Zap2it: How did you become involved with improv?
Neil Flynn: I tried improv pretty late in the game and had been an actor for 10 years, and the idea of improvising scared me. In ’92, I left Los Angeles because I wasn’t making any headway here. I went back to Chicago. For whatever reason the time was right for me to give it a try. I went to Del Close’s theater, the ImprovOlympic Theatre, and I gave it a try and took to it.
Zap2it: When did you know that you were an actor?
Neil Flynn: When I was still in school, probably in high school, and I had not really found my thing. And I did a play, and I really felt at home, and I won a little award for it, and which, by the way, I believe is the last award I won. It was a good little piece of encouragement.
Zap2it: Then how did you go from there to acting professionally?
Neil Flynn: I had no idea how to go about it. The farthest I ever saw myself was working onstage. I could not imagine how you got into television or movies. I realized after college there is a lot of theater in Chicago. … I just started doing plays at first for free, then getting paid to do it and was pretty happy doing that. And then you notice other people are making more money acting on TV or movies, so I came out to Los Angeles.
“The Middle” airs Wednesdays on ABC.