to find a show that has more than one person of color as a lead. Though there has been some progress in media, it's still harder than it sounds.
Having found improv in college, Brian fell in love with the artform and eventually started performing weekly, sometimes traveling across the country to improv festivals. When he moved to San Francisco, he found that the improv scene was not as diverse as the people who lived in the Bay.
April, a friend of Brian's from college, had taken improv classes in the Bay Area and found herself discouraged by the lack of people of color in her classes. In the Fall of 2017, they found themselves sitting in Brian's car overlooking the sunset, imagining what it would be like if there were an improv company full of people who looked like them, whose stories they could connect with. A place where people of color could feel uninhibited, make mistakes and celebrate failure, and be silly and playful. They figured they must not have been the only ones who felt this way.
Well, in the words of Toni Morrison, "If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, you must be the one to write it."
And Untold Improv was born.
Brian is a queer mixed-race ambivert, born and raised in the Bay. He discovered theater as a child, and that led him to joining an Asian American theater and improv group in college (LCC Theatre Company at UCLA). As an instructor for Untold Improv, Brian draws on his experience as an improv coach, camp counselor, theater director, and DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) member at his day job.
In addition to performing and teaching long-form improv, Brian enjoys eating, sleeping, watching Oprah videos, and making sure his crayons are in rainbow order.
April was born and raised in the Bay and always misses the warm temperatures of her 5-year stint in Los Angeles. Her love for performance stems from being really good at keeping secrets and acting like she doesn't know anything. A daughter of immigrants, her parents instilled in her a sense of curiosity and supported her dabbling in different projects (music, photography, crafting & upcycling, etc). At Untold Improv, April gets to do what she likes most: dabble in a little bit of everything.
She commits to reading 30-40 books per year because she's always too cold to leave her apartment.
Board of Directors
Brian Teng - President
April Pascua - Secretary
Debbie Abbott - Treasurer