My name is Steve Dukes. You can call me Steve if you like. My friends do. Coach Steve works too. I live, teach and perform in Oregon in the USA. I'm a veteran. An Actor. A writer. A father. I have two children, a boy and a girl. I am a filmmaker. I love basketball. I practice Muay Thai. My favorite type of food is probably oatmeal.
I have been performing since 2009. I started my career as a stage manager at Scottsdale Community College in Scottsdale Arizona. I love managing the stage. If I’m not going to be on stage performing the second best place for me is behind the scenes keeping the theater machine running. After my first show stage managing. I was so inspired by the performers I really wanted to act. So, I took some acting courses and speedily transitioned from being behind the curtain and loving it, to onstage and loving it just as much.
The first performance I got bit by the acting bug. I was hooked. I committed to being an actor and performer. I gave up my dreams of ever owning a house or paying bills on time.
When I finally found improv, I was a regular performer at a Community theater, not many shows under my belt. I was making a pretty good living hosting a cooking show but that wasn’t really feeding my soul. It was just a paid gig. So, during that time I was looking for a way to expand my vocabulary as a performer and a friend suggested an improv class. It's important to note that when I started acting I did not like improv. The reason being is all the improv I ever saw other than Whose line is it anyway? was horrible. I thought it was just a bunch of people trying to be funny. It was incohesive, and tense. Just terrible. Look at my face. Terrible! It took some convincing for me to actually go to the class. I was a little stubborn. I wanted to be a dramatic actor and I didn't understand what improv had to do with it? When I went to class. I was surprised. I took my first class at Improvmania Comedy Club in Arizona. It was a free intro to improv workshop. If you have a chance to go to a free beginners class or workshop I encourage you to do so.
In my beginners class, one of the first things I noticed about being in the class is that I really felt like I was a child. Improv has a way of exercising the imagination. So I felt like a child using my imagination and it was hard. My inner child was mute. I hadn't used it in a long time. Once I learned the fundamentals I became enamored with the interactions I was having in scenes. I was working my acting muscles in a way I had never done before. So, I signed up for the full course that night. I enjoyed every moment of class. Class was once a week, and it was the highlight of my week for years after that.
Halfway through the third semester I started to also notice that I was becoming a better conversationalist in my day to day life. That encouraged me to continue learning and taking more classes. Before I knew it I was performing improv for audiences small and large multiple times a week. I was still pretty broke, but I didn't care because I was on stage, performing all the time. After about a year of performing improv I had so much footage from shows it was not really that hard to create a reel. That's when I finally signed with my first Agency (The Option Agency), and within a month of signing, I was booked on a commercial. Which lead to another commercial and another. Commercials led to films. About that time I felt the urge to teach whaSteve Dukes Improv was born. More importanly though Igetting paid to make shit up. Anyway, enough about me.