You can find Mike on Twitter at @TheMikeKosinski
And follow the show at @impastortv
Tell everyone about your background?
“My background is mostly in sketch and improv comedy. I started out in Chicago. I actually just moved to L.A. about, coming up on a year ago. Before that I was in Chicago and I worked for The Second City, which is a famous sketch and improv theater in Chicago. I was doing that, actually, when I got tapped for the role of Russell.”
What’s it like working with Second City?
“It’s so fun, it’s so much fun. It’s great because I was on the big stage there. You’re doing eight shows a week. Every night you’re getting to do live comedy in front of 300 people and then also improvising in front of those crowds. It’s great and I think it really keeps you sharp! I can’t think of a better way to hone your comedy skills.”
Now I did not know this, one of your fans brought this to my attention, you did comedy cruises?
“Yes I did! It’s so funny to hear them called comedy cruises [laughs]. Second City has a deal with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Second City has, I’m not sure how many it is now, but for a while it was six ships or so. They would have a cast go on the ship, and you would stay on for about four or five months. That was the duration of each contract. I did four of them. I did the Caribbean, Northern Europe, Alaska, Hawaii, and Bermuda. Those were the itineraries I did.”
What’s your best cruise memory out of all those trips?
“Oh that’s a good question. I have a lot of crazy cruise ship memories. My best one? Oh okay, I had to resist telling someone about this the other day.
When I was in Hawaii, we ended up going to a nude beach. A nude beach in Maui. The day we were there, there was also a hippy drumming circle! I was on this nude beach in Hawaii where there was a drumming circle happening! Then the sun starts setting. We’re watching this beautiful sunset, while the nude beach drumming circle is happening, and someone is doing yoga! They are silhouetted in the sunset, and then a whale just starts breaching over and over again in the back. It was the most insane hippy Hawaii moment of my entire life. [Laughs].”
It’s kind of one those moments you wish you had a camera for.
“Exactly! Although, you’d feel really creepy pulling out a camera on a nude beach [laughs]. People might get a little suspicious. Also for the record it was like 50/50 and I was not nude, I was fully suited.”
We’re going to talk about Impastor. I love the show and for people who have not seen it, tell everyone about the show and tell everybody about your character Russell Kerry.
“Absolutely. The show is about a ne’er-do-well, played by Michael Rosenbaum, who is on the run from his mistakes, basically. Through a series of events he ends up assuming the identity of this gay pastor who is coming to work in a small town. I play Russell Kerry who is the church secretary at the church Michael’s character is working at. Russell also also happens to be gay and the moment he sees Buddy he’s immediately smitten with him! Russell’s in love with Buddy.”
Speaking of Michael Rosenbaum, you have some amazing cast members. What is it like working with Michael, Sara Rue, and David Rasche? That’s got to be amazing.
“Oh it’s so fun. I feel so lucky because we immediately just all fell in love with each other. Since we were shooting in Vancouver, we were all kind of out of our own environments, we were all away. It was weirdly like summer camp where we immediately kind of bonded.
Within this first season I think we just found chemistry so quickly! They are all so fun. Michael is so fun, playful, and always just wants to have the best time when we’re shooting anything. I think it absolutely comes through.
I feel like I got to hang out with Sara and Mircea a lot as well because we had similar shooting schedules. They are just some of my favorite people now. I think it comes through in the show, but we all instantly just clicked and love each other.”
That’s Great! What I love about Impastor is, for a 30 minute sitcom, it’s so fast-paced and literally from the first 30 seconds I was laughing so hard.
There was so much going on in that pilot episode. It was amazing. Do you guys get to ad lib at all? How much of it is improv and how much of it is just sticking by the script?
“Well it’s funny that you talk about how fast it is because that was one of the first things I noticed too, even after reading the pilot and of course shooting it! When I saw it I was like, “Oh my gosh, this just moves so quickly.” That was one of the things that I loved about it.
It’s kind of a testament to Chris Vane who wrote it, who created the show. He’s so economical with giving information. He gets all the information out, especially in the pilot! He was able to set up this entire situation, and make it funny, and make it move quickly.
I think he just did an amazing job. To answer your question, I think most of what you see is sticking to the script because that allows it to be so economical and move so quickly. Does that make sense?”
Yes. Kudos to him!
“Yeah, oh my gosh yeah. Every time I would read one of the scripts I would be so impressed. Like “Oh my gosh they did such a great job of getting out the information in the most efficient way and making it funny and interesting.” I think that’s a real skill.”
Yeah. I just think that’s so amazing. A fan asks, “What is it like wearing that leather thing that you flashed Buddy (Michael Rosenbaum) with. I actually want to know about that too.
“Well, first of all, that episode airs tonight so I’m really, really looking forward to my parent’s reaction to that [laughs]. The funniest thing, probably to me, about that was having to go to a wardrobe fitting for it! They had 10 different contraptions for me to try on.
The wardrobe people were so, so kind in trying to help me figure it out! Half of the time we would pick one up and be like, “How do you wear this?” There were so many conversations about, “Do we just wear like a g-string on the bottom, what do we wear?” That thing was very strange to wear. I’ve never worn one before, that may be shocking to hear. [Laughs].”
Like a boss, you wore it like a boss.
“Thank you? I think.”
Yes, yes, it’s a compliment, it’s a compliment.
“I wouldn’t say it was comfortable, but it breathed well.”
Yeah, I could see that.
“Yeah, it’s got like a nice built-in airing system.”
Do you have any funny stories from the set that you’d like to share with everyone?
“Let me think. It was so fun every day. Michael, of course, is singing every moment, he’s like a jukebox of 80’s hairband music. He’s singing all the time, usually right up until the take. He’ll be singing, singing, singing, and, “Action.” You’re like, “Oh.”
I’m trying to think of a good story though. There was a fun little twitter battle between Michael and Sara where they kept taking each other’s chairs and messing with them and then putting it on Twitter.
Michael took a photo of himself bare-butt on Sara’s chair and then Sara got back at him by decorating his chair! Michael’s a huge fan of the New York Ranger’s. The hockey team. They were playing a different team and it was a big game and Michael had wrapped, so he left the set and was very excited to go watch the game.
Sara had the props department make a bunch of props that were for the other team! I wish I could remember the other team, but she decorated his entire chair in the other team. He was so mad.”
Can you give us a preview of what’s next for Russell, Buddy, and the cast?
“Oh, oh yes! Russell does not let up on his pursuit of Buddy at all. He has got his eye on the prize and he is going for it. It’s a lot of hot pursuit. [Laughs].”