The Skinny on... Sam Gorenstein

What was your favorite toy as a child?

It was an egg-shaped penguin with a little chime inside, and whenever you knocked it over, it would pop right back up.

What’s your favorite local restaurant?

That’s a tough one. There are a bunch! Pizza Gram Plus, Red Front, El Loco, and Hudson River Coffee House come to mind.

Are you involved in any creative projects you’d like to tell people about?

Yes! In addition to working with the wonderful folks at MopCo, I'm also working with the wonderful folks behind the web series Mix & Master. The show is a behind-the-scenes look at a fictional recording studio. The pilot is already online. Please do check it out!

I also do stand-up comedy around the Capital Region, and practice regularly at the Lark Tavern Comedy Open Mic (8 p.m. on Mondays). If you want to see some of your favorite local comics hone their material in its earlier stages, it’s a fun place to stop by, and it’s free.

How do you prepare before Mopco performances?

 I turn into a falcon and fly across the city, consuming the atmosphere as it settles my soul. I can only do this for two hours though, or else I am stuck in bird form for life. 

Otherwise, I run through exercises with my fellow improvisers so we can get in sync.

There’s a lot to be said for connecting with your scene partners!

How do you prepare to teach Mopco classes?

While I’ve never taught a MopCo class myself, I have seen others prepare. The rituals are ominous, yet beautiful: intricate movements, fine robes, and, of course, the book of incantations. Someday, I may dance beneath the harvest moon and chant the sacred oaths. Until then, I stand in admiration of those who do.

Would you rather travel to the moon or the bottom of the sea?

Neither has oxygen. Would I be allowed to bring oxygen? 

If yes, then the moon, because who wouldn’t want to explore space? 

If no, then still the moon, because even if I suffocate, astronauts would come across my body later and be like “What? How did this get here?” and there would be investigations and inquiries, and no one would ever know. It would be one of the biggest unsolved mysteries of all time.

What’s the best advice you ever got?

Treat people with respect. Listen. If something is important to you, don’t put it off.

Are you involved in any charitable work you’d like to tell people about?

Well, if you’re looking for a place to volunteer, I strongly recommend the Teresian House Center for the Elderly, in Albany, New York. The workers and residents there are genuinely some of the nicest, most dedicated people I’ve had the opportunity to meet.

Sam in Mopco's Spontaneous Broadway

Sam in Mopco's Spontaneous Broadway

What’s your motto?

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. When life hands you hands, get away as fast as you can, because anyone who just has a pile of hands sitting around that they give to other people is probably a serial killer.



And last but certainly not least, what’s your favorite soda?

Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry.