Presented below are the individual bios of JoKyR and Jesster. For more information about them, see the About page.
Joseph Kyle Rogan
In 2003, Joseph Kyle Rogan completed the University of Utah's prestigious
Actor Training Program (a bachelors level conservatory program) and
Theatre Education Program, where he studied such diverse subjects as
Shakespeare, Commedia dell'Arte, Japanese Butoh Dance, Dialects, and Stand-Up
Comedy. While at the University of Utah, Joseph also took part in an acting
internship with Pioneer Theatre Company, and received an Irene Ryan
nomination for his performance of the title role in the U of U's 30th
annual Classical Greek Theatre Festival Production of Euripides' Ion.
During his college years, Joseph worked as the Artistic Director of the
Theatre Complex Trolley Square Live.
Throughout his education, it was apparent that Joseph had a particular
and profound love of improvisational theatre. This love affair began when
he was enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program at Salt Lake City's
West High School. His IB Drama teacher, Rett Neale, loaned Joseph a copy of
Truth In Comedy over the summer. That was all it took. Since
then, he has read every book on Improv he could find, and has traveled the
continent to take every workshop he could afford (and even some that he
couldn't). Among the teachers Joseph has been fortunate enough to receive training
from are Liz Allen, Jason Anfinsen, Joe Bill, Chuck Charbeneau, Bob Dassie, Martin deMaat,
Armando Diaz, Andy Eninger, Noah Gregoropoulos, Jeff Griggs, Peter
Gwinn, Stacey Hallal, Charna Halpern, Clifton Highfield, Shaun Himmerick, TJ
Jagadowski, Eric Jensen, Nick Johne, Shaun Landry, Jenni Lillendahl,
Susan Messing, Mick Napier, Dave Pasquesi, Dave Razowsky, Asaf Ronen, Avery
Schreiber, Mark Sutton, Zach Ward, Andre Washington, and Ross White.
Once Joseph's eyes were opened to the wondrous possibilities of the far
reaches of the improv art form, he was dismayed to discover that the
only improvisational theatre being performed in his home town was
competitive short form (just the tip of the improv iceberg). In August 1996, he
brought this sad state of affairs to an end by founding Knock Your Socks Off
Improvised Productions (KYSOff), and dedicating himself to perfecting
his craft and expanding the boundaries of the Utah improv community. An
experienced teacher, Joseph has taught hundreds of public and private
workshops in long form improv at venues throughout the Salt Lake
valley. He has also founded and directed the long form improv teams The 8-Bits,
IMP-451, To Moscow!, and The Prototypes. Recently, he performed with
the def poetry inspired group The Hook at the 2005 Del Close Marathon in New
York City. Today, Joseph is recognized as the founder of long form improv in
Joseph believes in a character based approach to improv that relies
heavily on listening, emotional affectation, and the heightening of patterns.
He lives in Utah with his wife Micki, and daughter Patience. He
performs regularly with the Off Broadway Theatre's
Laughing Stock and Highly Irregular's The Hook, and as
the solo act JoKyR's Wyld. He is currently the maestro of Knock Your Socks
Off, a theatre teacher at Glendale Middle School, a trainer for
Improvisational Teen Theatre Training, Inc. and the first half of the two man long form
team, JoKyR and Jesster.
A native of Massachusetts, Jesse started college at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in
Worcester, MA in 1992 and was heavily involved in theater, joining the Masque and MW Repertory
Theater student groups as an actor (and even once a director), as well as being inducted into
the national theatre honor fraternity Alpha Psi Omega. In his first year at college, Jesse
became involved in Chain Link Fence, WPI's improvisational acting troupe. Jesse was actively
involved with the troupe until his graduation in 1996, occasionally helping out when they
performed at reunions he happened to be at.
Jesse moved to Utah immediately after receiving his computer science degree, taking a long
break from acting and improv to focus on work and family. In 2001, he took a class with the
Lincoln Hoppe (then of The Skinny Lincolns) because he missed improv and was
reintroduced to the art form he loved. He then took workshops with Quick Wits' Bob Bedore and
Knock Your Socks Off's (KYSOff's) Joseph Kyle Rogan and was asked to join KYSOff in November
Jesse has performed with Laughing Stock, KYSOff, and Quick Wits Clearfield as a full cast member and has also
performed with other Utah troupes such as Quick Wits Salt Lake City, Off the Wall,
Mixed Company, 3.2 Improv, Salt City Improv, TBA - In No Particular Order and in ComedySportz Utah's Yellow #2
show (longform). Jesse has also performed in local Utah festivals such as Trolley Brawl 1, 2, and 3.2, The
Quick Wits Clearfield Comedy Extravaganza, Septemberprov 2004, and Decemberprov 2004. He has performed in the
Showcase venue of the 5th Annual Chicago Improv Festival with KYSOff as well as in the 6th and 7th
Annual Chicago Improv Festivals with other improvisers at the Improv All Night event. Jesse
performed with The Saint, featuring Ryan Locante, Ross White, and Austin Nava, in the
5th Annual Del Close Marathon and the 2nd Annual Dirty South Improv 24:Live Event.
Jesse also performed throughout the 3rd annual 24:Live event, which included performing with
The Beatbox and Sickest F***ing Stories. At the 3rd Annual Miami Improv Festival, he performed
in Joe Bill's "The Scramble" class recital and was invited by Joe Bill to perform "The Scramble" again at the
4th Annual Phoenix Improv Festival (where he also performed with Hemi and the Buzz, a group that joined
JoKyR and Jesster with Men in Shirts) and at the 7th Annual Del Close Marathon (where he was also invited by
Joe Bill to perform with the White Trash Intellectuals, a group that opened for Bassprov). At the 4th Annual Miami Improv
Festival, he was invited to perform with Puny Humans and Mark Sutton's All Stars.
Jesse has taught improv classes for KYSOff, Quick Wits Clearfield, ComedySportz Provo, Off
the Wall, TBA - In No Particular Order, and Laughing Stock in Utah, Guerilla Improv in Massachusetts, the Gulf Coast Comedy Festival,
the Miami Improv Festival in Florida, the Beatnik Syndicate in California, and the Dirty South Improv Festival in North Carolina. He
has also helped run student workshops for KYSOff and Quick Wits Salt Lake City and was the
coach for the improv team The Prototypes and the improv troupe 3.2 Improv. Jesse has taken workshops with Andy Eninger, Charna
Halpern, Joe Bill, Mark Sutton, Todd Stashwick, John Thies, Billy Merritt, Gary Austin, Ross White, Zach Ward, Matt Elwell,
Peter Gwinn, Noah Gregoropoulos, Craig Cackowski, Dave Razowsky, Shaun Landry, Jason Anfinsen, Nick Johne,
Asaf Ronen, Chuck Charbeneau, Clifton Highfield, Shaun Himmerick, Kerstin Caldwell, Topher Bellavia, Stacey Hallal,
Jeff Griggs, Bob Dassie, Ian Roberts, Liz Allen, Jimmy Carrane, TJ Jagadowski, Armando Diaz, and Mick Napier. He
also used to teach a weekly class in Salt Lake City called "Four Weeks a Form," where he developed
the slam poetry inspired format, the Hook, which was performed at the 7th Annual Del Close Marathon and by groups in
San Francisco and Boston.
Jesse is passionate about promoting long form improvisation and community in Utah. He
co-founded UtahImprov.com with Ryan Locante and travels frequently to improv festivals
to take classes and perform and brings his acquired knowledge back to Utah. He also has
helped build and establish Web sites for numerous improv troupes in Utah and beyond. In 2006,
Jesse was named as an Artistic Associate of the Chicago Improv Festival.
Jesse is proud to be the second half of the two man long form team, JoKyR and Jesster.