Cabrini alumnus stands up at Philly Fringe Festival

By Katie Bonanni
September 22, 2010

Do you ever wonder who is the man behind those “Today at Cabrini” emails?  Matt Holmes is his name and he is the Cabrini College webmaster.  Holmes, who is a Cabrini alumnus, class of 2002, does more than just manage the website. He has his own improv show called “M@&.”

For those who may not know what improv is, it is a comedy show where this is no set script or plan and it is all made up on the spot.  The idea of it is that the comedian has no idea what he is going to do or say in the beginning of the show, so he just reacts to what is put in front of him.

“I started off  in 1998, with no experience, my freshman year at Cabrini when I auditioned for the college’s improv group,” said Holmes.  He later went on to perform at Cabrini in 2005 and 2008 with the “Rare Bird Show,” which he co-founded.

Holmes performs his shows all over Philly, mostly through the Philly Improv Theater; most recently he performed during the Philly Fringe Festival on Sept. 16 at the Adrienne Theatre.

Brian Schreck, who attended the improv,  said “he has a very different routine from most other comedians that I have seen and I would go see him perform again.”

For most of Holmes’ shows he performs with a random audience member.  According to Holmes, he used to get nervous before the show about making it up as he goes along but after doing it for so many years he became comfortable and it comes more easily.

During the Philly Fringe Festival Holmes took a different spin on his performance and added the use of an iPod for the first time.  He started off asking the audience to volunteer their iPods to aid him in the show.  Then Holmes chose a member from the audience who has never seen an improv show before.  He used both the music from the iPod and the random audience member for the base of his show.  He performs whatever comes into his mind at that time.  “I don’t ever get nervous about who I pick from the audience because it just becomes more of a challenge,” Holmes said.

“I thought he was really good and into it, he was better than any other improv I have ever seen and I would definitely see him again,” Daryl Charles, an enthusiastic audience member, said.

Holmes had the audience laughing and on the edge of their seats, eager to find out what song would come on next and what persona he would take on.

For more information about the “M@&” show, you can visit Holmes’ website:

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Katie Bonanni

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