An Interview with Vincent Moore of the UCB NY Theater

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Centered Horizontal HeadshotI recently had the privilege to sit down with UCB NY performer Vincent Moore. Vincent is a performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater who currently performs on the Harold Team “Higgins”. You can see them perform Tuesday nights at the theater’s Chelsea location in Manhattan.

Christian Roberts: How long have you been a performer at UCB? What made you want to perform?

Vincent Moore: I’ve been taking classes since the summer of 2011 and began performing regularly at the theatre in the fall of 2012. I first started getting into improv during my freshman year at Trinity College in Connecticut, where I performed as a member of the then short-form group, The Moveable Joints!. Though I majored in religion, I was active in theatre as well and took acting classes as well as performed in a few plays. Before I graduated college, a couple of my good friends, who were also improvisers, moved down to New York to continue pursuing comedy. They told me about the UCB and how great it was and encouraged me to move down and check it out. After school, I did exactly that and they helped introduce me to the community and the city and everything. Since my initial training at the theatre, I’ve performed as a member of the teams Huxtable, Never Never, Sherlock & Cookies, and I currently perform on the Harold team, Higgins.

Roberts: What are some obstacles you’ve had to overcome?

Moore: Initially, my first obstacle was mostly just getting involved in the community and learning how it works. I was new to the city and didn’t know too many people at the beginning. But after seeing a few shows at the theatre and loving it and seeing how much my college friends loved it, I felt like this would be a great place to be and so I just had to get in there! Soon after I moved, I was fortunate enough to get an internship at the UCB’s offices, which was awesome because I not only got to see shows for free but that’s where I would meet performers off stage as many of them work for the theatre. It was an amazing experience working with them and getting to know the theatre through this vantage point and made me feel like a member of the community very quickly.

However, a more general obstacle that I’ve come across as a performer and creator is learning how to get out of your own way. When I’m writing or making something, I’ll sometimes second guess myself, doubt the quality of the material, and maybe even abandon the project before seeing it through. It can be difficult at times for me to create without placing my own judgment on it. But I’m finding the more I create, the less precious I’ve become with what I make. I try not to hold my work to too high of a standard where I’m hesitating before I even begin.

Roberts: How long have you been doing Points of View your YouTube series?

Moore: Points of View is a fairly new project. I started shooting in October of 2014 and releasing episodes in November. It’s been a really fun experiment so far and I’m still figuring out all of the things I can do with the premise. The beginning of the project coincided with my purchasing of a GoPro camera. I had been intrigued by watching videos online of skaters, surfers, base jumpers, and all that and thought that this would be an interesting tool for comedy. Buying the camera gave me the push to go and do it and figure out something that I could make with it. And given its portability and size, the camera allowed me to do a bunch of shots that I never thought of doing before, which eventually gave me the idea of doing POV angles. Even now, I’m still seeing what else I can do with it and seeing what other perspectives I can explore.

Roberts: Has creating content been helpful for your artistic endeavors?

Moore: Absolutely! Projects like Points of View and New to the Area, which is a silent web series I made with Matt Dennie, have contributed a great deal to figuring out what my sense of humor is and what it is that I like to make. Constantly producing things and trying things out is a fascinating, though hard, part of the process that has given me some content that I’m really happy with and want to share. Overall, it’s been helping me find and develop my voice as a comedian.

Making your own content also seems like a very important thing to do if you’re interested in having a career in entertainment right now. Its possible for a web series or video to garner enough attention that it could lead to professional opportunities for those making them. A show like Broad City, which originally was a web series, is an example of this happening recently. And it’s also not uncommon for people to sustain themselves solely on their YouTube channels. It’s a very different climate than what we might be used to and sometimes hard to navigate but, at the same time, you can make whatever you want for the most part for anyone to see, which can be pretty liberating.

Roberts: What’s some advice you can give to someone hoping to become an actor?

Moore: For acting, or for any artistic pursuit, I’ve been finding it helpful to surround myself with people that inspire me. It gets me to try new things, think differently, and move beyond my comfort zone and break routine, which makes me much more aware and present in what I’m doing. That’s what the UCB community has done for me over the past few years and continues to do so now. Everyone involved is immensely talented and driven, which makes me want to do and try as much as I can, sometimes too much. But having a community that supports you and pushes you is a great resource and I’d recommend finding that for yourself where you can.

I would also recommend keeping in mind that it’s okay to fail. Its something that I’m still working on myself but something that’s invaluable to know when you are taking risks and exploring what you are capable of creatively.

You can follow Vincent Moore on Twitter @Moore_Vincent, via his YouTube Channel, or his website. Be sure to check out his Harold Team “Higgins” that takes the stage at the UCB Chelsea Theater on Tuesday nights! 


Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career

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Brand Attachment: Larry Vincent Talks to Marketing Smarts [Podcast]

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Larry Vincent is the founder and executive director of The Brand Studio at United Talent Agency (UTA), where he serves as the strategic lead on all engagements. Over the past 20 years, he has developed brand strategies for some of the world’s best-loved brands, including CBS, Coca-Cola, Four Seasons Hotels, MasterCard, Microsoft, the National Football League, and Sony Playstation.

Larry wrote the book Brand Real, which explains the strategic behavior that drives the success of the world’s leading brands. His first book, Legendary Brands, focused on the storytelling potential of brands and implications for strategic and creative development.

Prior to UTA, Larry headed up strategy teams at some leading brand and marketing agencies, including Siegel+Gale, Octagon Worldwide, and Cabana Group.

I invited Larry to Marketing Smarts to talk about the UTA Brand Studio, his research on how people form attachments (or aversions) to brands, and how he uses research to create on-point marketing campaigns for clients.

Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:

Focus on how your brand helps people to express who they are (06:28): “I think we’ve all heard in school that there are three ways that people connect with brands: There’s a functional benefit, there’s an emotional benefit, and there’s a self-expressive benefit. And we don’t spend enough time distinguishing how that self-expressive benefit works…. [It involves] seeing that brand as being part of who we are. The way I sometimes describe it: If you spend time on social media, if you go to Instagram or Tumblr, a lot of times you’ll see that people like to put…photos up of their belongings they like. They…curate them in these nice little patterns and post it as…expressing who they are based on the things that they possess. Brands fit into that. Harley Davidson measures the value of its brand by how many people tattoo it on their body… That’s not about function. That’s ‘I believe in this brand so much that I relate to it and see it as part of who I am.'”

Brand attachment predicts buying behavior (07:51): “We discovered this research back in around 2008/2009…in the Journal of Marketing Research that was really looking at how this new, quantifiable metric called brand attachment was a better predictor of really difficult behaviors than attitudinal measures that most of us use every day. It’s common to query people on their views of a brand, whether it’s positive or negative, how much they like a brand. But when you ask these questions about how much do you see the brand as being part of who you are, what we found is those people who answered quite strongly on those questions… we could better predict that they would be willing to pay a premium price, that they would be willing to defend the brand if it were under attack, and most importantly…they’ll recommend their brand to friends.”

Use touchpoints in your customer’s story to improve customer experience (20:19): “One of the things we know about most forms of storytelling is that it’s pretty linear. A great story usually has a beginning, middle, and an end. For marketers, what that means is, when you think about your experience, you’re trying to find all the different touchpoints that affect the experience and look at the story that revolves around those touchpoints. Sometimes it’s not very sexy. It could be the way you send a statement to your customer, and they open the envelope and they have to figure out what you’re trying to tell them, either how much money they owe you or how many points they’ve earned…but there’s a story around that, and I need to understand it…. Sometimes it’s a little more abstract, which can be… I place a call to a customer service center, or I’m standing in the gate area of your airline. What story is unfolding there, and what are the brand touchpoints I can use to make that a better experience for you?”

To learn more about the UTA Brand Studio’s research into brand attachment, check out their blog. For more about Larry, visit UTABrandStudio.com or follow him on Twitter: @lvincent.

Larry and I discussed much more, including what he and his team look for when hiring creative professionals, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!

This episode brought to you by the MarketingProfs Professional Development Program.

Music credit: Noam Weinstein.

This marketing podcast was created and published by MarketingProfs.

Larry Vincent, founder and executive director of The Brand Studio at United Talent Agency (UTA), author of Brand Realand Legendary Brands.

Kerry O’Shea Gorgone is Instructional Design Manager, Enterprise Training, here at MarketingProfs. She’s also a speaker, writer, attorney, and educator. She hosts and produces the weekly Marketing Smarts podcast. To contact Kerry about being a guest on Marketing Smarts, send her an email, or you can find her on Twitter (@KerryGorgone), Google+, and her personal blog.

MarketingProfs All In One

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